The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
Quick Pitch: SideTour lets you experience the world with like-minded people.
Genius Idea: Provides a place to host and discover new authentic experiences.
The world is full of boundless experiences, some cultural and others educational or adventurous. The problem is, not all of us are unencumbered and many of us just don’t have the money to travel the globe for these experiences.
But what if we didn’t have to travel or spend excessive amounts of money? What if we could experience these worldly events with the click of a mouse? Well now we can, at SideTour.
SideTour is a place to discover and explore parts of the world through experiences hosted by interesting, creative and talented people.
Want to have dinner with a banker-turned-monk at a monastery in the East Village? If that doesn’t interest you, how about a hands-on look inside New York City’s prominent graffitti culture? Or if you’re an aspiring chef, learn to cook a three-course, French farmhouse-inspired meal that will leave your guests in awe.
“If we think about life being a collection of experiences, our mission is to make those experiences more remarkable,” said Vipin Goyal, CEO and one of four co-founders of SideTour.
SideTour works by offering high-quality experiences in New York City provided by different hosts. Each experience is built as an appointment-based platform, and is designed with a specific date, time and number of available spots. The site enables participants to meet new people and partake in remarkable experiences.
If you’re not sure if a specific experience fits your interests, you can review comments on SideTour by people who have met the host or attended the event before.
For example, “Dine with a Banker-Turned-Monk at an East Village Monastery” is one of SideTour’s popular and postively-rated experiences right now. If you want to know more about the experience, you can check out the comments left by people who had dinner with the monk, Rasanath Dasa, before. Here’s one comment:
Hosts have to submit their unique idea online which SideTour will review based on originality. If the idea is accepted, the host will receive an online form that allows them to add a description and details about the experience. The SideTour team then works with the host to edit and finalize the description.
There is no cost to become a host. Hosts set prices according to the experiences involved, and SideTour takes a 20% fee on completed transactions.
“Our goal is for SideTour users to discover authentic unique experiences that aren’t offered anywhere else,” said Goyal. “On the host side, our hope is to have a platform where they can share their capabilities, talents, passion, and make money while doing that.”
SideTour — founded in July — started as a global marketplace for cities around the world. Although experiences are currently only available in New York City, SideTour plans to expand to other cities.
The company has raised $1.5 million so far and is continually adding new experiences inspired by a variety of passions and talents.
Image courtesy of SideTour, SideTour
Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark
Via Mashable: http://www.mashable.com