The BizSpark startup of the day is Tripware, based in the US. You will find below an interview with Dean M. Wright, Marketing Manager of Tripware. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
I head up Marketing, Brand, and Product Marketing. I’m the stereotypical jack-of-all-marketing at our company.
I spent many years in consumer packaged goods but then found my true passion working for start-ups, dabbling in mobile technology, consulting, and SaaS. I’ve been a road-warrior for most of my career; I’m energized to apply my hands-on knowledge of business travel to Tripware’s product suite.
Formally, I’m honored we have been selected and that we now are associated with a strong list of other ‘Startup of the Day’ companies. Casually, I hope we get new users as a result!
Many business travel choices and preferences are redundant and repetitive. Typically, travel technology restricts or interferes with travel planning, booking, and managing; the technology does not relieve stress, recommend better options, or realize enhanced revenue. Our goal is to make business trips simply effective by leveraging Behavioral Travel Management.
Tripware has had two angel contributions with another one pending. The angel investments amount to $3.4 million. Considering we are new to the travel software industry and similar start-ups have raised/spent $10 to $20 million dollars at our stage, we are proud of our bootstrapping, frugality and productivity. That being said, we seek $8 to $12 million to further market our products and take them global.
We have 10 employees of which seven are developers.
We expect a hiring burst in last 2010 that will consist of software developers but also some sales and marketing folks.
We build on the .Net framework and are optimized for Microsoft Outlook 2007 / 2010. Our main product, OutBook, is a client-server application. We have a patent-pending for our proprietary behavioral travel management algorithms and have spent over 18 months developing source code for our products to integrate with travel partners and global distribution systems. We chose Microsoft Outlook as our main focus because it is the lion’s share of the marketplace for calendar clients and they have a great focus on small businesses and cloud computing.
We certainly see mobile as an opportunity but also a move away from applets to “cloud droplets”. In other words, we see people having an umbrella of screens (mobile, desktop, tablet, tv, ereader, etc) that access the applications in the cloud. While full market acceptance of this model is several years off, we are developing our products to be very thin clients that connect into datacenters.
It’s a brilliant strategy/tactic. It shows how Microsoft values innovation, small businesses and opportunity. I would like to see the program to become more well-known.
Most start-ups fail. Get with a start-up in an industry that interests you so while you’re writing mad code you are enjoying your work and getting valuable experience. The start-up might fail, but you can succeed and grow.
While she is the zeitgeist role model, Ayn Rand. I’ve been a fan of her for almost 20 years. Upon moving to the U.S., she was considered a foreigner and minority. However, she outlined her value system and work ethic and remained true to both.
That there is a better way to travel. In the words of the ‘Video Professor’, “Try my product!”.