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Bootstrapping to $5 Million: Under30Experiences CEO Matt Wilson (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Dec 12th 2018

Sramana Mitra: How many people come on these trips?

Matt Wilson: Usually, 18 people and a trip leader.

Sramana Mitra: In one year, how many of these trips are you orchestrating?

Matt Wilson: We did 250 this year.

Sramana Mitra: You are leading 250 trips? That means you’re traveling all the time.

Matt Wilson: No, I couldn’t possibly lead 250 trips because they’re week long trips. We now have a team of 30 people. We bring several thousand passengers to 20 different countries. We’ve been running the company for six years now. In the beginning, I took every single traveler to different places. I met local guides in Iceland, Costa Rica, Ireland, and Bali.

Sramana Mitra: The name of the company is Under30Experiences. It sounds like this is for younger travelers?

Matt Wilson: For younger travelers between 21 and 35. As long as people are in the millennial mindset, that’s okay with us. As long as they want to be active and engaged with other people their age, then that’s okay. We try to be an inclusive group rather than an exclusive group.

Sramana Mitra: How do you decide on what destinations you want to go to?

Matt Wilson: We ask our community. They said they wanted to go to New Zealand. We went to New Zealand and scouted out a trip. I found the best guy and best activities. We worked in cultural experiences and ways that we can give back to the community in all the different places that we go and travel in a sustainable manner. We just ask our community.

We go to about 20 different countries now all over Europe. Thailand was a very big one for us that we’ve opened up. Iceland is very popular. People want to see multi-country trips as well, like France and Spain, or Ireland, Scotland, and England. We have probably 26 different itineraries, including some more niche travel experiences, like yoga and fitness retreats.

Sramana Mitra: What is the motivation of the people who want to travel with you? Is it that they want to meet people? Is it that they want to travel for a particular type of experience? What is the main draw?

Matt Wilson: I’m a big-time solo traveler. I like to go places on my own, but not everybody wants to go alone. When planning a trip to difficult places in the world, it’s a lot nicer to have somebody else to do the driving or the planning. We try to curate itineraries that maximize your time in a country.

Take Costa Rica for example. You fly to Costa Rica. You don’t know any better. You’ll probably be in the capital city of San Jose the first night and then you’ll drive to a beach. You’re not going to know where the very best beaches are, the best place to learn to surf is, and how to interact with local communities. We have experiences. We have this cooking experience in a rather impoverished area of Costa Rica. We welcome them into people’s homes to cook with them and share meals.

We get to practice our Spanish. They get to practice their English. We get to learn the challenges that go on in a small community. We get a much greater depth experience than you could as a tourist that just goes and stays in an all-inclusive resort. That’s the kind of thing that we’re trying to curate especially for our travelers. So these are people who are looking to travel with other people, people who want to leave the planning to someone else, and people who are skeptical about going to a country like Brazil by themselves.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Bootstrapping to $5 Million: Under30Experiences CEO Matt Wilson
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