Ideas are worthless, execution is everything. All you have to do is to follow your guts. That is the advice Koen Droste, founder and CEO of Polarsteps, gave to a group of young entrepreneur students at the HvA on October 21st. The first of the HvA’s Friday afternoon startup sessions took place during an official vacation week. Nonetheless, some enthusiastic students gathered in the Wibauthuis to listen to the story of this Amsterdam startup.
You come home from an amazing trip. You’ve crossed the ocean, walked for miles, and you’ve seen places you only dreamed about. You are not sure how far you’ve walked on that challenging hot day in the desert, but it surely was a lot. You want to remember this trip forever! That is the type of experience around which Polarsteps was created.
Tracking your travel with Polarsteps
Polarsteps is a tracking App for travelers. It automatically tracks the routes the traveler has taken, and the places he visited. The tracking happens offline, but while online, users can share stories and pictures of the journey. Those can be shared with friends and family, or even with the entire world. Polarsteps was launched in March 2015 and has gained over 50.000 users since.
Growing before earning
“At this stage we don’t make money yet”, Droste explains. “First we need to improve the App and make sure that it satisfies the users. We want our users to stay with us and spread the word. The most important thing now is that we can show growth”. Polarsteps has already received investments from Silver Point Ventures, the TMG Startups incubator and an angel-investor. They plan to raise more funds early 2017.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a tangible photo album of your tracked trip? A question that has been asked many times by Polarsteps’ users. Good news, Polarsteps is now working on a feature in which users can purchase a photo album of their trip. The subsequent step will then be that users can plan their trip ahead. The App will show the local weather forecasts, news about the region, and the possibility to book accommodations. Polarsteps is thinking about possibly working together with other travel-companies such as booking.com.
Polarsteps’ image of an adventurous lifestyle is not limited to the features of the App. It is also reflected in the company’s ideas about entrepreneurship: “Don’t just sit there with your ideas, get up and make them happen”, is Droste’s message to the students. Moreover, he urges them not to be guided by fear: “For an entrepreneur, it is perfectly fine to fail – if only you learn from it. If you don’t succeed, at least you tried, and that is already something to be really proud of”.
Images by Polarsteps