What is Travelshoot?
Epic travel memories.
How did it start?
Travelshoot was born out of my own experience, having photos taken with my husband on our first trip to New York.
What’s the biggest win you’ve had so far?
Winning Shark Tank Australia! The exposure from Channel 10 launched us into operations.
What’s your biggest mistake?
Definitely trying to make the business as perfect as possible before starting it.
How’s your experience been funding your startup?
We did our first seed round a few months back and I’m glad people warned me it was going to be an intense and time-consuming endeavour – because it absolutely was! We were targeting very experienced and skilled industry experts and investors. The due diligence period was challenging, but proved we really knew our stuff.
What needs to change/improve for Australia to become a global leader in tech?
I actually think there’s some great incentives for Australians to get involved in this space, but lots of the government and industry support is not really well publicised, so you have to go searching for it. For us, there are some amazing financial advantages through Advance Queensland, but it’s only through networking in the startup ecosystem that we learnt more about these opportunities.
Government and industry support is not really well publicised so you have to go searching for it.
Have you had any challenges sourcing and growing your team?
Absolutely. We totally buggered a couple of our first hires and learnt some major lessons because of it. Our impatience for help outweighed nailing the right person – this lead to a couple of bad hires, so now we’re happy to suffer a delay if need be, so we can find the right fit.
Do you have any tips for acquiring new users and/or scaling your business?
In the earlier days, I was apprehensive to go after some big partnerships because I assumed they wouldn’t engage with a startup with limited traction. After securing some big travel industry contracts quite early on, I actually wished I’d gone harder sooner. I should have been focused on the value proposition I had for partners, as opposed to worrying about the size of the business. So my tip would be to not limit yourself if you know you have a solid commercial benefit.
I should have been focused on the value proposition I had for partners, as opposed to worrying about the size of the business.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?
No idea. After years of being unfulfilled, I left IT projects to start this business, so no doubt I would be working on another business venture if my New York photoshoot hadn’t happened.
If you could go back to the start, tell us two things you would do differently.
Don’t get caught up in the detail, get your product to market even if it’s not perfect. Then you can validate it as quickly as possible. I would invest time into thinking about the brand almost as much as the product.
Invest as much time into the brand as you do product.
What’s the best advice you could give to someone starting out?
Don’t build a website or spend a dollar until you’ve sense-checked your idea with possible customers.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’ve just had a baby – a human one – so normally a big coffee after very little sleep. Half of the week I’m in the office for usual hours, and the other half of the week I work around my daughter’s schedule – working from home or catching up at night. My husband and I are typically both on the couch with laptops for a good few hours each night so we try to make weekends more of a computer-free zone.
Do you believe someone with no business or entrepreneurial experience can succeed in the startup world?
Absolutely. Particularly if they know their customer.
How do you deal with competition?
Acknowledge it but don’t obsess over it.