“A female-founded, early-stage, bootstrapped passion project launching, thanks to a student and mentor team of 50”
British Columbia, Canada -- MiTravel was founded out of Annie Lo’s (Founder & CEO) frustration with group travel planning. A recent graduate from SFU Beedie School of Business, Lo was determined to use her resourcefulness and connections to turn a group travel planning board idea into reality.
Along the way, she recruited other students and recent grads - all talented individuals - to work on her vision of an all-in-one travel solution. She added two Co-Founders, Anne Duong and Rost Myshkin. In the face of multiple setbacks (including the COVID-19 pandemic), Annie and her team have officially launched their flagship product, the MiTravel Planning Board, on December 1, 2021!
Birth of MiTravel:
After experiencing group indecision and conflict, lost and messy documentation while travelling, Lo knew there had to be a better way to plan. This set her off to create MiTravel, a more collaborative tool that would help group travel planners (like herself) plan better!
Lacking experience in design and software development, Lo connected with a friend, a recent grad from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, looking for a short-term project to add to her portfolio. The two began user research and organized a first design sprint for MiTravel. Next, Annie discovered BCIT's Industry Sponsored Student Project (ISSP). She applied to be a participating community partner. MiTravel was accepted; Lo began working with a group of 2nd-3rd year computer science students.
The first iteration of MiTravel received a lot of constructive feedback regarding its user interface and experience. Lo understood that points of user dissatisfaction had to be resolved for MiTravel to successfully enter the market.
Lo sought out her now Co-Founder & Lead Designer, Anne Duong. Duong is an experienced UI/UX Designer student from SFU Interactive Arts & Technology. They worked together to evolve the designs and validate them in ongoing user testing. Next, Annie recruited another Co-founder, Rost Myshkin. As Lead Developer, Myshkin led yet another group of post-secondary students and recent graduates to develop MiTravel's functional features.
Support from Community:
As with other businesses in the travel industry during 2020-21, MiTravel was taken by surprise by the COVID-19 epidemic. Despite the heavy negative outlook and projections for the travel industry, Lo and the MiTravel team continued to push through with the development.
As an early stage, bootstrapped start-up, MiTravel didn’t have the necessary funding to hire. However, thanks to organizations such as the BCIT ISSP, Red Academy, Riipen Level Up, Venture for Canada, and more, MiTravel was able to successfully connect and bring on 40+ talented students and young professionals through short-term project engagements to support the overall product design, development, and marketing efforts.
In addition, thanks to programs such as League of Innovators, New Ventures BC, SFU’s Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection, and more, MiTravel was able to work with and received great guidance from 5+ supportive program mentors.
Special shout-out to Ali Hassan, Angela Lin, Anna Chi, Anne Duong, April Zhang, Beth Gallup, Bowen He, Chris Carvajal, Chris Stairs, Christopher Tang, Connor Zapisocki, Corrie Leung, Diego Redondo, Elly Wei, Glen Lee, Ian Nguyen, Ivonne Fedora, Jason Song, Jay Seo, Jenny Zou, Jisu Choi, Jonathan Bodnarchuk, Junior Arogie, Justin Lau, Li Yan Tong, Lola Ogundalu, Lynn Warburton, Matthew Glifonea, Matthew Yu, Michael Jacinto, Mina Keung, Phuong Ho, Prateek Diwedi, Rajanbir Singh, Richard Xi, Rohan Batra, Romanson La, Rosanna Chiu, Rost Myshkin, Saniya Islambekova, Selina Wang, Simon Lemay, Susan Nguyen, Sylvia Chan, Tausif Khan, Tina Tran, Yasir Azizi, Yvonne Geng, Yun-Ting Huang, and Zainab Siddiqui.
These 50 comprised a mix of students, young professionals and mentors. All of whom believed and shared MiTravel’s vision of reimagining group travel planning,
Launch of MiTravel:
After months of private beta testing with users, Lo and the rest of the MiTravel team have launched the MiTravel Planning Board, to the public on December 1, 2021. Developed to be an interactive solution, superior to spreadsheets and word documents, the MiTravel Planning Board provides a central space for group travellers to consolidate all their travel information. Thereby, allowing groups to plan and discuss their upcoming trip(s) more efficiently and intuitively.
The MiTravel Planning Board is released as a desktop/web application, which everyone can use for FREE and kickstart their post-pandemic trip planning.
Please note: MiTravel will be rolling out its Pay-Per-Trip and Subscription-based plans in 2022.
MiTravel reimagines group travel planning. We offer an efficient, intuitive, and collaborative way for travel enthusiasts and avid planners to organize group trips.
Ditch time-consuming back-and-forth communication across multiple channels. Say goodbye to spreadsheets. Step into the future of adventures abroad with the MiTravel Planning Board!
For more information about MiTravel - our story, target users, solutions and benefits, travel industry outlook - see the MiTravel Information Document.
For exclusive quotes or further media enquiries, reach out to Annie Lo directly via email at email@example.com or by phone at +1 (778) 384-8351.