Founder& CEO of Authentic Days, Marcelo Resmini
Get Started Alumnus ‘16
Our Get Started programme has helped over 250 first-time entrepreneurs move from idea to actual business in 10 weeks. This post is part of an ongoing series where we profile the many different kinds of entrepreneurs that have been part of the programme.
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In 2012, Marcello quit his job as a Project Manager at Shell, where he has worked for thirteen years. But being withhold in the corporate world to follow up on his own ideas, he decided to change his life. In 2013, he moved to the Netherlands together with his wife Marcela and later to become business partner of Authentic Days. Then he heard about the Get Started Programme and decided to take matters into his own hands: he started his own business, a community that provides the ultimate travel experience and connecting travellers with locals.
About Authentic Days
The aim of Authentic Days is to create an experience based global community for travellers and locals. From biking in the park to tasting specially prepared local dishes, the objective is that members help each other out, network and have a great time together. Our concept is different from that of other travel companies in the sense that we match profiles: people with the same interests and ideas. Most travel platforms are just pulling people together. But it is not just about the meeting. It is about adding value to your travel.
“Through Authentic Days, I had the chance to meet Katya, an awesome Russian girl, who’s currently living in the Netherlands and her boyfriend Lucas, a Brazilian guy from Minas Gerais whose mother makes some awesome candies”
Read about an actual experience of Gabriele, one of the Authentic Days locals in São Paulo HERE!
Why the community works
For the travellers it is a great opportunity to truly explore the destination, to get to know the local culture, mix with locals, meet new friends and just to see beyond the main touristic attractions. For the local people it is a great opportunity as well. They can connect with like-minded people, learn from other cultures and explore their own cities through the ‘fresh’ eyes of tourists. For the destination, it is also an opportunity to boost areas beyond main attractions. Our experiences treat the environment and society with respect and responsibility, and travellers can also join locals on volunteer causes.
Towards a circular economy
Our idea is to develop the lesser known areas. Most of the tourists just go to the main attractions and stay in the most popular neighbourhoods. With our concept, locals can help other neighbourhoods to boost local businesses.
The first steps
We have held a pilot study in Brazil, Rio, in which travellers could enjoy free experiences in return of honest feedback. We have received great enthusiasm as well as constructive comments from travellers and locals, which has helped us to further define the concept. We are now finalizing our proof of concept and developing the platform itself. The early adopters are mostly people who want to truly explore their destination. At the moment, we have our definition and concept, but it is important to further research the customer segmentation.
Joining the ECE community
After I moved to the Netherlands, I heard great reviews about the Get Started Programme, especially about the hands-on tutoring from the coaches. The Get Started programme was the right programme for us: we knew what we wanted back then, but didn’t know how to get there.
“The Get Started programme was the right programme for us: we knew what we wanted, but didn’t know how to get there yet”
During the programme it was great to see what others were doing and to hear about the lessons they had learned. For me, the greatest take-away was to work a lot on developing the idea. To test the business model, before spending a lot of money on it. I know that we could have had a platform already, but it would have required a lot more effort and money. Now, I feel that we are fully prepared to launch our platform that we have modelled for the last couple of months.
Future & Growth
In 1 year we want to be active in at least 7 countries. Mostly South-American to begin with. In 5 years, we want to be in the top 5 of the companies in the Travel industry! The travel industry is huge, because it is not consolidated. If you are looking for accommodation, you can think about booking.com or travel agencies, but if you think about local experiences I don’t see any dominant players.
“I’m not afraid of Airbnb”
I know for a fact that Airbnb is offering some experiences. But I’m not afraid of them. I trust our community and our winning value proposition. We understand our customers very well. We know what they want and motivate them to connect with others. Besides that, the travel industry represents 10% of the global GDP and there is enough room for us. Our community wants to network and explore life to the fullest.
A final piece of advice for future entrepreneurs
It’s nice to have a business partner who complements you. I often would like to go faster, but Marcela keeps me on track. I think it is important for others to be resilient. To be determined to be the best and not to give up. I have to admit, it’s hard being by yourself and trying to implement something new. But you just have to trust your instincts and be committed to your business idea.
The Authentic Days platform will be up and running soon! Check out the current website to get a first glimpse of the travel community!
Authentic Days is looking for hands-on people to help the platform to excel. Are you in the field of IT, Engineering, Marketing, or whatever you think can contribute to this awesome travel community? Then do not hesitate and send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. The position is for the office in The Netherlands, but who knows there will be a chance that you will take a trip to the United States…
Are you ready to Get Started? Launch your own startup in our next group! Applications for the Class of July 2017 close on April 16th! www.getstarted.nl