All You Need Is a Smartphone
On a recent business trip, I had an experience that’s becoming less rare - all I needed was my phone. I reserved my Frontier Airlines flight from Santa Barbara to Denver on the Frontier app, checked in with the boarding pass right from the app, landed in Denver and while walking through the concourse to the train I bought my train ticket on the Denver Regional Transportation District App (RTD), and from the train stop I ordered up the Uber to take me to my AirBnB that I of course had reserved on my AirBnB app. Voila.
The experience confirmed for me that we are definitely in a DIY traveler age so when I met Shannon Kenny and she told me about her startup, Prontopia, I immediately understood the value proposition. Prontopia is a travel service that is essentially an Uber for local assistance. You’re just a tap on the Prontopia app away from enhancing your travel experience.
If you’re traveling to Venice, Rome, Florence or Barcelona (expanding to more European, international and domestic cities soon) and want to ensure your trip gets off to a smooth start, use Prontopia to be connected to a local who can meet you at the train station and accompany you to your vacation rental or help with any hiccups such as lost luggage. Beginnings matter so it’s worth a few extra euros or dollars for the peace of mind.
Want to enjoy a local’s perspective on out of the way, off the beaten path, hidden gem restaurants or cafes, hiking or running trails, place to watch the sunset, how to organize a day and avoid crowds? Only a local can provide such authentic experiences and do it with passion while setting a great example for how to enjoy and respect their home turf.
With the help of the Silicon Valley Accelerator, Women’s Startup Lab, and mentors Ari Horie and Chris Yeh, Prontopia is preparing for the type of growth Chris Yeh documents in the book, Blitzscaling, where he and co-author Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, share some of the behind the scenes stories of the make it or break it, super scaled growth for companies like LinkedIn, AirBnB, PayPal, Facebook, Google and Amazon.
I asked Shannon to come on my show and share her story. In addition to deciding that I will use Prontopia myself and also become a Prontopian, I was surprised to learn the relationship between medieval studies and travel innovation, how travel can be better connected to culture and people, why racehorses keep dying and golden nuggets from a Silicon Valley accelerator.
when you’re planning your next trip!