Startuptravels is all about connecting with likeminded entrepreneurs around the world. Last week we had a chat with Paul McCann – a Startuptravels member who have seen the benefits of having a strong international network of entrepreneurs to contact while traveling. We asked him to take it away and tell us about his journey, which you’ll find below:
Building 12 startups in 12 months
My partner and I are Digital Nomads and have built our online businesses around being able to travel. We’ve set ourselves the big challenge this year of bootstrapping 12 startups in 12 months.
Something we are keen to do as we travel around the world is to experience the startup scene in each country and meet like-minded individuals. Thanks to Startuptravels our goals are being made a reality. Since joining Startuptravels we’ve been to 16 countries in 6 months and launched 6 startups.
We’ve connected with 31 entrepreneurs on Startuptravels so far and have met 11. We have plans to meet 5 more in the coming month or so! We absolutely love meeting like minded people, we find it inspiring and it stimulates our creativity. It enables us to find out even more information not only about the startup scene but the cities and countries you stop in also. We’ve found these meetings to be invaluable and they’ve enabled us to attend a number of events all over Europe. From the Uprise Startup Festival in Amsterdam to Entrepreneur meetups in Prague, Vienna and Bucharest.
Our travels are being featured by Start Me Up TV. The team behind the documentary is an award-winning production team and they’re looking to push the boundaries in terms of what they’re creating. They’re going to be filming the whole documentary using an iPhone6 and will be following us around for the remainder of our challenge.
All the challenge details, our progress, learnings, pivots and startups can be found here.
As I mentioned earlier we absolutely love meeting like minded people and if people don’t mind being part of out documentary then we’d love to meet you – please drop myself or Kate Diete a message via Startuptravels.
Below I have outlined the meet-ups I have had with Startuptravels members. Our journey would not have been the same without these people!
Andrew Lentz (based in Lund, Sweden). Andrew got in touch with me whilst I was in Amsterdam. He was already in contact with another member of Startuptravels in the Netherlands. He provided information regarding the Uprise StartUp Festival in Amsterdam. This was a festival where 100 of Amsterdam’s startup’s were on show, and you were able to talk to each of them about what they were doing. From here we made some great contacts and friends and instantly felt like we were part of the startup scene. Andrew is currently doing a masters in Entrepreneurialism at Lund University in Sweden. After talking to my partner and I about our Digital Nomad lifestyle, he decided to change the focus of his thesis. We’re currently working with him assisting where we can. We’ve done all our meetings via Skype thus far but we hope to meet in the near future again.
David Butler (based outside Zurich, Switzerland). David provided me with a wealth of information about the startup scene in Switzerland. This was invaluable in helping my partner and I gain an understanding. Sadly the meetup run by David was the day after we left, so we didn’t get to go. I’m now a member of the Switzerland startup Facebook group with gives great insights and support for businesses starting up there.
Roland Mader (based in Thun, Switzerland). Roland provided us with information about the startup scene in Thun/Bern in Switzerland. Collectively from the information provided by David, Thomas and Roland we felt even though our stay in Switzerland was short our knowledge of the startup scene is substantial.
Josef Cipra (based in Prague, Czech Republic). We met Josef for a beer in Prague to discuss the startup scene and our businesses. Josef has done a lot of travelling himself and runs a number of online businesses. So it was great to hear how he was doing, and what his learning were. He also put us in contact with a tea supplier which was a big help as our first startup is a loose leaf tea subscription service. We also picked up that Czech’s are naturally sceptical, so don’t put up your defences too early if being questioned about your business model. This was great to know before our talk at the Prague Entrepreneur meetup and helped us successfully reaffirm to all those who attended what and why we’re doing what we’re doing.
Karolina Halik (based in Warsaw, Poland). Karolina has a background in journalism and PR. She is doing amazing things in the Warsaw startup scene. She works for an FINTECH startup but in her spare time runs a co-workspace (Reaktor) and helps startups with their PR, marketing and bringing their ideas to life! It was a pleasure to meet her and we’ll be going back to Warsaw to give a talk at her coworking space in the new year once our challenge is completed.
Filip Stanev (based in Vienna, Austria). We heard back from Filip this morning about grabbing a coffee whilst in Vienna. Flip is an Startuptravels ambassador and wrote a very informative guide of the scene here in Vienna. You can find it here.
Sascha Manhart (based in Vienna, Austria). We met with Sascha in Vienna and grabbed a tea at JagerTee, the oldest tea house in Vienna. We discussed our startups and realized that one of our startups http://www.webevate.com is a perfect fit with his http://www.marketingtestr.com! We can see how both of our customers we need each others services. So Startuptravels has in part allowed us to potentially grow our businesses Exciting times ahead. Another great day at the office, growing my network and gaining a friend!
Ricardo Cravo (based in Bucharest, Romania). We grabbed a pizza with Ricardo who’s originally from Portugal, but loving life in Bucharest. The company he cofounded is doing great things in health. In one year they’ve grown to 10 employees and have around 2000 bookings through their site per month. Consultaclick provides transparency to healthcare in Romania. Offering patients and doctors the ability to do well. Patients can review doctors, surgeries, receptionists. They can see pricing and when a doctor is available and in return doctors can now grow their business with ease.
Penka Maneva (based in Sofia, Bulgaria). We grabbed a lemonade with Penka in Sofia. Penka is one of the nicest people we’ve met on our travels, and someone who we instantly became friends with. She has an incredibly interesting employment history. Before making the switch to an entrepreneur, she headed up the south-east Asia business for a very large aviation company. She now runs beauty-box.org, which sells cruelty-free makeup and cosmetics online. She was super generous with her time, and took the afternoon out to show us around Sofia.
Chris Georgiev (based in Sofia, Bulgaria). Chris is a great guy and there’s nothing he doesn’t know about the startup scene. He runs a technology company called Imagga which provides software that enables you to automatically catalogue photographs. Their impressive technology knows the percentages of colors and the basics of what it is. Chris also referred us on to a few coworking spaces, in particular, Eleven. We desk surfed at Eleven the following day and met a lot of their startups. We also connected with Svilen, co-founder of Dronamics who won the Pioneers festival this year.
We hope meeting and connecting with other entrepreneurs helped you along the way!