Today, we continue our interview series with Scott Greene, co-founder and CEO of a new startup called Tripfocal. They have been working hard to launch their service. Looking forward to what they have to offer!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with Tripfocal?
- I am an avid traveler who loves to plan trips for my family. We have travelled all over Europe and the Caribbean with the kids, and recently took an amazing trip to Hawaii.
- I have 3 co-founders and I hold the role of CEO. But since we are a startup, and currently bootstrapping, I wear many hats, including marketing right now!
So what is Tripfocal about?
- Our slogan is Real Trips, by Real People with Real Advice. I have been lucky here in Toronto to meet some great travelers over the years, people who take the time to research and plan and take absolutely fantastic trips. I have also been lucky to learn from them and I created Tripfocal because I believe there needs to be a platform to easily share trip details, not just with friends, but for all travelers. Very Canadian…
- I came up with the idea of Tripfocal because I was looking to plan a trip to Europe for my family and simply wanted to see how other families traveled. Since this really doesn’t exist beyond canned material we developed a site where a traveler simply adds the details of their trip, similar to adding a review in trip Advisor, and it is then available for travelers around the world to see and help plan their next trip.
- What makes Tripfocal so valuable when planning your next trip is you can see the entire itinerary with comments. For my trip to Hawaii, a traveler will see all the Islands we stayed on, the hotels and the condo, restaurants and activities – and what I thought about each place.
- Tripfocal will eliminate the need to read through scores of sites. You will be able to search for Hawaii, read through multiple trips and see the entire itinerary.
What makes your website different from others out there?
- This is about leveraging real trips, taken by real people with real advice. It brings all the information together into one place, in an easy to read template with lots of information to help you plan your trip. All the information is user generated and we will not be editing any of the information.
- We are building from the ground up, and are encouraging travelers around the world, but especially here in Canada first, to share their amazing trip experiences and help us build this new tool.
- I can only imagine, in Toronto, as such a multi-cultural city, the types of trips that could be added to our database.
- This does not exist anywhere on the web and we are working hard to make trip planning simple and easy.
What were some of the challenges you faced when starting your website? What has kept you going?
- The first challenge was my lack of technical skills. Not much help when you have a killer idea. To solve that problem, I met up with three amazing co-founders, Kyle Foulks and Aaron Fung who are both head of developing and Ser Cappelle who is head of user experience. But since we are a small team we all wear many hats!
- The second is that we are currently working out of three different countries. But tools like Slack, Bitbucket and Mail Chimp have allowed us to create a virtual office, even when in different time zones.
- One of things I love about living in Canada, is that Canadians love to travel, so I can constantly talk about my travel plans and challenges and learn. That energy keeps me going because I know that this site is going to get some great trips added to it!
What can we look forward to with Tripfocal?
- Right now – building the largest database of Real Trips by Real People. We want you, the great traveler, to come and add your trips to our database.
- We currently have two awesome promotions to encourage your readers to register on our site and add their trips:
- Triple.co – a marketplace platform connecting travelers and passionate locals through unique local tours and activities hosted by locals of the city! Triple enables tourists to feel like locals when they travel, discover hidden gems of the city with private activities and tours. If you add 2 or more trips to tripfocal.com we will give you a 10% discount code on your next Triple purchase.
- Hotel booking – if you add 3 or more trips, and book a hotel from our site, through our trusted partner booking.com, for a limited time we will give you back our commission up to $25!
What is the favourite place that you have travelled to so far?
Not a fair question!!
- Before marriage: Gili Air – no electricity, huts on a beach, locals pulling fish out of the ocean to eat – though I hear the Island now has real hotels..
- Early marriage: climbing the Nepalese Himalayas with my most amazing, beautiful wife
- With kids chill: definitely Hacienda de mita in Punta Mita – luxury at its best!
- With kids adventure: London, tuscany and Rome, all in one trip – watching those little minds expand, while of course eating our way through Europe!
- Canada – we love visiting Quebec with the kids, Montreal in the summer is amazing and skiing in Mont Tremblant in the winter is some of the best for this part of the country.
What advice would you give travelers and “Pointshoggers” out there?
- I am going to assume that most, if not all your readers are relatively experienced travelers. A couple of thoughts. Always do your own research and never just rely upon what a friend says or what is on the hotel or activity website.
- Take advantage of Trip Advisor and other sites that have countless reviews and you will see a pattern quickly. Also remember to be careful which reviews you read. If the review starts off with a terrible flight and lost luggage, well by the time they got to the resort most likely they were in a bad mood, so move on from this review. My favorite is don’t read the honeymoon reviews, unless you are going on honeymoon – if they didn’t have a good time there are other issues!
- Read this blog and learn how to use points. As my next door neighbor says about his house I say the same about points, “Gold”. Once you start you will wonder how you ever lived without them. This blog is one of the best Canadian travel sites and I read it every week!
Any final thoughts?
- If you love to travel, and love to plan trips, register for our site and add your trips. Canadians are some of the most well-respected travelers in the world and I would love to hear from my fellow Canadians. We expect to see our database grow significantly in the short term and are looking for awesome travelers, like the ones who read this blog, to share their trips and turn this into an amazing travel tool! Matthew – thanks and really appreciate the opportunity!