New Travel

#WITS16 A Wrap! And It Was a Blast

Though we are a small team, we do travel far at Guidrr -- using the passion of our own creator community to grow our presence in the industry and introduce our monetization and engagement solution. We sent Guidrr Creator @aimeebentson - author of popular on-demand experiences on our app like her Fountainbleu experience, to rep Guidrr at the #WITS16 Summit by @She'sWanderful in Irvine, California. A single mom who loves to travel and owns a platform for women creatives, Avyn Apparel, Aimee went to #WITS16 to challenge women bloggers to create more solo travel experiences, so others could walk the world in their shoes. 

@AimeeBentson and new friends at #WITS16 enjoying some photo booth fun! 

@AimeeBentson and new friends at #WITS16 enjoying some photo booth fun! 

While Aimee was at WITS, she shared her own personal Guidrr story with many of her fellow attendees, who shared her interest in monetizing their travel writing, and in creating more opportunities to combine their love of travel with work in the industry. Thanks to all the awesome women who shared their name with Aimee and our team to be contacted and welcomed into our creator community! You will be welcomed in this coming week. 

A special thanks to some of those we welcomed today - pictured below and also on our Instagram for @Guidrr. They include Susie, Vicki, April, Sheila Stone, Melissa. So many more will be welcomed shortly! Thanks also to @She'sWanderful for putting on a great event. Kudos to the whole team. Remember that blog we wrote about why we were going to WITS? We loved being a startup sponsor and we'll be back next year in Milwaukee, for sure! Aimee put it perfectly when she got back. Here's what she said: 

WITS was a unique and memorable experience, incredibly valuable for connecting with other women as passionate about travel as I am
— @AimeeBentson, Guidrr Creator

If you're a travel writer or blogger who wants to use our app as a channel to create mobile, self-guiding travel experiences for your follower audience, and receive sponsorship and/or sales for your original experiences, get started today or get in touch! We'd love to support you. 

We Are The... ? Getting to the Elevator Pitch

In the space of just a few months, our team announced we were joining a cool new on-demand accelerator to build an MVP for some sort of a travel guiding thing. (This is paraphrasing what people said back to us). To be honest, we had a pretty clear vision all along but decided to show and not tell what we meant. 

Now we're well on our way with a live platform, and a beautiful product off to the Appstore (as a leader at one local Dallas company we admire put it, beyond an MVP to a MLP - or a product you can really love.

So today, we're pleased to share a little more about who we think we are, in language that can simplify our big vision down to something easily understood by those who pitch and those who hear the pitch thing. 

We're the Etsy for Travel Influencers

Like Etsy, a company we greatly admire, we see the potential in peer-to-peer business, and in the growing world of influencers and micro-entrepreneurs.

We have built our product to treat each creator's knowledge as a valuable asset - not just a thing to give away. As our founder said the other day to a blogger she was having coffee with after our soft launch, it's time to stop with everything travel content being a freemium. Things beautifully crafted deserve to be both shared & valued - the funnel going deeper for those who have invested in giving others a peer to peer perspective into their world, like influencers, bloggers and instagrammers.

That's the philopshy behind our model of a offering a free app, so our creators can offer downloadable, self-priced guides to those who already admire and follow their unique perspective on the world. 

Like Etsy, we believe in giving back to our community. That's why the lion's share of the revenue for Guidrr guide sold returns to each creator. If you are a Guidrr creator, it's our goal to treat you as a real business person, no matter the size of your community. We look at your creation as a craft, and are honored to help you sell to the global marketplace. 

We're busy crafting our launch announcement and it will include ways we support and give back to the #NewTravel community, and it will reveal more about our Wanderslush Fund. 

Here's to #NewTravel and our big vision to be the little start up that could.

To our amazing global community of creators who have already joined us on this journey - YOU are why we exist. Thank you!

Thanks also to our awesome DFW startup advisory board and to our Co-Build tech team and those busy working on building our community one creator at a time. We're all in this together

If you like our vision, and have knowledge to craft & share inside our simple, intuitive private platform, and like the idea of becoming a global seller using Guidrr, do apply here

Graci, Florence Friends!

This was a September to remember, as we celebrated the story of Guidrr's journey to market with a soft launch last week with friends new and old in beautiful Florence, Italy. Why Florence you might ask? In one sense, this was symbolic. The business model was first discussed and validated with a local Florence influencer, and it seemed apt to return to the place the concept of Guidrr was fully born to celebrate it's go to market. But in another sense, Florence is a key city to illustrate the benefits of Guidrr both for influencers and travelers. A highly saturated tourism market, Florence has so much to offer the traveler willing to move off the beaten path. It's back streets, it's lesser-known monuments and its local foods, shops and vistas are true gifts for the curious traveler. What better place to soft launch than a city that invites 16 million tourists, most of whom never ever venture to the other side of the Arno, visit a true local artisan shop or ever speak with a bone fide local? We believe, and hope that together we can forge new pathways through a city that today shows most of its visitors just one mass travel story. As we joked with one local tour guide who shall remain un-named -- Florence is so very much more than checking the box at the Uffizi! 

With our vision of #newtravel, Guidrr is about the belief that we should not have to follow a prescribed path set by others who would have travel exactly as they do. That's called tourism. Instead, we're in the business of supporting those who are creating and growing peer-to-peer travel, where we can travel as if with the knowledge of a friend, even if we're traveling solo. 

Our soft launch event, organized for us by local blogger Nardia, of blog Lost in Florence, was an intimate, invite-only event gathered together creatives, artists, singers, business owners -- a beautiful mix of city influencers -- to introduce them for the first time to the Guidrr business model and vision.

We were pleased to share the evening with Creative People in Florence co-founders, who launched their new studio space on Via de Mezzo in the Sant'Ambrogio neighborhood that night and hosted our group. Thanks Sara and Anna for your hospitality and it was a pleasure to discover a new neighborhood, coffee spot and local market, in addition to your studio space. We can't wait to share a Guidrr guide to Sant'Ambrogio, and to welcome your own local guides to our mix. (To get them as they launch, sign up here). 

Graci Firenze. Here's to together building #NewTravel - where influencers like you can share with followers how to walk in your shoes, across the whole of your city -- and your world. Thank you for being a part of our story. 

We soft launched Guidrr over operatives, at a newly opening studio space on Via de Mezzo, hosted by Lost in Florence's Nardia and Creative People in Florence cofounders Anna and Sara. 

We soft launched Guidrr over operatives, at a newly opening studio space on Via de Mezzo, hosted by Lost in Florence's Nardia and Creative People in Florence cofounders Anna and Sara. 

Of Apps, Travel Hacks & Nomads: Community Pre Launch Inspiration for Our Team

Hello followers and friends: It's been a busy week here at Guidrr HQ. Not only did we launch our private creator platform this week, but also had the opportunity to demo our product to a tourism board who loved our simple, cost effective and peer to peer method for connecting local influencers with travelers and city visitors. For those in our creator community already submitting guides - thank you for our early belief in Guidrr and its solution for travel micro entrepreneurs. 

Meanwhile, on the app front, we're busy preparing to submit our app for approval - if you applied to create experiences and haven't yet heard from us, please be patient with us as we finish out our tech process this week. We'll be in touch - and you are in line! 

Among the technical progress, our first #newtravel meetup also happened last week. We had the chance to hear from Nomad Urvi Bhandari about how she combined work and life. She shared some insights about the stages of travel -- all the way from being a settler, to a traveler, to a true nomad and educated us about how to move along the spectrum toward true location independent life.

But she wasn't the only one who taught us something- it was all the other attendees, too. We were humbled by who shared their stories, from an Indian professional from a small town who has taken his love of motorbike exploration from home state, to across the state of Texas; to a local foodie chef who travels the world finding inspiring recipes and brings them back to his small hometown restaurant twenty miles from downtown. (A great spot to host an upcoming meetup!). Then, there were the many women in our group who dreamed of traveling solo or shared stories about their trips around the world. Each with stable jobs, but hungry for how to find the perfect recipe for inspiring, safe, affordable travel. We also had a few true travel hacking experts in the room - they already have found ways to game the fares and the locations using points, and other tricks and want to both share and learn more. Next time around, we think we'll be having a small group meal exploring a new neighborhood with our chef friend learning how to get a cheap airfare to a nomad-friendly destination. Join us at our online Meetup group (already more than 100 strong!) to see live events vs Periscope or to create a meetup group in your city. 

As our technical lead for Guidrr said the other day (his favorite place to go is Alaska, by the way), "I guess #NewTravel is a "thing."" Yep, it is - here's to NewTravel and here's to #wanderlust. 

(see you next week - and some fun visual notes from our meetup, below!)

Thanks to Christy, our Intern, who took live visual notes during our first #NewTravel meetup! 

Thanks to Christy, our Intern, who took live visual notes during our first #NewTravel meetup! 

First #NewTravel Meetup Happening This #TravelTuesday

Travel is something many of us dream about (let's be honest - even obsess about), but who is already living the dream? Who is leading the way to #NewTravel - a life where work and leisure are not polar opposites, but all part of the same life story? 

To answer that question and build more ways for people to learn how to travel and experience the world peer-to-peer, we have launched a Meetup group. Its already at nearly 100 members, and tonight we host our first event in Dallas at a local coworking space - Nod, where our team also offices.

We're thrilled to see the response and engagement with this Meetup and promise to share out the content and learnings for those that couldn't make it in person. 

Urvi Bhandari, a bone fide nomad, will talk about how to travel and live like a nomad, sharing her travel hacks and life philosophy. We'll also share more about our vision to help people travel more. We're pleased to share that Urvi is also our newest Guidrr creator - we can't wait to see her guides to nomad life around the world. 

Our goal is to build #NewTravel meetups around the world. Do reach out to us here if you'd like to help us to build a world that's about owning less and doing more. 

Here's to #NewTravel!  

Urvi Bhandari is a bone fide nomad speaking at the first #NewTravel meetup