GuruWalk platform for doing free walking tours all over the world!
Please introduce yourself and your startup GuruWalk to our readers!
Hi! I’m Juan Castillo, a young serial entrepreneur from Spain! Our startup is GuruWalk, a platform for doing “free walking tours” all over the world!
How did you get the idea to GuruWalk?
I am a travel junkie. I usually make 10 short trips per year, half of them travelling “solo” and with no planning at all. Sometimes even with no booked accommodation.
I found free walking tours were the best way to start my trip, because you didn’t have to research the city. And in 3 hours you get to know the most interesting stuff, all explained in a fun way. Moreover, I got great tips for what to do after, where to eat, and met up with other travellers. So I found it very useful.
After my last failed startup I was ready for a new adventure. After my experience with free walking tours, I realized it was a growing market with a clear problem that wasn’t solved. There are thousands of people in the world who want to become tour guides. Yet they don’t have the resources to start a company, create a website or invest in marketing to attract customers.
Our platform helps everybody, but mostly our focus is to help this kind of people. That’s why we started in Cuba, where people don’t have the resources to promote themselves, and need additional income to sustain their families. This makes us feel that we are doing something worthwhile and this is proved by the fact we already have more that 10 free tours in Havana.
How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
We haven’t had any legal issues yet, but as a shared economy platform, we anticipate having them! In all honesty, we have been very lucky up to now: We have a great team and the market is responding pretty well. Nonetheless, I’ve had many failures in the past and wrote about them here (in Spanish).
Who is your target audience?
Our early adopters, defined as the people that have the problem we are solving, in a biggest and most painful way, are people with low income (usually in developing countries) and passion and knowledge about history, arts and culture. On the other side of the marketplace are the travellers, the biggest problem for them is finding free tours in remote destinations, where they don’t exist.
What is the USP of your startup?
As a marketplace, we encourage people to publish unique and special tours. We have many tours that are not on any other website in the entire internet. It’s like the igloo you can book through Airbnb: Unique propositions and value for our site.
Can you describe a typical workday of you?
There is nothing typical in the art of entrepreneurship. Besides this, I usually start with a standup meeting.
Then I check what our users are doing and seek qualitative feedback from them. The rest of the day is spent helping the team in their tasks – like writing this post! In fact, often they tell me what I have to do and not in the other way around.
Where do you see yourself and your startup GuruWalk in five years?
Leading GuruWalk, the leading marketplace for free walking tours in the world. That’s our vision.
What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
If you need some encouraging words to start, don’t do it. (Elon Musk)
The next Bill Gates won’t make an operating system, the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t do a social networking site. If you are copying these people,, you are not learning from them. (Peter Thiel)
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. (Maya Angelou)
More information you will find here
Thank you Sorin Puscau for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.