Beatriz Cardona: From Barcelona to Silicon Valley

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The last blog post from Women 2.0 Labs (summer 2010 edition) comes from the Tripku team. Beatriz came from Barcelona, Spain to spend the summer in San Francisco working on Rambae at Women 2.0 Labs. Today she blogs for us about her story, startup and pivots as lessons learned.

Beatriz Cardona's Story

I still cannot believe I’m in San Francisco starting up my own company.

Since I finished my Executive MBA program on June 2009 at the IESE Business School (University of Navarra) in Barcelona, Spain, I knew that I wanted to build my own company. I had a lot of different business ideas, but I didn’t take the risk of starting any of them; mostly because I didn’t know where to start and how to get people interested in helping me build a startup company.

That same month I met Shaherose at the 22@Update Breakfast. She explained what the Women 2.0 project is about and I was immediately excited about the program. I felt that I could relate to the project because I'm a professional female working in the tech industry. I also hold a BS and MS in Multimedia Engineering.

After a few months of brainstorming several business ideas, I realized I needed to make the jump, and suddenly everything lined up! Women 2.0 was doing a 5-week program in San Francisco, the perfect place for tech start up companies. I thought this program could be what I needed to give me the chance of starting up my own company, so I decided to apply. From that day on, everything happened very quickly. One week after being accepted into the program, I found myself living in San Francisco and working as part of a 4-person team with a brand new business idea: www.tripku.com.

Tripku is a platform to bridge travel agencies with real travelers seeking their next trip. We want to help travel agencies to fill their quota before departure, allowing them to be more active in reaching out to potential customers and fill out groups at the last minute. In the other hand, we want to help travelers find a group to plan activities and travel with, providing travelers with a structure to find travel buddies and create a community around the trip. This helps people find the perfect travel buddy with similar interests and gives them the power of leveraging the cost of the trip through group travel deals and interest-based community traveling.

"We’ve been pivoting based on customer development and feedback from visiting advisors in the Women 2.0 Labs."

Although the program is coming towards an end, we are still in a very early stage of the idea. I still don’t know if this is going to be our last pivot (even though I hope so!), but I can say I’ve learned a lot of valuable things and I’ve met a lot of interesting people during these past 4 weeks in San Francisco.

Now I know that I want to stay here, where everything is possible and the only limits are the ones you place on yourself!