Today 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?
- 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.
- 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:
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).