What is Routenguru and what does it offer?
Routenguru is an online travel platform that helps users to create their own trip. Users only need to know where they want to go and when they are planning their trip. Then Routenguru helps them to create an individual travel plan through the using of filers (for example: attractions, nature, wellness, or sport). If, for example, a group of friends want to travel around Germany, leaving from Berlin and arriving in Munich, Routenguru suggests interesting places that might be catch their interest throughout the journey. In addition, once the users decides where they want to go and what they want to do, Routenguru, thanks to partnerships with travel agencies, finds the best solutions for them. To summarize, users can find information and advices about the trip they are planning, and book it though the website.
How did you come up with the idea?
The two co-founders, Markus Moosbrugger and his wife, came up with the idea end 2010-beginning 2011 when they went on a trip in South Africa. After having planned everything with a itravel agency, they realized that their trip was not flexible enough. They wanted to be able to change it through the journey, and visit some “less” known places. Therefore, when they came back from their travel, they thought that there was a need of a platform that helps users to create more individual trips.
How were you able to find all the information needed for the website?
Of course, the two co-founders do not know all the important/most interesting places around the world. Therefore, they ask locals, especially students, for their advices. This is because, the main market target of Routengroup is young man and woman that do not want to plan a trip in detail by themselves, but they only want to decide the main destinations, and then, having someone else that can suggest what to do and how to travel. Another important tool provided by the website is the possibility to share your trip with others. It is very helpful for new users because they can see where other travellers went, read their reviews, and see pictures of their trip.
What are the biggest difficulties that you faced?
The biggest difficult that the two co-founders faced and are currently facing are expanding the team (in fact, they are currently looking for new developers), and marketing campaign.
Why did you decide to become a member of betahaus?
The decision of working at betahaus was made primarily for the opportunity of coworking. As most of our startups, Routenguru enjoys the possibility to talk to other startups and been able help each other. In addition, at betahaus, startups can find a very innovative and creative environment, which is what a startup needs. Lastly, but not the least important, everyone has the possibility to network without even realize it.
What are your future goals?
The main future goals of Routenguru are expanding the team, which is now composed by the two co-founders and other four people, expand the countries where you can find information on the website, and a smartphone App that allows users to transfer their travel plan from the PC to their smartphone in order to keep track of it and have the possibility to change it through their travel.
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Working for Lufthansa back in 2002, Joachim (CEO & founder @ Jolocom) had the idea to develop a better system for companies to swap data internally and for people to share their data with companies. Back in 2002, the resistance to open networks and communication was strong. However, just a few years later, social media and blockchain changed the rules of the game, which led to the founding of Jolocom in 2014. (Read the whole story here)
Ellie joined the Jolocom team in the fall last year. She’s part of the content team and is responsible for communications and online platforms maintenance.
Volker is currently studying IT-Systems Engineering at HPI, working on his master thesis with Jolocom. He joined the software development team in March this year and has previously worked from betahaus for another startup company.
With two locations in the heart of the city, betahaus l Sofia is a home of some of the most successful Bulgarian startups and is one of the leading innovation hubs in Sofia. Their main space is located just two minutes on foot from Sofia University and the second one stands right at the central Slaveykov Sqaure and has a beautiful view over the city.
As all of our locations, its pet and bicycle friendly and offers the same comfy and relaxed atmosphere you've come to expect from betahaus. Identical to our space, betahaus | Sofia uses glass doors for its team rooms, to build transparency and inclusion.
betahaus | Sofia is spread across 1800 q.m. divided into 2 separate spaces. Shipka 6 is 1300qm and takes over the entire 3rd floor of the UBA – Union of the Bulgarian Artists. Slaveykov Square is placed on the roof top of another historical building in Sofia. There they have two balconies with 360 degrees view, a cafe/bar and a shared kitchen.
Membership plans start from 350,– BGN for Workspace and go up to 435,– BGN for Private Offices. Currently, the space has around 190 members and will soon implement also Club Memberships plan. Every member of the Club will have access to events, conference room and betahaus community.
Ellie: Currently we have around 5 active pilots and we effectively work B2B2C. So we build our application for businesses which have their own user bases.
Volker: One of our ongoing projects is a pilot with Telekom. With their team, and partners from Riddle & Code and Simple Mobility, we have created the Magenta Scooter — an innovation in e-mobility that allows users to ride share while using their decentralized digital IDs. That means users can rent the scooter with our app and our identity. The main advantage there is that you can store your drivers licence in your Jolocom SmartWallet and then share this license with the app of Telekom. This eliminates the long onboarding process of verifying your license.
Ellie: Another example is our e-government collaboration with The City of Antwerp called Blockchain on the Move. Using the SmartWallet, municipal employees can issue and validate their own credentials and create eIDs for citizens – it’s a digital ID with which you can register at the university or go to a swimming pool, as two examples.
Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company.
Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.
Ellie: I know that before joining betahaus Jolocom was in the Ethereum office – a collaborative blockchain space for companies also building on the same platform and the idea was always to stay within a coworking space. When they closed and we had to move, the next closest choice in terms of company culture was betahaus.
Ellie: The people in the building and the spaces are just really cool. I personally don’t go to community events as much as i would like to but I still end up meeting a lot of people here. Mostly in the kitchen. One of my good friends is actually someone I met in betahaus.
Volker: I once saw a friend of mine presenting at betabreakfast and I didn’t know that he would be here. It was so funny seeing him on the stage.
Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.
Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.