Guidrr—Here’s to #NewTravel
Guidrr is a Dallas-based travel startup founded by world traveler and tech entrepreneur, Aassia Haq. The Guidrr app is available in Dallas, Sao Paulo, Florence, Paris and more major travel destinations around the world, and features curated lists of things to do in the particular city or town that you are visiting. Their app is built for travel influencers—no more worrying about the accuracy of traditional guide books or online review sites. Haq describes Guidrr’s content as “on-demand experiences built by real people.”
For the past several months, Haq and the Guidrr team have been on-boarding travel bloggers (known as “Guidrr Creators”) to the app to start publishing high quality guides. In version one, you will be able to consume this content for free. Later versions will allow content creators to charge a fee for their guides.
Read on to learn more about the company and it’s founder.
What drives you? What motivated you to start Guidrr?
I’m driven by finding solutions to big problems and working fast. That’s I why I love the lean startup process and methodology. I was motivated to start Guidrr because I saw that there was a big gap in how the travel industry served travel influencers and true travelers. I felt that Guidrr—a way to create, share and discover on-demand experiences built by real people, could build and scale a solution to a big problem in the industry.
What resources have you found to be valuable in the Dallas startup ecosystem?
The Dallas startup ecosystem has a huge part to play in the early success of Guidrr. There are multiple ways for an entrepreneur to benefit. I found many of my early advisors and supporters for Guidrr when I was part of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center ambassador program. I encourage local entrepreneurs to apply and engage with that program, focusing on giving rather than getting from it.
I also believe that the local coworking industry is a huge asset to entrepreneurs. I work out of NoD Coworking in North Dallas, and find the space to be a great place to interact with other early stage treps, and also to host events and meetups. Coworking and startups go together!
When you put yourself “out there” in the community in an honest, open way, things can happen. I found my own technology partners, Collide Co-Build, when they approached me as a result of my work with a project called “The Faces of Dallas”. They suggested that they might be a good partner to help me build Guidrr, using their own lean startup training, coupled with on-demand tech services. It’s been a huge win-win for me as an experienced serial startup entrepreneur who already knew what I wanted to build and had the resources to bootstrap an MVP and market presence.
Is this your first rodeo?
Not my first! I launched ALUMRISE, an on-demand future of work startup nearly 10 years ago, and ran it for four years, raising a seed round and building an amazing product and experience working with the C-Level at 10 of the Fortune 500. I had to shut it down due to the recession despite raising a strong round and building an amazing product, simply because of where my product was targeted at a time when the economic environment radically shifted. I learned that it’s all about moving fast, being passionate and building a team. You can’t control the environment around you, so listen, adapt and do what’s right for you investors, your team and your product. It will always take you to the next milestone of success and growth. Nothing is ever a failure—even if you have a setback you can learn from it.
Tell us about your team.
We have an amazing young team including Co-Build as our tech services partners; a community manager intern from the startup community, Christy, whose goal it was to learn how a startup goes from announcement to launch, and an advisory board that includes eight super experienced local entrepreneurs and business leaders including Melissa, who’s helping us with operations and business development. We’re in the process of filling some key roles, and welcome those who are interested to reach out so we can keep you on our list for future positions.
Lastly, what’s your vision for Guidrr going forward?
Our vision for Guidrr is big and bold. We’d like to disrupt the world’s largest industry, and help peer to peer influencers become the new gatekeepers to the travel industry. We are planning to raise a seed round, and do plan to expand with some key roles including influencer marketing; community management growth and social media/marketing management. The best way to help us is to spread the word about our product and vision. Send friends to our website so those who are aligned to our culture and values can connect with us.
We’re already out there at industry events will continue to #RepDFW when we do! Our product is the best way to rep, since when you build a local experience on Guidrr for Dallas you show everyone else how amazing it can be to live and work here.
Guidrr is presenting at Dallas New Tech on Tuesday, December 1st. Click here to get your tickets and learn more about Guidrr and other incredible startups in our community.