Boston-based TravelStarter is a startup that has introduced a new way to travel and experience places through their travel funding platform.
Users can submit projects in their cities for funding and in exchange offer travelers a variety of gift and rewards. With projects already in San Diego and San Franscisco, TravelStarter aims to enter the US market and offer travelers the opportunity to experience American cities in a completely different way.
The San Diego B&B project, headed by two former backpacker hostel managers, has already received backing from 46 people as they work towards transforming a historic building into a boutique B&B. The co-working space project in San Francisco, which aims to be a place for digital nomads and traveling entrepreneurs to work and network with like-minded people, has sparked similar interest among TravelStarter’s community of passionate backers, and has almost reached its halfway point.
With the TravelStarter platform, individual projects that would normally struggle to find an audience can now take an active role in the worldwide crowdfunding economy that, according to research firm Massolution, grew 167% in 2014 and raised over $16 billion globally.
“If someone has a great idea, like a ‘Game of Thrones’ restaurant or hostel, they will probably find it very hard to get a bank loan. We want to give these people—the ones that look to make the next Airbnb or great backpacking guide platforms—the attention and support they need to create something truly innovative,” explains TravelStarter Co-founder and CEO Anushka Beltram.
As a specific travel crowdfunding platform, TravelStarter offers its project makers full one-on-one support throughout their campaign cycle, which goes beyond online forms and emails. This includes personalized video calls on the strategy and progress of the project, promotion help via TravelStarter’s social media channels, as well as timely analytics, content marketing, and management services.