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Blue Startups welcomed Cohort 8 in late October and we want you to get to know them better as they reach the half-way point in the program readying for their demo day at East Meets West 2017 in January and in San Francisco the first week of February 2017.
Today please meet Hostfully:
1. What is the secret origin of your startup and your team?
We are a team of ex-Apple executives with real-world experience as vacation rental hosts. Co-Founder David is an Airbnb Superhost and Co-Founders Margot and Noah launched the iPhone Developer Program and ran Apple’s Worldwide Promotions program. We discovered first-hand that there is no platform that helps hosts and property managers manage their guests’ experience. That’s what we’re solving with Hostfully.
2. What problem(s) are you solving?
Today, vacation rental managers have many tools to help get more bookings for their property. But when it comes to hospitality, managers are left with PDFs, long emails, and the outdated 3-ring binder to share important property information and local recommendations. And at the same time, these details can “make or break” a traveler’s stay, leading to poor ratings and unhappy customers.
We’re bringing the guest experience into the 21st century with a platform that shares important property information and authentic local recommendations.
3. What is your solution? (Your pitch)
Our solution is a responsive design web application built for hosts and travelers to communicate and share information. We guide hosts to create beautiful digital guidebooks for their guests and then we serve that information up when it’s most useful and fun for the traveler. With Hostfully, hosts and travelers make the most of every stay.
4. What kind of traction do you have?
We have thousands of guidebooks on our platform, as well as several companies and individuals paying us a subscription for our service. Today our platform has over 5,000 authentic, local recommendations. We are serving customers around the world, including the U.S., Canada, France, and South Africa.
5. Where do you see Hostfully in 24 months after you graduate Cohort 8?
Hostfully is rapidly becoming the #1 company that vacation rental managers trust to provide a 5-star guest experience. In 24 months, Hostfully will be used by thousands of vacation rental companies and millions of tourists, who will be having better vacations with less management hassle.
6. What are your favorite growth hacks?
We have the #1 Travel and Airbnb publications on Medium. Our content marketing strategy has led to coverage in industry-leading publications like Skift, as well as appearing at Airbnb’s host conference as a featured speaker.
7. Who/What inspires you? (can be a founder, a person, a movement etc)
We’re inspired by the magic of an authentic local travel experience, which transforms the way people see the world. We want to help every traveler get the most out of their trip by connecting more closely with the community and place that they’re staying – and that’s through the hospitality of their host.
8. What is one thing you’ve learned in the program so far that you found valuable/insightful/crazy?
Coming from California to Hawaii, we’ve learned that there is an established secondary market for Trader Joe’s goods in Hawaii. People go nuts for TJ’s snacks!
9. One secret thing you’ve learned about Hawaii you would tell Cohort 9 about?
The food and camaraderie are amazing. Take full advantage by trying something new every day and getting to know your Cohort!