Yesterday evening at ROC, Crowdfunder and Social Media Week L.A. showcased their 10 finalist startups for the CROWDFUNDxLA pitch competition in front of a panel of investor judges. When all was said and done, local upstart travel technology company TripScope took home the grand prize, including a fast-tracked meeting with Launchpad LA‘s investment committee.
TripScope is a B2B software solution for travel agents that allows them to bypass the current archaic system in which important information is communicated to clients via hardcopy and PDF. Using TripScope, agents are able to enter vital details and pertinent information through a browser interface which populates a traveler-facing iOS app, complete with push notification support for time sensitive changes and communication.
What really got the judges’ attention was the fast progress the startup has made. Founder and CEO Katelyn O’Shaughnessy, a luxury travel agent by day, took her knowledge of industry specific problem areas to a hackathon earlier this year, and despite having no tech or startup experience before, she has made huge progress on both product and business development in a very short time.
We were so impressed with how far you’ve come, that you didn’t know anything, really, about tech, but because you have such individual experience with your product, and you really executed a product that many people who work in tech for a long time don’t do as thoughtfully as you did. We’re really excited to see what you do with it.
-Jamie Kantrowitz, Partner, Launchpad LA
Normally when discussing advances in the travel technology niche, travel agents are the ones being disrupted. Even so, O’Shaughnessy is quick to point out that last year 64% of flights were booked by a travel agent, adding up to $86 billion in airfare. “TripScope will redefine the consumer usage of travel agents by providing clients with higher quality travel resources , and will allow travel agents to provide their services more efficiently and effectively worldwide,” pitched O’Shaughnessy.
Given that TripScope’s business model is to give away the mobile app to consumers for free and charge professional travel agents a fee per itinerary, O’Shaughnessy’s growing clout in the travel industry, particularly the younger demographic of travel professionals, is probably the company’s biggest asset.
We have in depth profiles of both TripScope and Launchpad LA coming up soon, so stay tuned.