Business professionals, including startup entrepreneurs, often travel to different cities around the globe for meetings, presentations, or other important business functions. However, the cost of accommodations can sometimes prevent these professionals from making the most of their travel opportunities, especially for entrepreneurs who often don’t have large corporations financially supporting their travels. But now a new site hopes to make traveling much easier for those who travel on behalf of a startup.
Startup Stay is a brand new online community for entrepreneurs who travel. It is open to those around the globe so that business professionals can travel anywhere without incurring overwhelming accommodation costs, while also making new business contacts along the way.
Instead of staying at an expensive hotel, you can connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and possibly stay with them.
Upon registration, you’re asked where you live and what cities you travel to often. You can meet others who live in those cities and even stay with host entrepreneurs when you travel to new locations. You can also create an itinerary for your future travel plans and find helpful information about the cities you travel to from like-minded entrepreneurs who call those cities home.
Hosting other entrepreneurs is not mandatory for membership. And those who cannot host others can still help out by showing a guest entrepreneur around their city, meeting up with them for dinner or coffee, or even just sharing useful contacts.
Says co-founder Fred Caballero:
“It is really a no-brainer in terms of costs savings for entrepreneurs that travel. According to our initial surveys the average entrepreneur travels at least four times per year. Multiply this by $80 – $120 for the average hotel and the savings are evident (substantially bigger for power-travelers of course). However, while savings are important, the strongest benefit in using Startup Stay is the networking and enhancement of your trip’s quality. Being hosted by a local means access to quality advice in terms of how to move around in the city and who to meet or which events to attend. Our aim is for each “startup stay” to spark long term real-world relationships between members.”
This screenshot shows how you can search for entrepreneurs to stay with, along with itineraries on the left:
Startup Stay is targeting young entrepreneurs from ages 18 to 35, but the membership isn’t limited to those in that age range. The only qualification to become a member is that you must be an entrepreneur. The site was launched just last month (June 2012) and already has a membership that includes entrepreneurs from 200 cities and 60 different countries around the globe.
Currently, Startup Stay is invite only, but those interested can either request to be invited via email by a current member, or apply for an application through the website. The site is tentatively scheduled for a full launch around March. To request a Beta invitation, visit Startup Stay.
Disclosure: Small Business Trends’ CEO, Anita Campbell, is partners with the founders of this site on another venture called TweakYourBiz.