Start-ups have been offered the chance to dodge accommodation costs when they travel, following the launch of global community Startup Stay, which allows members to say with and host other entrepreneurs.
Startup Stay, which is based in London, is a global community for entrepreneurs who travel. It was founded by serial entrepreneurs Fred Caballero and Facundo Villaveiran.
It allows entrepreneurs to stay with or host other like-minded entrepreneurs, thus avoiding accommodation costs while building meaning relationships and gaining local insights.
Entrepreneurs do not pay to be hosted, but membership is by invitation-only. Entrepreneurs can request an invitation on the Startup Stay website.
“We usually check out their LinkedIn/start-up/project website and then asses if they would be a good match,” Caballero told StartupSmart.
“If they’re currently working on a start-up and have a functional website, and apply with their branded email, it makes it very easy for us to approve them since there’s enough evidence within the application already.”
“We’re not super strict, but we do ask the question ‘Would this person bring value to the community?’ every single time.”
“For now we focus on all entrepreneurs. However, since we naturally have a lot more connections with tech entrepreneurs, as a result the tech folks end up being about 80% of the community and also early adopters.”
Caballero and Villaveiran met more than a decade ago while they were both studying at the University of Buenos Aires.
In 2007, they founded a web agency in Dublin and opened a London office in 2010.
They also co-founded Bloggertone.com, originally a business blog that has now evolved into TweakyourBiz.com, a publication and resource center for small businesses worldwide.
Keen to serve the start-up sector, Caballero and Villaveiran decided their next project would focus on entrepreneurial travel.
After joining TechHub in East London, the StartupStay concept crystallised when the duo saw messages from start-ups in Latvia, searching for members to host them in London and vice versa.
Caballero and Villaveiran have been working on the idea since January last year, and released the first invite-only beta in May this year.
“We sent already a few hundred invites to entrepreneurs in Australia but the fastest-growing cities are naturally San Francisco, New York, London and Berlin,” Caballero says.
According to Villaveiran, entrepreneurs in more than 600 cities and 90 countries have joined Startup Stay.
“Members continue inviting more trusted entrepreneurs daily and there is a constant flow of ‘requests-to-stay’, with real-life experiences already happening,” Villaveiran said in a statement.
“In addition, the itinerary feature that lets entrepreneurs announce their trips to locals is triggering interesting networking.”
“Many locals are spontaneously arranging coffee meet-ups with incoming entrepreneurs before their arrival.”