We’ve learned a lot in the past 10 months.
Entrepreneurs are a group of busy people:
- On the host side: While entrepreneurs like spending time with other like-minded entrepreneurs, many lack time to offer their house systematically and for free. There is also a substantial portion of them who do offer their space space on an ongoing basis, especially through other sites where they also make some money.
- On the traveller side: Again, entrepreneurs are extremely busy and can’t spend a lot of time looking for a host or, many times, waiting for their answer. These guests are also fond of networking and spending time with fellow like-minded people but their priority is having a smooth trip and achieving their goals. The free stay involved a few angles that don’t go in line with the user type nor building a solid business in the long term.
Startups become companies
As the entrepreneur evolves, he/she also needs contacts/access to more diverse professionals, people who work in certain industries. Also, many entrepreneurs in companies naturally didn’t feel identified with the name Startup Stay (limited to startups) As a result, we are no longer invite-only and are opening the network to a wider, richer member-base: business professionals.
Now, with stays starting from 15 US Dollars per night (roughly €11 or £10):
- We’ll improve response times from hosts, especially in busy cities like NY, San Fran, London, Paris, etc.
- We’ll raise the level of commitment on both sides (hosts-guests)
- We’ll open the doors to more like-minded business hosts that were unsure to join because they are already using sites such as AirBnB.
Note: You may still choose to host for free by entering $0 as the price.
For those not sure about charging, take this new small fee as a meal contribution, for example. For guests, it also solves a very hidden important problem we detected: “What do I buy my host for the hospitality?”. It’s also a way to support us (We charge a commission per booking).
We’re more than ever about the face-to-face business connection
One of the experiments that worked surprisingly well was the “Entrepreneurs coming to your area”. This is a feature that displays members coming your way on the home page that later on became also a useful bi-weekly email notification.
In the new platform, networking opportunities become more visual: You will be able to reach out via public post to all local members in a given city to increase your chances of getting help (with a contact, accommodation, special request, etc)
Startup Stay is now Bizpora.com (Meet & stay with entrepreneurs & business professionals worldwide). In case you are curious about the name, we believe there are people passionate about business everywhere, and Bizpora brings together this diaspora of business people, facilitating face-to face connections globally.
The fundamental changes are:
- Hosts will be able to charge for stays (with the option not to charge as well, by entering $0)
- We will now welcome business professionals too, apart from entrepreneurs.
- We are also introducing an conversations feed where members can announce in a targeted city that they want to meet and also what they need (locally or in their trip).
These improvements will generate more offer, better response (especially for the travelling member), reward the host, and also expand the networking opportunities locally and in the different cities you travel to.
We’re learning more everyday and are committed to building a great service for a fantastic community. We invite you to stay with us. Please let us know if we can help you anytime.
Thanks for your constant support!