Say you’re visiting a new city to meet a client or scout out a business location. In the past, you might have spent hours searching your network, trying to find someone to show you the lay of the land. But with the free service Startuptravels, the work is done for you with a few clicks.
That was the impetus for Anders Hasselstrøm’s project. The Copenhagen-based tech entrepreneur often traveled to Scotland on business. Last summer he seized on the idea that there was potential to up the value of those visits.
His goal was to develop a service that connected visiting entrepreneurs with fellow business people based in the city. The traveler could ask to grab a coffee, request an introduction to another entrepreneur, or ask for help finding local vendors or resources for a project. He or she could even barter for office space or a place to stay during the trip.
To further hone the idea, Hasselstrøm connected with developers Henrik Haugbølle and Rasmus Frandsen. The three surveyed every other entrepreneur they knew—more than 250 in all—to find out their travel patterns and needs.
Among the suggestions for the network was to base users’ profiles on their LinkedIn page. In practice, Startuptravels users register on the site using their LinkedIn login, and their profiles, work histories and other details automatically transfer over. The info can then be modified with useful tags like “Early Entrepreneur” and “Investor.”
As soon as someone decides where and when to travel, he or she can look up locals to meet during specific dates. As more people join the site, Startuptravels’ algorithm will weed through the listings to suggest entrepreneurs with similar backgrounds and interests. Read more…