Category Archives: Interview Series

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Travel Founder Interview with Frederic Simons From WorldCraze

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Today we’re speaking with Frederic Simons, founder of WorldCraze. A little bit more about him and his startup from his own mouth…

1) What do you do?

frederic-simonsI am Frederic, and I created WorldCraze with my co-founder Guillaume in December of 2012. WorldCraze is a french start-up that connects travelers and consumer worldwide! We believe in the fact that WorldCraze can change the world consumption to make it more accessible and collaborative. I worked hard and today we are a team of 6 people, working on our concept, on our app, and on our website to make it better everyday for our users.

The concept of WorldCraze is simple and useful. It allows everyone to buy products that only exist in another country or is cheaper there, thanks to the help of travelers, that can bring it back to earn a bonus. For exemple, a brazilian can ask to a traveler coming back from USA to bring him back a new iPhone for cheaper, and the traveler will earn a bonus for this service.

2) Why do you do what you do?

Coming back from holidays in USA, I noticed a huge difference of price in many products, such as a pair of jeans Levi’s. I was sure there were something to do about it, because this is an unfair difference that is not justified for a same product. Besides, I also found out that many products existed only in other countries and that it was very complicated for people to offer some in another country without huge shipping costs. Also, thousands and thousands of travelers are traveling worldwide everyday in all destinations.

I had the idea to connect those travelers with consumers, through a secure and safe website. I talked about it to my partner and we launched this concept in December 2012. We already had experience in start-up that helped very much to build WorldCraze. So we began the adventure with Guillaume and we are now growing up worldwide!

The concept appealed many people that are now using it, and thanks to the low competition in this domain we can lead the european market, and are now hoping to go further.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

We saw that our concept interested many people in France and Europe, so we are now opening worldwide. We are opening in the USA and in Brazil. One member of our team is currently in Brazil because this country represents a huge opportunity since all imported products are expensive there and because they are more than 200 millions. I am very excited to expend this concept worldwide and to get many new crazers to increase our community. It is exciting to see each day new travelers with new destinations and a demand of product from all over the world increasing. It is also exciting to see that people are very satisfied with WorldCraze and to communicate with them truly, considering their advice and comments. We want to create a real connection with them, to guide them as well as they can guide us to better suit their needs.

4) What’s next for you?

I find my inspiration in successful start-up such as AirBnB or Blablacar, that had a great success worldwide and transformed the economy for a more collaborative one. I believe that WorldCraze has the possibility to transform the e-shooping into crowdshopping and to create a huge community that will help consumers, but also travelers that can earn money by bringing back products. This is a win-win concept that solves a problem many people are facing. It can change habits of consumption and help travelers as well to earn money using their empty suitcases. We have big ambition for WorldCraze so we are now working hard on it to improve it and communicate about it worldwide.

5) What cause you’re passionate about and why?

I want to make our world more fair and products more accessible to each individual in the world. With more and more travelers that have very diverse destinations, products from everywhere can reach any destination at the better price, which represents a real transformation for the world.

I am also passionate about traveling, and that is why helping travelers to earn money and to meet people thanks to WorldCraze is really important for me. WorldCraze represents an opportunity for travelers and I am working with the team now to build a blog with many destination and tips for them in different countries, to encourage them to travel more and to discover the world.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Meet Krishna Teja from Think Places

This week I am talking with Krishna Teja, who founded Think Places, a site designed to put you right in touch with the travel experts from your community who can help you design the travel experience you want. He has some great thoughts on why he founded the company and what’s next. Enjoy!

Krishna1) What do you do?

I am the founder of Think Places. Think Places is a marketplace where travelers can find, schedule and pay for calls with experts around the world to help them plan a great trip. Our expert community includes popular travel bloggers and travel writers who come from the world’s top travel publications like Lonely planet, BBC travel, New york times etc.

Thanks to the social web, you can now share anything with anyone anywhere in the world. It’s a very exciting time for the sharing economy and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

2) Why do you do what you do?

In 2011, I went on a lovely backpacking trip to Europe. While, the trip was quite enjoyable, the planning – not so much! On an average, I spent at least 2 to 3 hours every day for a month to plan this trip. It was a nightmare to come up with a practical itinerary.
There were 3 main problems with planning your trip online:

  1. Information overload – its hard to find information based on your interests.
  2. There was a ton of out dated information
  3. It’s difficult to get a locals perspective on the city.

So as a recent computer graduate from the University of Toronto, I decided to solve the problem!

3) What are you most excited about right now?

Its always exciting to talk to customers especially when they really like the service you offer. We are also implementing a bunch of cool features so I am excited to see them go live.

4) What’s next for you?

I am contacting several experts to expand our list. we would like to reach a stage where we have an expert for every place on earth including the remotest of places. Apart from that, I am also going to approach a few journalists who are interested in writing about our story.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

How far your food travels has serious consequences for your health and the climate. I strongly believe in, and support the local food movement. Eating local foods is better for you, for the environment, and for your taste buds.

If you’re keen to connect with Krishna further, you can find his current location on his OHW profileA big thanks to Krishna for sharing his motivations and current projects. If you’d like to connect on social media with Think Places:

Think Places on Facebook and Twitter

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Shannon O'Donnell

A storyteller and knowledge-seeker captivated by the world. Formally an actress and web-nerd, I left in 2008 to travel solo, volunteer, and hunt down delicious vegetarian eats all over the world. She recently published "The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook, and her travel stories and photography are recorded on her travel blog, ALittleAdrift.com.

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Joe Lima

Meet Joe Lima from ShareTrips

Today we’re talking to Joe Lima, the co-founder of ShareTrips.com; a social booking travel site. Being a co-founder of a tech company in the travel industry, one of my personal interests is learning more about other entrepreneurs building travel tech companies. Joe is one of the founders in this massive travel vertical.

Without further adieu, here is a bit more about him…

1) What do you do?

Joe LimaAlong with Lee Heyne, I am the co-founder of ShareTrips. ShareTrips.com is a social travel booking site that allows people who are traveling together to share in the experience of booking a hotel stay. Through our patent-pending collaboration technology, people in different locations can simultaneously view and interact with a shared webpage of hotel search results. Through our website, travel companions can research, select and book a hotel collaboratively. Travel companions can now collaborate online in real time as well as book online.

2) Why do you do what you do?

I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I’ve experienced in my life. Having emigrated from Cuba at an early age and from a family of limited means, I never dreamed I would have the life I have today. I don’t take my opportunities for granted! I’ve been lucky enough to spend over 10 years in the very dynamic travel industry and I wanted to use my experience to solve some of the many problems I encountered in the industry. And problems are just opportunities in disguise. As the “travel guy” amongst my friends, I was always the one booking the travel. This meant coordinating with my travel companions via emails, phone calls and texts. A very tedious and time consuming process. Once I left Hotwire, I had the opportunity to tackle this problem and ShareTrips.com was born. Online collaboration, meet travel booking.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

We just recently launched ShareTrips so I am really excited that we reached that milestone. The current version of the site is our Minimum Viable Product or MVP so we have a lot of features and products waiting in the wings. I’m really excited about the functionality we currently have on our test server. Unfortunately, I can’t divulge what it is, but that functionality will take our site to the next level. To be one of the first to know, connect with ShareTrips on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn as we announce new features on social media.

4) What’s next for you?

Professionally, we have an extensive product road map as well as a marketing plan that we’ll be executing in the next few months. In addition, we’ll be announcing the names of our Advisors, a set of industry veterans with extensive experience in travel and technology. Personally, I like to travel so I will be using ShareTrips to book a trip to Buenos Aires and another trip to Fiji next year. It’s been a while since I’ve been to both places and a return trip to visit friends is in order.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

I am passionate about education and I am the kind of guy that puts his money where his mouth is. I am the benefactor of the Joseph Lima Scholarship at UC, San Diego, a scholarship for students who come from families of limited means and are the first in their families to attend college. I believe that an education is the path to prosperity for both the individual and our society. The cost of an education is increasingly becoming out of reach for even the middle class and our politicians can’t seem to find the will to alleviate the problem so private citizens such as myself need to take action. By sponsoring a college scholarship, I am doing my small part to ensure that our citizens and our country continue to benefit from a well educated society. My hope is that others as fortunate will follow suit.

If you’re keen to connect with Joe further, you can find his current location on his OHW profileA big thanks to Joe for sharing his motivations and current projects. If you’d like to connect on social media with Joe:

ShareTrips on Twitter and Facebook

Joe on Twitter / LinkedIn

We’ll be featuring a number of other travel tech entrepreneurs in the coming weeks. If you are an entrepreneur in the travel vertical, and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account and add “travel tech entrepreneurs” as an interest on your profile — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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mark ord

Some Thoughts from Mark Ord in Southeast Asia

Today we’re talking to Mark Ord, the founder of All Points East; with a goal of producing unusual, original and quality trips at reasonable prices with an emphasis on off the beaten track destinations and eco-tourism and a commitment to responsible travel. One of our primary goals at Oh Hey World is to connect like-minded people with each other. Being a co-founder of a tech company in the travel industry, one of my personal interests is learning more about other entrepreneurs building travel companies.

Without further adieu…

1) What do you do?

mark ordRun a tour company specialising in travel in Southeast Asia. Set up All Points East, (formerly Gecko Travel), with my sister back in 1999 and she runs the UK office and I try my best to organize things at the Southeast Asia end from my base in Chiang Mai. If we get any quiet periods I also do some free-lance travel writing and photography.

2) Why do you do what you do?

Simple really; love travel and love Southeast Asia so my job allows me to live and travel out here. Mind you the more business improves the more time I seem to spend sitting in front of a computer in an office rather than travelling however having said that the nature of the work means my ‘office’ can be anywhere with an internet and phone connection. So I get to work out of some pretty exotic temporary ‘offices’: Saigon coffee shops or Thai beach resorts for example, so not complaining!

3) What are you most excited about right now?

Firstly the opening up of new areas of Southeast Asia to travel. New roads are allowing access to previously remote areas and border restrictions are being relaxed. Burma’s opening up fast for instance. Also excited and heartened to see some continued improvements in eco awareness and what appear to be genuine efforts at protecting the natural environment in various countries in the region. There’s obviously a long way to go but recent efforts in Borneo/Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia for example seem to be heading in the right direction. Maybe I’m over optimistic but there does seem to be an increased awareness of the long term value of protecting natural areas over short term gain of logging or say oil plantations plus it’s easy to do the maths and look at the cost incurred from natural disasters such as flooding caused by deforestation.

4) What’s next for you?

I’m checking out some trekking routes in new areas of Burma’s Shan State since the Burmese have recently opened up several land crossings for visitors plus researching northern Cambodia where new road construction has opened up huge swathes of the country with masses of previously little known ancient temple sites.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

Environmental protection, though at the end of the day, that is very closely tied in with my business anyway as is development in the poorer countries of the region such as Burma, Laos and Cambodia. Causes close to me heart tend to be Southeast Asian issues since this is where I lived for some 15 years and travel is such a wide subject that inevitably any political, environmental, social and economic developments in the area have an implication of some kind for travel and tourism.

If you’re keen to connect with Mark further, you can find his current location on his OHW profileA big thanks to Mark for sharing his motivations and current projects. If you’d like to connect on social media with Valentin:

Mark on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

We’ll be featuring a number of other travel entrepreneurs in the coming weeks. If you are an entrepreneur in the travel vertical, and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account and add “travel entrepreneurs” as an interest on your profile — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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waynelopez

An Interview with Wayne Lopez

Today we’re talking to Wayne Lopez, the founder of Ayoopa; a site that allows you to rent travel gear locally from other individuals. One of our primary goals at Oh Hey World is to connect like-minded people with each other. Being a co-founder of a tech company in the travel industry, one of my personal interests is learning more about other entrepreneurs building travel tech companies. I ran into Wayne in the comments of Tnooz a few weeks ago, and reached out to him to have him answer a few questions.

Without further adieu…

1) What do you do?

waynelopezAt Ayoopa we INVIGORATE LIFE! It’s an online rental marketplace for travel stuff on-demand, with stuff being a scientific term meaning gear, equipment, things. We curate our supply of travel stuff from local people who want to remove the clutter in their life while at the same time making money on their unused goods. Think of it as rental consignment. Then we make it easy for people traveling (adventurers, active lifestyle, traveling Moms) to get quality travel goods for rent through our website.

2) Why do you do what you do?

We’re true believers in collaborative consumption. Why keep buying when there are goods already around you. What we’ve seen is that in the travel space, goods can be quite costly. Sometimes it precludes you from enjoying your travel. You have to worry about storage, the environment and even getting true value from something used infrequently. We think in many cases, renting is a better option. Our goal with Ayoopa is to make it convenient to get access to goods only needed for temporary use.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

We’re excited that collaborative consumption is really taking the U.S. by storm. Parts of Europe, Australia and South America are further along in this concept. With companies like Airbnb, RelayRides and TaskRabbit, it’s making it more acceptable to use similar services like Ayoopa.

4) What’s next for you?

Right now we are focused on the Houston area. We find there are a ton of casual adventurers who live here. But we’ve also found that there are a lot of business travelers who come to Houston for conferences, trade shows and general business travel, so we’ve spun up our first mobile app. It allows them to reserve items they need that they either forgot or didn’t want to carry with them on their travels. Pretty soon we expect to expand to Austin and San Antonio then other strategically targeted cities throughout the U.S.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

I’ve been involved with Junior Achievement and other programs to teach under privileged kids about business, economics and entrepreneurship. I think it’s also important to stress the role technology has in our everyday lives. So I continue to participate in these types of programs so kids can increase their awareness and get opportunities that don’t always exist in their communities.

If you’re keen to connect with Wayne further, you can find his current location on his OHW profileA big thanks to Wayne for sharing his motivations and current projects. If you’d like to connect on social media with Wayne:

Ayoopa on Twitter and Facebook

Wayne on Twitter

We’ll be featuring a number of other travel tech entrepreneurs in the coming weeks. If you are an entrepreneur in the travel vertical, and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account and add “travel tech entrepreneurs” as an interest on your profile — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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An Interview with Paul Bennett at Context

Today we’re talking to Paul Bennett, the co-founder of Context Travel; a walking tour company that organizes small-group and private tours led by scholars and experts in different topics for intellectually curious travelers. One of our primary goals at Oh Hey World is to connect like-minded people with each other. Being a co-founder of a tech company in the travel industry, one of my personal interests is learning more about other entrepreneurs building travel companies. I came across Paul from a conversation I had with Rovaira at Pulse.ph and reached out to have him answer a few questions.

Without further adieu…

1) What do you do?

I run a global boutique walking tour company called Context along with my wife and co-founder, Lani Bevacqua. We organize small-group and private tours led by scholars and experts in different topics for intellectually curious travelers. The people who join our “walking seminars” are generally not tour people. They don’t want to be in a big group, listening to some schmaltzy tour guide, reciting a script. If they’re visiting the Roman Forum they want to do it with an archaeologist from a local university who’s written a book about the topic. Context ensures that they’ll get the most out of that experience and not waste their time.

2) Why do you do what you do?

I hate tours but I love learning about new places. I used to be a journalist and so got in the habit of connecting with local experts (sources) whenever I went somewhere. After a 2-year trip aboard a 38-foot sailboat with Lani, we decided that there were others out there like us who valued local expertise and would pay to engage with an expert during their trip. I also believe that the era of packaged trips will soon end. Who really wants to spend 10 days with 20 other people in a pre-packaged experience? Not me. Everything we do is a la carte. If you want to take a single, 3-hr tour with us during your trip, that’s fine. If you want to take two Context walks every day for a week across several cities. That’s cool too. We’re set up to allow the traveler to shape their cultural learning around their needs and interests.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

I’m always in love with our newest cities. We opened Kyoto and Tokyo this winter, and we have an amazing group of people there doing innovative things like a tour on Japanese aesthetics and a Manga walk. We also just opened Amsterdam and are working on a walk around Dutch social experiments like legalized drug use and prostitution and the proliferation of bicycles. For me, this is the most interesting part of travel: digging deeply into a place and what makes it unique.

4) What’s next for you?

We’re putting together a program in Buenos Aires. We’re also moving into the final phase of an internal quality improvement program that’s taking the level of our walks—already considered by many to be the best in the tour industry—and raising it. This is a quiet, hard-to-perceive change for someone from the outside, but it’s critical. We compete against the rest of the “day tour” industry on quality, and I think we’re setting ourselves up to have a major impact over the next 2-3 years on this metric.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

Context does a lot of work in sustainable travel, and we’re one of the few travel companies that’s also a B Corp. But, that’s work related. For me, personally, I volunteer with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, which is a mentoring program for at-risk youth in urban areas. It’s a cliche to say that kids are our future, but it’s true. I think that many of our social issues in the U.S. can be addressed by targeting kids—teenagers, especially—and opening their minds to different possibilities. The schools aren’t doing it. Hell, in Philadelphia where I live we just closed down half the libraries and cut the music program from all the schools. It’s frightening to think what that means for low-income kids.

If you’re keen to connect with Paul further, you can find his current location on his OHW profileA big thanks to Paul for sharing his motivations and current projects. If you’d like to connect on social media:

Context Travel on Twitter and Facebook

Paul on Twitter

We’ll be featuring a number of other travel entrepreneurs in the coming weeks. If you are an entrepreneur in the travel vertical, and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account and add “travel entrepreneurs” as an interest on your profile — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld).

 

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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ValentinDombrovsky

An Interview with Valentin Dombrovsky of Travelatus

Today we’re talking to Valentin Dombrovsky, the founder of Travelatus; a site that focuses on event travel. One of our primary goals at Oh Hey World is to connect like-minded people with each other. Being a co-founder of a tech company in the travel industry, one of my personal interests is learning more about other entrepreneurs building travel tech companies. I stumbled across Valentin in the comments of Tnooz, and reached out to him to have him answer a few questions.

Without further adieu…

1) What do you do?

ValentinDombrovskyWe make Travelatus – ultimate event travel solution. We want to make trips devoted to visiting concerts or sport events easy giving the user opportunity to plan and to book all necessary services (event tickets, accommodation, transportation) using simple “one window sale system”. We develop a recommendation system in order to enable easy discovery of interesting events as well. In future we want to enable group trip planning, making it easier for groups of friends to have great event travel experiences.

2) Why do you do what you do?

We found out that event travel is a great opportunity to see great events in great places combining great experiences. We also see that this opportunity is underestimated right now because it’s not easy to plan such trip using modern online travel solutions. So we found the gap in online travel sphere that we want to fill with our solution.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

The most exciting thing for me is that after a long period of development we were able to launch Travelatus. We started with a bit different idea and it took us more than a year to get to the current version of our service. We got help from Czech accelerator StartupYard and at last managed to create the service with a team of only 3 people. This was a long and a glorious journey for us, however, I understand that it’s only the beginning. But still I try to look into the future with optimism and look forward to new obstacles to overcome. :)

4) What’s next for you?

Right now we continue development of the service – next plans include creating better planning system, enhancement of recommendations system, enabling group planning and finally making the real “one window sale system” available.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

I’m keen on online travel, startups in general and running. I try to support communities that are related to all these things – making things together is always easier than alone, no matter what you’re doing.

If you’re keen to connect with Valentin further, you can find his current location on his OHW profileA big thanks to Valentin for sharing his motivations and current projects. If you’d like to connect on social media with Valentin:

Travelatus on Twitter and Facebook

Valentin on Twitter

We’ll be featuring a number of other travel tech entrepreneurs in the coming weeks. If you are an entrepreneur in the travel vertical, and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account and add “travel tech entrepreneurs” as an interest on your profile — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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larger_YogaDeckRaisedArms

An Interview with Dave Aidekman of The Trip Tribe

Today we’re talking to Dave Aidekman, the founder of The Trip Tribe; a site that helps you find vacations with the right people. One of our primary goals at Oh Hey World is to connect like-minded people with each other. Being a co-founder of a tech company in the travel industry, one of my personal interests is learning more about other entrepreneurs building travel tech companies. I stumbled across Dave in the comments of Tnooz, and upon looking at his site knew we shared a lot of similar values and goals and we spoke for a bit yesterday. 

If you’re keen to connect with Dan further, you can find his current location on his OHW profile.

Without further adieu…

1) What do you do?

I am CEO of The Trip Tribe, where we deliver life-changing travel experiences for our Members. We believe that an amazing vacation has two components: (a) great destination, activities, and service; and (b) other amazing people who are perfect for you. So our team is focused on finding the best experiences in the world and providing the tools to match you with the right people for you based on your social profile.

2) Why do you do what you do?

We all know that when you go on vacation — and we’re lucky enough to do it a lot — it’s the people and friendships that you remember most. Sure, a phenomenal setting and excellent events mean a lot. But it’s “who else is going” that matters. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, active and single, you want to be on a trip with people like you, not senior citizens or a family with young kids. And the want to be with other people more compatible with them for the same reasons. We’ve solved this problem and we love connecting you on trips with the Members of our Tribe who are the best match for you.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

We’re excited about the opportunity to deliver life-changing vacations to more and more people as we grow. We have an outstanding team, great partners, and a big opportunity to transform the group vacation travel experience. It has always been a thrill to take small groups of people on trips that they love. Now we’re excited to expand that so more people can enjoy it.

4) What’s next for you?

From a business standpoint, we’re working hard to expand our Membership as well as the partners we work with to deliver amazing vacations. We’re focused on delivering more and more value for all of them. We’re creating win-win-win situations and sharing them broadly so that our Members, our partners, and our team get a lot of value out of all the engagement. We also do a lot of listening and testing to learn what features make for even better experiences, online and offline. From a personal standpoint, what’s next for me is hopefully to join in on more of these trips around the world!

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

So many causes have captured my passions that it’s hard to pick one. From my background working in the White House, I care a lot about good government that serves citizens well. I’m passionate about education and the power it has to lift people up to live their dreams. And I contribute as best I can to medical-related causes to help those with life-threatening diseases. Advances in medicine are so remarkable and we need to support it.

A big thanks to Dave for sharing his motivations and current projects. If you’d like to connect on social media with Dave:

Trip Tribe on Twitter and Facebook

Dave on Twitter

larger_YogaDeckRaisedArms

We’ll be featuring a number of other travel tech entrepreneurs in the coming weeks. If you are an entrepreneur in the travel vertical, and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account and add “travel tech entrepreneurs” as an interest on your profile — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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An Interview with Tony Carne of Urban Adventures

Tony at workToday we’re talking to Tony Carne, the general manager at Urban Adventures; which facilitates day tours, with a local.

One of our primary goals at Oh Hey World is to connect like-minded people with each other. Given one of my personal interests is learning more about other entrepreneurs building travel tech companies, we’ve been profiling the entrepreneurs in the travel industry to learn more about who they are, what they are working on, and what makes them tick.

Here is a bit about Tony…

1) What do you do?

I’m the General Manager of Urban Adventures. Our simple goal is to make sure people have the Best. Day. Ever. in all our destinations around the World. We want to make sure that all and every destination experience people have – from their coffee and breakfast in the morning until their last drink at night – is a great one. We combine a mix of people, knowledgeable and technology to ensure a curious traveller is always catered for, be it from a recommendations on the best local breakfast from our free iPhone Treasure mApps to meeting a passionate, enthusiastic local guide who wants to answer your questions that are relevant to your interests about the destination, to having a unique experience that you just couldn’t access without going on one of our tours. At the end of your stay in a destination we want only positive memories and wonderful stories for a traveller to take away with them.

2) Why do you do what you do?

In a nutshell I love travelling, hate having crappy experiences when travelling and not a fan of doing mountains of research before travelling. I’m sure I’m not alone so we now have a business to see if that is the case. In a little over 3 years we’ve managed to find well over 100,000 others with the same needs so we are on the right track.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

There is so much to be excited about right now. We work with wonderful and passionate people so the excitement levels are always pretty high but we’ve just kicked off in a range of new destinations including San Sebastian, Mexico City, Dubai and Bogota. We love seeing our range grow into new areas where people can now be guaranteed great experiences – every time. We are also closing the whole of destination visit loop with our Pre Arrival Survival notices to help people before they physically meet up with us and our Treasure mApps that are kryptonite to tourist trap crappiness when it comes to places to hang out, eat, drink and have fun. Continually adding value is always exciting.

4) What’s next for you?

We have something we think is seriously game changing coming up. We will be partnering with some very smart people who have cracked the code (literally) on booking ground transport. Together we are going to package together passes that allow maximum freedom in travel choice like a backpacker might experience (full freedom of accommodation choice, stay in a place as long or as short as you like, be spontaneous) but without the hassle and with the ability to plug them into the local (non-tourist) scene of a destination as soon as they arrive through all the value add services we offer at Urban Adventures. We’ll be giving them a SIM to get the full experience from our Treasure mApps (they also work offline but not with full features) without worrying about roaming charges and 24/7 phone support. This will be the closest anyone has come to commoditising FIT that we know of.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

I’m seriously passionate about win-win outcomes in community tourism. We really want to be a tool to help people take control of tourism in their destination. We don’t hire people and funnel profits out of destinations but rather we partner with people to build sustainable businesses that improve communities. That’s as good a reason as any to turn up to work each day.

A big thanks to Tony for sharing his current passions and projects, if you’d like to connect or find out more about Tony, you can find him on his OHW profile.

To learn more:

Urban Adventures on Twitter or Facebook


We’ll be featuring a number of other travel tech entrepreneurs in the coming weeks as a part of our interview series. If you’re an entrepreneur in the travel vertical and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account and add “travel tech entrepreneurs” as an interest on your profile — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld dot com).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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An Interview with David Feldsott of PanTrek

david feldsottToday we’re talking to David Feldsott, the founder of PanTrek; which is a free inter-city bus and ferry search and booking engine for Latin America
One of our primary goals at Oh Hey World is to connect like-minded people with each other. Given one of my personal interests is learning more about other entrepreneurs building travel tech companies, we’ve been profiling the founders in the travel industry to learn more about who they are, what they are working on, and what makes them tick.

Here is a bit about David…

1) What do you do?

I am the Founder / CEO of PanTrek. PanTrek is a free inter-city bus and ferry search and booking engine for Latin America. We compile in-depth company profiles, ratings, and user & editor reviews, to make travel decisions easier for backpackers, tourists, and locals. We plan to cover up to 18 countries, from Mexico down to the tip of South America.

Personally, as CEO, I wear many hats, such as coder, UX designer, and growth hacker. My background is in finance/business, but I’ve been working hard over the past few months to acquire better technical skills as a developer.

2) Why do you do what you do?

The idea for PanTrek started when I was planning an extended trip through South America. It was quite difficult to locate the best travel routes, schedules, and costs. I thought “there has to be an easier way to do this,” so I decided to do it myself! I love travel and am a nomad at heart, having lived in 5 different cities across the US in just the last 5-6 years. When creating a travel tool, you must always think how changes to the platform will impact the end-user. Since I know I will use this tool often myself, it excites to make progress everyday towards its completion. I can’t wait to test it out myself!

I’m an entrepreneur because I enjoy pushing the boundaries. Also, after having worked in the corporate world for 5 years, it’s frustrating to see your hard work not lead to tangible results. As an entrepreneur, nothing can go to waste; everything you do must get you one step closer towards your end-goal. Lastly, to be honest, I’ve realized that I just can’t go back to working for anyone else :)

3) What are you most excited about right now?

I’m excited to have just received an invitation to my friend Ana’s wedding in a small town called Pahuatlan, Mexico. It’s a beautiful area in the mountains, a few hours outside Puebla, far away from tourists. Before and after the wedding, I’ll be spending some time in Mexico City meeting with both locals and backpackers to conduct some consumer research. I’ll also be holding business development meetings with a few Mexican bus companies to gauge their interest in becoming partners. There’s nothing better than testing your ideas, collecting feedback, and seeing the excitement in your customer’s eyes.

4) What’s next for you?

Two things:

  1. I’m creating the specs for the enterprise side of the PanTrek web application. Being a frequent traveler myself, I understand the end-user’s needs quite well. However, I’m still learning about the needs of the bus companies, so it’s an exciting journey to try to figure out the best solution for my business partners.
  2. I plan to apply to 1 or 2 accelerator programs, such as Startup Chile or RunUp Labs. I want to continue to build out my South American network as well as my travel network, and both of these programs, respectively, would be great for that.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

I don’t have much free time lately to devote to causes, but when I do, I’m quite passionate about fighting to protect Civil Liberties. In my opinion, the backbone of the United States is freedom and most early immigrants came to this country for a better life; either more rights or the opportunity to earn a better living. Without the protections that the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution provide, this country won’t be able to continue as the superpower that it’s been for the last 200+ years.

Protecting Civil Liberties is not just a US problem, it’s a worldwide problem as well. Freedom is a way out of poverty for many of the world’s poor and we should all help lay the foundation for success for future generations.

A big thanks to David for sharing his current passions and projects, if you’d like to connect or find out more about David, you can find him on his OHW profile.

To learn more:

PanTrek on Twitter or Facebook


We’ll be featuring a number of other travel tech entrepreneurs in the coming weeks as a part of our interview series. If you’re an entrepreneur in the travel vertical and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account and add “travel tech entrepreneurs” as an interest on your profile — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld dot com).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Follow Me:
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