“STARTUP STAGE: Emadri changes the packing experience for travelers and travel companies - PhocusWire” plus 1 more

“STARTUP STAGE: Emadri changes the packing experience for travelers and travel companies - PhocusWire” plus 1 more


STARTUP STAGE: Emadri changes the packing experience for travelers and travel companies - PhocusWire

Posted: 31 Dec 2019 01:10 AM PST

Emadri logo startup stage

Emadri enables travel companies to grow ancillary revenue and monetize pre-travel shopping with customized packing lists for travelers. It uses data science and insights to recommend activities specifically for customers, which increases bookings and revenue.

Since launching in 2018, Emadri has been recognized as one PhocusWire's Hot 25 Startup for 2020, and has partnered with some of the biggest companies in travel.

Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.

Emadri helps travel companies monetize pre-travel shopping and on-trip activities. We do this by simplifying arduous aspects of trip planning and by providing a one-stop shop for personalized packing, shopping and activities. 

Our white label/API solution integrates into the customer journey and helps travelers pack, shop and book experiences, while driving new revenue and loyalty for travel companies.

New York, NY
https://www.emadri.com/

What inspired you to create this company?

We were both management consultants, traveling nearly every day. 

Packing was a drag – and though we figured out a way to pack the essentials easily, we were often short of clothes for anything else but showing up at the office. 

Our solution solves that problem, plus it recommends things travelers might need and things to do once there.

Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.

Strength
·       One-stop shop for travel-related product and experience purchases
·       High conversion rates
·       Personalized recommendations

Weakness
·       Market awareness, new category within ancillary revenue

Opportunities
·       Simplify decision making process for travelers
·       Grow ancillary revenue for companies
·       Help companies connect with travelers

Threats
·      Copycats
·      Companies DIY (those it makes sense for)

What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?

Packing is a pain point for travelers, especially when traveling for vacation. Trying to figure out what to wear and what to decide to pack is a moving target based on destinations, dates of travel, weather and vacation activities. 

Currently, 86% of leisure travelers make a packing list before travel. At the same time, we all know one of the first things travelers do between the time they hit "book trip," until the time they travel, is shop trip-related items and book activities. Travelers spend over $30 billion ever year on retail shopping for their leisure trips.

Emadri provides a customized packing list based on your customers' destination, dates of travel, gender and weather forecast. In addition to the customized packing list, we provide recommendations for pre-trip retail shopping and on-trip activities booking, allowing travel companies to earn a commission on purchases your customers make related to the trip they just booked with you.

So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of customers

Essentially through partnerships. We are live with Virtuoso (we are in Virtuoso's incubator program), Indagare, Meeting Advice and are actively launching Secret Escapes now. 

Prior to The Phocuswright Conference in November, where we were nominated a Hot 25 Startup, and through some aggressive business development, we are in the process of signing agreements with an online travel agency, a cruise supplier, an airline, a credit card company and travel content websites.

Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.

We recognized the pain travelers have in packing and provide them a personalized packing list. 

Pretty much every traveler packs regardless of destination. We've gone a step forward by providing a packing list that is shoppable in one place, meaning we provide recommendations for pre-trip shopping and on-trip activities

How and when will you make money?

We earn a commission on products sales to travelers, whether its retail or tours and activities. We rev share those commissions with our travel partners. 

We also see an opportunity in the future to deepen and leverage our relationships with retail brands that want to reach pre-travel consumers.

What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding team, and why do you have what it takes to succeed with this business?

The founding team comes mostly from management consulting, e-commerce and travel. Our team has extensive experience in the areas of tech; our CTO built SaaS solutions at Priceline, and has experience with recommender models. 

We also have very experienced and aggressive business development talent that won't take "no" for an answer.

What's been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?

The most difficult part of founding the business was that the original founding team members were outsiders to the travel industry and did not have experience on the business side of travel. A lot of strategic relationships had to be built from scratch.

Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact - so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?

Our model makes sense. It's a natural evolution that travel companies earn a commission on the things people buy for the trip they just booked. 

We have built a platform that focuses on the underserved part of the travel chain. We have high conversion rates and plan to keep improving. We constantly listen to customers and our partners and use machine learning to put the right products in front of travelers based on the trip they are taking.

Plus, our implementation is easy. We can provide an API if travel companies want to host on their websites and we can also provide a white label, which is much easier, within a week.

Hamilton County INCubator Builds Business, Launches Leaders - Chattanooga Times Free Press

Posted: 31 Dec 2019 04:08 PM PST

 

Passion for better, more sustainable or more transparent products and processes inspire hard-working Chattanoogans to embrace entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are scrappy, using every resource and spare minute to propel their business forward.

These visionaries, found everywhere from coffee shops to home offices, bolster our innovative ecosystem. But what's next when local startups outgrow those spaces? For many of them, it's a move to the INCubator in the Hamilton County Business Development Center, a program of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

If you're a regular Chattanooga Trend reader, you've heard about the stellar companies housed in the INCubator to take advantage of the program's enriching services and partnerships.

Since the 1980s the INCubator has been home to about 600 startups and now houses 49 businesses in industries ranging from environmental consulting and graphic design to hot sauce and candle manufacturing.

The INCubator's three to four-year program helps entrepreneurs stabilize their businesses in an environment where they increase their visibility and connectivity. Located on Chattanooga's North Shore, companies housed in the INCubator enjoy convenient access to target markets and business resources.

Competitively priced space makes the INCubator perfect for startups and small businesses in growth mode.

Leases are one-year terms renewable for up to four years. Office suites start at $11 per square foot, manufacturing suites start at $6 per square foot and small offices start at $250 per month. All manufacturing and office space rent includes utilities. Complimentary conference and meeting rooms make it easy to meet with potential clients.

Moonbeam Printing

Chattanoogans love stickers. Have you seen the cars sporting Rock Creek logos, water bottles that encourage you to "See Rock City" or laptops sporting local business logos?

Stickers and printing aren't only for the well-hydrated and craft coffee lovers. Local businesses print more than we realize. Whether it's a sticker or a banner for an upcoming event, it's important to have a printing company your business can trust.

Moonbeam Printing has more than 30 years of experience. The family business is housed in the INCubator in the Hamilton County Business Development Center, printing everything from banners to keg wraps.

"I think the world is full of good people and when I run into those people it makes me want to be a better person myself," says Moonbeam CEO Wayne Taylor. "In Chattanooga, I've always run into good businesses … Almost all of the businesses we've talked to in the area have adopted some kind of mission or charity. They get the pay it forward concept. Chattanooga businesses are the example we intend to follow."

 

Your company is a great fit for the INCubator if it's an early-stage business with:

* Potential to create local jobs

* Potential to produce significant revenue in four to six years

* Intent to remain in Hamilton County

* Willingness to participate in INCubator program development courses and quarterly meetings

You'll also need:

* Executive summary and/or business plan

* For-profit business plan with three years of financial projections

* Four to six months of working capital

* Complete application for a service or manufacturing space

* Five-minute pitch to present to Entrance Committee

"The INCubator is a gold mine. Our program is over 30 years old and we graduated our 600th client in November," says Alexis Willis, INCubator Director of Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses. "We're reframing the narrative of the INCubator to put people first and be less of a real estate play. We're more than space; we're 127,000 square feet of startup community."

The INCubator partners with local programs and businesses to enrich clients housed in the space. The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) offers INCubator clients 101 programming, weekly events and workshops, mostly free. They're located inside the Hamilton County Business Development Center alongside the INCubator, making access to their forward-looking services easy for INCubator clients.

Right Hook Creative

Right Hook Creative provides Southeastern small businesses with tools to tell their stories through creative production including commercial, portrait and editorial photography. Other services include:

* Consulting

* Creative production

* Campaign management and execution

Founders Raffe and Christina Lazarian moved to Chattanooga from Los Angeles and New York City, awed by Chattanooga's entrepreneurial spirit during Startup Week and the Make a Mark design marathon. They started Right Hook Creative to help small business owners connect with their customers through engaging photography and marketing support. Located in INCubator suite 329, they're ready to tell your story.

 

Launch Chattanooga, also located in the Business Development Center, empowers underserved entrepreneurs by removing barriers to success. After the 2008 recession, Launch formed around the need for equal access to entrepreneurial resources. Launch has supported 261 businesses creating 331 jobs.

Recent collaboration with retail developer CBL Properties led to unique opportunities for INCubator clients to sell products inside Hamilton Place and Northgate Mall. INCubator client Shelly Cove hosted a pop-up shop at Hamilton Place during Black Friday week.

Partnerships like these enrich INCubator clients' knowledge base and networking opportunities through exposure to local business leaders and industry experts. An upcoming addition to the INCubator's people-first philosophy is programming for INCubator clients led by INCubator clients. Beginning this month, additional entrepreneurship programming will be available to Chattanooga's business community.

Local Venture Legal

Local Venture Legal, PLLC (LVL) is a boutique business law practice and social enterprise with a mission to support and promote local business growth, creating a more inclusive and sustainable local economy for the greater Chattanooga area.

Founded by local attorney Whitney Standefer-Smith last year, LVL serves its mission by offering a reduced billable rate starting at $50 per hour for small businesses, grossing less than $100,000 annually to serve startups in their first two years. Businesses outside those parameters pay market rate.

For each service, 10% of fees support local environmental nonprofits to protect local ecosystems.

As a transactional law practice, LVL focuses on the foundations businesses are built on and ensures businesses and the families who own them are shielded from legal liability.

Practice areas include:

* Business structuring

* Municipal, state and federal law compliance

* Contracts

* Asset sales

* Commercial leases

* Succession planning

* Taxation

* Trademark and copyright

* General counsel

"An office in the INCubator was a no-brainer for me as a business attorney. I'm surrounded by local startups and small businesses," says Whitney Standefer-Smith, LVL Founder and attorney. "People stop in and ask me questions all the time."

Standefer-Smith is a seventh-generation Chattanoogan and a 2019 Chatter Magazine and Chattanooga Times Free Press Chattanooga 20 under 40 award recipient. She previously practiced with Merrill Lynch specializing in business law and ESG investment models. Standefer-Smith practiced with Legal Aid of East Tennessee's We Mean Business program before launching LVL.

"The INCubator is a collective community of local startups consistently connecting and learning from one another," says Victoria Baltz, INCubator Resource Coordinator. "We're growing our impact with new programming and look forward to introducing more people to our multi-use building on the North Shore."

Public programming topics include:

* Vision Boarding with April Corbett, Enercon Services, Jan. 8

* Facts Not Feelings with Val Armstrong, American Water, Feb. 5

* Small Business Finance with Tim Kelly, March 4

"Open to all, our public programming introduces strong, stable business leaders into our entrepreneurial ecosystem and encourages new connections with our clients and other local startups," Baltz says.

Growing a business takes a village, or at least that's what the INCubator team believes. That's why they're passionate about connecting clients with resources for each challenge of building a business legacy.

The INCubator's competitively priced rent, coupled with local partnerships and programming, make it a spectacular place to house businesses as they grow.

INCubator online

For more on the INCubator in the Hamilton County Business Development Center, visit chattanoogachamber.com/incubator.

Questions? Contact vbaltz@chattanoogachamber.com.

Follow along at @INCubatorCHA on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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