Why did you start NeatMEETS?
Don and I have been working in the travel industry for decades, and we're regular road warriors. Sometimes the hardest thing about travel is having to disrupt your social life. You're in a new city and it seems really cool, but to go experience the city alone is not very fun. So we wanted make the experience better by connecting people together who are staying under the same hotel roof. People want more human connection to enhance their travel experience. We give it to them.
What if you don't reach your total goal of $107K?
We've been bootstrapping to make this work up until now. Don & I have been putting our own money into research to qualify the product need. We have a plan that even if we hit our minimum goal of just $20K, we'll be able to complete development on the product. In the meantime, we continue to work our connections in the hotel & entertainment industry to sell this product in to a big chain. All we need is just one big chain and we're off to a solid start generating transaction revenue.
What differentiates you from other competitors?
There are certainly other online travel agencies like Expedia & Travelocity, and then there are sites like Trip Advisor that recommend stuff to do. We take it a step further and provide a matching algorithm to connect you to others who want to hangout during the hotel stay. Then, we recommend the top excursions and set-up meetup groups in public spaces based on your interest.
Can you explain more about how you make money?
We charge a 15% commission to hotels for booking rooms vs upwards of 25% by the likes of Expedia and Orbitz. We also plan to license our API to hotel chains as a way to drive more occupancy and loyalty for them.
Why do you think you can break into this market?
Don and I worked in the hotel & hospitality industry for years and know a lot of high level people. Don's experience at Fresh Revenues gives us access to many of his current base of clients. We're tapping into them for pilots and will use this to test our product & market fit.
What kind of research have you done?
We conducted a market research study to determine interest in our concept. We found that 2/3 of travelers say they would use a product and service like this. In addition, we found that it would actually incentivize travelers to stay with a preferred hotel chain to get their loyalty rewards if they had an added benefit of a service like this. This gives us a reason to sell-in to hotel chains.