Reference sheet for the EyeforTravel startup awards judges
Based on the EyeforTravel judging criteria
Criteria 1: Demonstration of the problem you are trying to solve
If you're looking for ideas on WHERE to go, the resources online are overwhelmingly plenty: destination guides, bucket lists, trip recommendations, travel inspiration magazines and social media. However, WHERE to go is only part of the equation. The aspect of WHEN to go is inherent to travel planning and that's one question you can bet every traveler will always have. That's also one question that gets consistently neglected in travel research and planning products. Your alternatives to using our product in order to figure out WHEN to go is to google it and go through tons of materials, blog posts, forum threads. That's why we like to think about our product as the Google of WHEN to go.
Criteria 2: Demonstration of the solution
"I like [mountain biking] or [wildlife watching] - when is the best time for it in [South America], preferably in shoulder season?"
"I have time off in October - what October is good for in [Southeast Asia], [Mexico], [Africa]"?
"I want to [learn surfing] - when and where other surfers surf?"
These are just some of the questions we're able to answer with What's It Like. We are overlaying automated data such as climate, low/high cost seasons, flight costs and other data with user contributed (crowdsourced) insights and niche interest categories. This allows us to maintain high relevancy for niche interests (e.g. surfing, wildlife watching, travel photography, etc.) and tackle complexity in travel - best time to go is always based on what you're into. More on this.
Criteria 3: Robust Business model
We're are in early development stage and at this point we're focusing on growing user base. For the future we're exploring paid access to our data (via API, white label products), seasonal deals partnerships and sponsored content. For travel publishers, booking platforms and trip recommendation platforms our data will provide added value, innovative search angles and enriched context (timing/seasonal) to sell travel products and services. The platform also provides access to the millennial travelers audience.
Criteria 4: Demonstration of innovation and originality
- Innovative angles in travel planning. We're flipping the model of travel research to focus on the best timing to travel.
- Currently there is no tool online that will give travelers a fast, clear and comparable picture on the best timing to travel based on their interests. Alternatives are: Google or archaic non-scalable solutions such as travel books.
- High relevancy: best time to go varies greatly depending on what your interests are.
- We're not working around an imaginary problem, we're tackling a fundamental question in travel planning.
Criteria 5: Evidence of success
In 3 months since November 2014 we've validated product concept with travel and startup experts, received feedback and praise from target users, got covered on Travel Massive, PSFK, Travel Tools, The Next Web. In these 3 months we gained 2,000+ signups and 50+ volunteer editors who helped (and keep helping) us gather initial crowdsourced data - in total 100+ submissions with the best ones published in sneak preview. This was done before a single line of product code was written. This initial validation phase gave us confidence to proceed with building MVP.
Criteria 6: Demonstration of sustainability
Currently we're bootstrapping to release MVP, test our market fit and build partnerships. We're confident about our team being able to bootstrap the product to the point of earning revenue.
Criteria 7: Demonstration of leadership
We're a team of 3 - each with a long track record of expertise in their field.
Founder, UX & product strategy and community management; 10 years of experience in travel; access to personal and professional travel networks. Connect on Twitter.
Full stack technology expert, experienced in designing and handling complex data solutions; couch surfer and music writer.
Product and business manager, experienced in business performance optimization and product lifecycle, passionate about extreme mountain biking.