#WomenFounders: In Conversation With Alexandra Fernández Ramos

Alexandra Fernández Ramos, Travelsify‘s Chief Product and Sales Officer, a travel technology startup offering the world’s first Hotel DNA content platform (read more: Travelsify Raises €2 Million), delivered a great speech during the first edition of the Women Founders conference and is sharing a few more pieces of advice in this interview.
What is your startup/organisation about?

Hotels are about experiences, not products anymore. And every hotel delivers a unique experience. Today, online booking platforms and hotel groups still rely on old-fashioned amenities to describe hotels: free WiFi, parking, room service, etc. while travellers are sharing experiences, writing reviews talking about “cosy atmospheres”, “shabby-chic decoration” or “spectacular views”. If travelers are talking about these concepts, it is because it matters to them.

That is why we have created the Travelsify Hotel DNA reflecting the true experiences of travelers, for every hotel in the world (300,000 hotels covered to date.)

By analyzing over 100 million natural language hotel reviews, we extracted more than 34 key Hotel DNA attributes that matter to travelers when booking hotels: cosy, spacious, stylish, bright, gourmet, views, vintage, classic, zen, nightlife, luxury, design, etc.
Travelsify provides booking platforms and hotel groups with unprecedented insights on hotel experiences so that travelers can reliably search and compare hotels worldwide to find the experience they want.

What is your day-to-day?

I have a 3-in-one role: as a co-Founder + Chief of Product + Sales Officer, so I have a great variety of interesting issues to tackle every day. Every day is different which is a great motivation to me. I structure my work on weekly objectives to keep a good pace of achievements. “Work hard and stay humble” is one of my key mottos. Because we must question ourselves every day in order to create value and innovate.

“Timing is utmost important. You can have an amazing idea but be way too early and have to fight too hard and long to attract partners, investors or even employees.”

What does it take to be a women entrepreneur?

Building a startup is a highly challenging way of living. The road to transform an idea into a company and eventually into a success is one of the hardest things from a professional and personal standpoint, and this is true whether you are a man or a woman.

There is no single entrepreneurial personality – as we have seen during the event, so there is no entrepreneurial gender.

What are your pieces of advice to women/girls who would like to turn their idea into a business?

Although it all starts with an idea, a great idea is not enough.

Timing is utmost important. You can have an amazing idea but be way too early and have to fight too hard and long to attract partners, investors or even employees. If you are too late i.e. if other companies already invested in a similar idea, where is the innovation?

Surrounding yourself with the right people is essential as well. Firstly, I have 2 amazingly skilled and inspiring co-founders. We challenge and complement each other really well. Then, we were lucky to have attracted investors that truly understood our project and share our vision. Finally, we have a team of 15 highly-skilled and motivated people. Together we achieve more.

Back up your theories and ideas with facts, numbers and concrete reports on the industry you want in, the market you want to target, the competition etc. Because you will be challenged, questioned and also because no one will invest in empty beliefs. Keep listening, even when you are hearing negative feedback. This will help you grow.

Brand yourself and your idea. You will be giving pitches non-stop throughout the 2 first years. Iterate quickly to improve yourself. And don’t be shy. Take risks! This is all about taking risks.

3 words to describe your journey so far?

Passion, Ambition, Team.

(Image Credit: Marion Dessard)
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