CINCINNATI - In December 2013, we rounded up a group of local startup-watchers to ask: Which companies are the ones to watch for 2014? Roadtrippers made the cut, for a number of reasons.
Founded in 2011, the Cincinnati-based as grown by combining a suite of high-tech web features to enhance a most beloved form of long distance travel: The road trip.
The Roadtrippers site can be accessed by app or computer. It combines the fundamentals of trip planning (like navigation) with the fun stuff. Taking to the highways, app users' navigational maps show local diners, drive-ins and quirky attractions on the way. The Roadtrippers community also creates reviews, shares photos and more to help make the journey as fun as the destination.
So what's Roadtrippers up to these days? According to the "About" section at Roadtrippers.com, "European road trips, Australian road trips, and other countries are coming soon"
9 Questions for Chelsea Koglmeier, Operations Manager
1. What is the "big vision" of Roadtrippers as a business model?
Roadtrippers is a travel planning platform that brings together the tools needed to plan a road trip, while helping travelers discover authentic, local places everywhere they go. Before we built the platform, there was nothing that effectively married navigationally-centric, trip planning with local discovery. We’re building Roadtrippers to fill that need.
2. What things can travelers do with the Roadtrippers app?
Oh, so many things. The big buckets include planning a road trip (routing, directions, byways) and the discovery of offbeat, unique places anywhere. We have user generated content too, so travelers can edit/add places, leave comments and photos.
3. What sets Road Trippers apart from competitors?
The combination of a navigationally focused platform and the ability to unearth the local places.
4. What is the most popular feature of Roadtrippers?
This is a tough one to answer because it varies on use case. We designed the app in a way to allowed for diversity of interests and in planning style; reciprocally, we hope that people find their own favorite feature.
5. Where do you pull in content? Do you depend on users for any of it?
Yes! We love user generated content: comments, photos, and added places. We also have a variety of expert opinions to help inform travel choices, like established travel publishers, our own team out on the road, and local tourism departments. Internally, we have a team of people who work on the quality of the data day in, day out. Having valid, real, and robust content is incredibly important to us.
6. Are their any paid features?
Nope, there are no paid features for users.
7. How does the business generate revenue?
A combination of bookings, ads, publishing partnerships and co-branded mapping integrations.
8. What is has been your biggest challenge to growth?
Being able to keep up with the constant flow of ideas. We can barely build fast enough! but are excited by the potential those ideas hold.
9. What's next for Roadtrippers?
Summer travel season, friends. WE’RE SO EXCITED.
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Connect with WCPO Contributor Feoshia Davis on Twitter: @feoshiawrites. Look for a new column each Monday.