Genius tool for startups
Frequent business travelers spend large amounts of money traveling across the globe for conferences, meetings and specialized networking events. If you’re a startup, the need for travel is even more imperative as you may need to schedule in-person meetings with potential investors in a different city or connect with veterans of the industry to hear feedback on your business model before going to launch. There’s no way to get around the fact that you need to travel, but there is a way to substantially reduce the high cost of continuously booking numerous hotel stays.
StartupStay consists of a network of local, established entrepreneurs in various cities who host visiting entrepreneurs as they travel. After releasing the beta version of the invite-only program in May of 2012, the service is now in use in more than 200 cities in 60 countries with over 1,300 users. New members can submit an application to be approved by the company’s founders or be invited by an existing member. The only criterion is that the user be an entrepreneur, which could mean they’ve started their own company or just happen to be someone who shows initiative and drive.
How this can benefit you
Rather than shelling out money for a hotel room each night, visitors can make accommodations to stay with a host for free and pick their brains on their knowledge of the industry. If visitors aren’t keen on staying with their host, they can opt to meet to meet them for coffee or over lunch and have discussions there. The Startup Stay network is one that thrives on the generosity that users show each other; at any point, a Startup Stay entrepreneur may travel to a city they’ve never been to before and seek business guidance or lodging while there.
No matter how users choose to utilize it, the company gives entrepreneurs from all over the world the opportunity to meet new colleagues, forge new relationships and exchange business knowledge. Think of it as dignified couch surfing that could potentially lead to a stronger business proposal or a lucrative collaboration.