This is the third of a multiple part series following Trip4real on their #SF4real journey. Barcinno will be tracking the team during their trip to San Francisco where they are meeting Airbnb’s founders and many other Silicon Valley influencers. Below the team gives us some insights into the third stage of their adventure as they head on down to Palo Alto. Stay tuned for more details!
Today is starting in overdrive mode, just the way we love it; 5th gear and raring to go! Gloria, our superstar CEO is meeting with the one and only Chip Conely, Head of Hospitality of Airbnb and previously the CEO of boutique hotel chain Joie de Vivre to finalize the details to our partnership. We can’t believe it’s finally happening – we are all so excited about what the future holds. Watch out for Trip4real on the list of the hottest growing companies of 2014 🙂
Meanwhile, back at basecamp, we had organized a meet and greet with Oriol and Roser from Make Eat Easy. The Catalan duo started the business in SF and we think it’s going to be a major success. They provide their customers with organic and local ingredients you need to cook new recipes every month, delivered to your doorstep. We have been so lucky that every meeting we have been to has been so rewarding and this one was no exception. We sat with the team for a few hours and shared stories of the trials and tribulations of startup life and how amazing it is to create something unique!
Being the hectic day it was, Gloria didn’t even have time to grab lunch before meeting with Sam Edelson, CEO de Tripflavor and previously Head of Business Development at Airbnb. Sam has a lot of experience in the space and his insights were totally inline with where we want to take the company. The great news is that Sam sees an enormous potential in the sector and especially in the way that Trip4real is offering new ways for people to travel. In his words; “The only way you built a big business is doing what you do: being different”. Upon finishing the meeting, even though Sam had only slept a few hours for the last couple of nights (workathon) he still took the time to come and meet the rest of the team in the cafeteria where we were working. It’s the small details that count.
To put the cherry on top and to give us a final injection of startup lessons learned for the day we caught up with Alfredo Ouro, founder of Hall St at the Rocket Space incubator. He has spent the last 4 years building the first open global Marketplace for hotel rooms, were users can buy, sell and share hotel rooms without a middleman so he was also very versed in the travel arena and gave some hot advice.
Ok so that wasn’t actually our final stop. In fact, it’s hard to stop here, we can’t stop!. We ended up checking out another meetup with local entrepreneurs where about the local scene over a few cold and well-deserved cervezas. The perfect way to finish a long day.
Today is a very special day for us as we are heading off to Palo Alto! Hasta luego public transport and bonjour rental car. I know it’s very cliché but we’ve all dreamed about driving around the states in a convertible. Unfortunately ours isn’t a convertible and we are only going a few miles but still, it’s fun. The music is blasting and we are on the 101 Palo Alto bound. Watch out Zuckerberg, Trip4real is on the way.
The first thing we all noticed upon arriving is that everything is so much more relaxed than in SF. The city sprawls have been replaced with a typical American residential neighborhood with family homes, huge gardens and a completely different vibe. As the need for caffeine kicked in we headed to our next meeting at a local café with Jordi Argente, CEO of New Market Venture Management LLC who gave us a vivid picture of what it’s like for startups raising money in the valley. He pointed out some of the differences between the way that VC’s deal here compared to that of Europe and what the expectations are.
Feeling pumped and ready to raise $1 billion, we hopped out of the Trip4real mobile and into a quick meeting with Unbabel who offer translation services but with a twist. They offer an online translation service that combines Artificial Intelligence with Crowd Post-Editing, to provide seamless translation so fixing all the bad Google translations out there. These guys have a really exciting and scalable product and I’d definitely recommend checking them out.
After eating a delicious burger in Coupa Café we had the pleasure of being received by Jeff Russakow, CEO of Findly and ex EVP and Chief Customer Officer en Yahoo. Being in the presence of a person with such a wealth of experience and clarity of vision is truly incredible. We were taking notes at the speed of light and wouldn’t stop until either he finished talking or the ink ran out. This information was gold! When you have an opportunity like this you don’t want to forget anything.
Next stop; Stanford University to attend a masterclass. The environment here is incredible where the walls breathe a spectacular contagious energy and ‘think Big’ seems to bounce of every corner of the school. Furthermore, the installations are really top notch. you can see why this is one of the most revered educational institutions on the whole world. You have to be here to experience it.
One the way back to SF with the music blasting we got prepared for our speech at StartupBasecamp, a house where designers, developers, hustlers and mentors get together and work under the same roof. The group of people working here were all full of great ideas and positive vibes and they all loved trip4real (of course!). We ended up in into a great discussion about the business model, how to offer activities and to navigate the web. Really great.
We had completely forgotten what day it was; they were all mixed into each other. We have absorbed and done so much these last days that we had completely lost the notion of time.
Given that we have had so much information to digest, we spent most of the weekend refreshing ourselves on the notes we had taken and regurgitating them into digital format.
At the same time, we know that all work and no play is no bueno so we took advantage of having the car and set off across the golden gate bridge to the Point Lighthouse Bonita which has insane views of the bay and then later on to Sausalito where we loved the floating houses that are down by the waters edge. I wouldn’t say no to waking up here every morning and dipping my feet in the water.
Only three days left until we return to Barcelona so we best get back to our meetings!