ESCAPING city tourist traps by personalising visits using a novel app has won £50,000 for a company co-founded by a University of Brighton graduate.

KOMPAS (UK)’s ‘The Dependable City Exploration’ app bases travel content on individual preferences and interests.

It won top prize as the best start-up proposal in Visa’s first European Everywhere Initiative competition.

London-based KOMPAS beat off competition from 300 companies and 15 finalists required to pitch their proposals.

In addition to the cash prize, the company will now work with Visa to take their idea to the next level.

KOMPAS started in 2015 and currently operates in Berlin, Birmingham, London and Munich, and the cash prize means they intend expanding to more cities.

The app, which plans “fun things to do based on customer’s time available, budget and type of things they like doing,” was developed by University of Brighton graduate Kurt Henderson and colleagues.

Kurt, KOMPAS’s co-founder and chief product officer, was awarded a Digital Media Design BA(Hons) degree from the university in 2013.

He said: “Winning the competition came as a huge surprise and has left me absolutely flattered and humbled.

“It’ll really help put KOMPAS on the map, especially in the UK where a majority of people are Visa customers.

“We couldn’t have done it without the great team’s input and diligence.”

KOMPAS was started two years ago when two of Kurt’s co-founders, living in Munich, wanted to see what the city had to offer.

After finding no real solution they started a blog which gained a readership of more than 20,000 within six months.

Realising then that they were “adding to the noise”, they wanted to create an innovative solution with greater potential.

With their background in behavioural analysis and linguistics, they set about creating a mobile application that would differ from other solutions.

Which is when Kurt and another co-founder joined them.

Kurt said: “My experience at Brighton was a three-year life journey to cherish with so many good things and new learning opportunities.

“It made me who I am today in my career and life and for that, it’s definitely a point of huge importance to me.”

Tom Charman, KOMPAS’s chief executive officer, said: “I believe what made KOMPAS stand out from the other contestants was both a combination of the technology we’re building, but also our ability to integrate with Visa services, providing a completely personalised experience for our end user.”

KOMPAS has raised investment and has won multiple awards for its innovation in travel and technology, with all of the founding team recently being highlighted as ones to watch by, the online resource for new and growing businesses.

The university is keen to promote success stories.