Last September, the Bizpora team moved to Newcastle to join the accelerator Ignite100. We are four weeks away from finishing this amazing experience. It’s also been quite a stressful time, constantly improving the platform while digesting a lot of feedback from dozens of mentors and Bizpora members. Today we want to introduce to you to the outcome.
When we started Bizpora (Startup Stay back then) our main vision was to facilitate meaningful face-to-face connections between like-minded members, unlocking new friendships, collaborations and business opportunities. This is still our vision today.
What we’ve learnt though, is that peer-to-peer accommodation is only one of the vehicles our members use to meet in the real world. After dozens of interviews we now know that Bizpora members meet each other at events, for coffee, offering each other a temporary place to work from and many more encounters. This is why we will now focus on re-inventing the way members reach out for meaningful connections in their business trips. We’ve blended all the feedback received and platform’s data focusing on a new new vehicle: The Trip Announcement.
Thousands of members have already announced their trips internally since launch last year and thousands have also responded positively to our “Members-coming-to-your-area” bimonthly emails. As a result, we have now made the trip announcement the new starting point for members to unlock further value in the platform.
As a second step, the announcement allows you to enter the purpose of your business trip and/or what you’re looking for in that destination (e.g. contacts, advice, introductions, etc). Then, you publish it as a public post on Bizpora so members may participate or offer to meet. Finally, because the post is visible on the web (in a similar way to a tweet) you boost its visibility through your social networks of choice (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) so people within your own network can help as well. Talking to members in our recent field trips to New york and London, we learnt that finding relevant people is a combination or searching and asking your own network so we believe the new trip page gives you the best of both worlds :)
While you wait for folks to engage with your trip posts, we’ll immediately suggest you relevant locals and travellers to meet in your trip, so you can start contacting them straight away :) The results include people within your business network and more importantly, your extended network. Those folks that you haven’t met yet but can certainly provide you with the insights or introductions you’re looking for.
Bizpora helps you make the most out of your business trips and also makes it easy for you to meet interesting people visiting your home city. That’s additional value to you when you’re not travelling.
There are already plenty of great Bizpora stories of members building real-life relationships. We trust this improvement will help multiply them.
We hope you like it. As always, let us know if we can help you anytime.
Pierre, Facundo & Fred.