This Week’s Best In Beta
Which startup is going to be the next big thing? Investors, bloggers, job seekers, and inspiring entrepreneurs everywhere are dying to know. Hundreds of startups enter private beta each month, and that’s far too many for any one person to keep up with. Fret not! Each week, I share some of the hottest new startups in this column, Best In Beta. Let’s discover the next big thing together!
Caution: If you love travel – especially if you have a fondness for off the beaten path destinations – you’ll want to brace yourself before having a look at Untrodden. It only took about 20 seconds for me to be mesmerized, filled with a painful (painful!) longing to skip town.
Travel startup, lodging discovery and booking app, Untrodden seeks out the overlooked, unfamiliar, teensy bit more difficult to reach places; it strives for that delicate balance of making original accommodations both more accessible while respecting what makes them uniquely attractive.
For starters, the website is gorgeous. I can’t tell you how many beginning travel sites I’ve looked at that whose images dull rather than inspire wanderlust. Untrodden will take your breath away – really, that’s not using hyperbole. Both static and moving images stun. Just try to remain still in your chair, tell yourself you’ll be ok if you can’t immediately visit the places they’ve curated. (Neither is possible, but you’ll likely survive.)
If you have a place you feel deserves a bit more of the right recognition, you’d be proud to be included on Untrodden. If you’re the kind of traveler who finds your typical hotel marketplaces soulless, this will be the first place you’ll want to turn.
In 1998, I landed with two friends in Alba, Italy, drawn to check out the truffle festival. A brochure in the local travel office directed us to a newly opened accommodation in the nearby village of Barolo, a renovated farmhouse, or agriturismo. It was a novel stay for the area at the time, and… it was — still is — heaven. A taste of the lesser known Italy, proprietors who befriend their guests as much as they provide them a roof – an entryway into genuine connections with people and place.
The find came as a revelation of what travel could be. It was also a random and lucky find, the likes of which Untrodden promises to make more visible and easier to replicate. Their arrival on the scene truly excites. I can only hope to replenish my savings as fast as possible to book an adventure though them (or pray they need to hire a scout for properties they’d like to add to the platform!)
Dash to untrodden.com without delay, travel lovers, to request early access to some of the more inspired visits offered online.