111 episodes

The weekly How I Got Here podcast talks to those behind the success stories in travel and transportation, hosted by PhocusWire's Kevin May and David Litwak at Mozio.

How I Got Here - Inside stories behind innovation and startups in travel Kevin May / David Litwak

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 14 Ratings

The weekly How I Got Here podcast talks to those behind the success stories in travel and transportation, hosted by PhocusWire's Kevin May and David Litwak at Mozio.

    70. Jeremy Gall of FlipKey

    70. Jeremy Gall of FlipKey

    There are not many startups that manage to sign a partnership agreement with a big brand before they even launch.
    And there are perhaps even fewer new businesses that get details written into the same deal that include how an exit via an acquisition might look.
    But that's what happened to Boston, U.S.-based FlipKey, when it secured a partnership with Tripadvisor to help get the vacation rental marketplace off the ground in 2007.
    This wasn't because it was the wild west of private accommodation at the time (although for many other reasons, this was the state of the rental nation during that period), but because the then-senior vice president of corporate development at Expedia Group, Mark Okerstrom, structured the agreement and understood what might emerge.
    Jeremy Gall, a former lawyer, was one of the co-founders of FlipKey and knows how important that first signing was for the company.
    Tripadvisor eventually separated from Expedia Group (Okerstrom went on to become CEO from 2017 to 2019) and made good on the terms of the deal to buy FlipKey in 2012.
    Gall, like his fellow co-founders, stayed on for around a year after the deal and has since launched and heads another startup in the shape of rental tech and services platform Breezeway.
    He joins us as the latest guest on How I Got Here.
    HIGH is a weekly show produced by PhocusWire and Mozio, aimed at getting the inside stories behind startups and innovation in travel and transportation.
    It's hosted by PhocusWire's editor in chief, Kevin May, and Mozio co-founder and CEO David Litwak.

    • 39 min
    69. Dean Donovan of DiamondStream Partners

    69. Dean Donovan of DiamondStream Partners

    Dean Donovan has one foot in the past and, without doubt, one foot in the future.
    After a five-year career at the Bain consultancy, Donovan and his business partner (Brian Flynn) played central roles in 2004 to the creation and backing of Volaris, Mexico's first low-cost carrier.
    DiamondStream Partners, the investment house that they created the year before, has since go on to become an important player in the development of companies and technology in the mobility sector.
    Transforming "rough diamonds into fully cut gems" is not an easy task, especially when it comes to the aviation business, with high costs attached to the creation of next-generation technology that will lower costs of operations and do so in a more sustainable way.
    Investments have included those in electric propulsion systems, autonomous aircraft, software platforms and global distribution services for private air carriers.
    Dean joins us as the latest guest on How I Got Here.
    HIGH is a weekly show produced by PhocusWire and Mozio, aimed at getting the inside stories behind startups and innovation in travel and transportation.
    It's hosted by PhocusWire's editor in chief, Kevin May, and Mozio co-founder and CEO David Litwak.

    • 47 min
    68. Brett Tollman of The Travel Corporation

    68. Brett Tollman of The Travel Corporation

    Stepping into the hot seat of a family-run business that has been operating since the 1920s must be a fairly daunting task.
    That's what Brett Tollman in 2000 when he became CEO of The Travel Corporation - one of the oldest groups of companies in the travel industry.
    The business remains privately-owned and now operates in over 70 countries, with over 40 offices and more than 10,000 employees.
    The Travel Corporation operates 29 brands including specialists in guided holidays, luxury river-cruising, youth travel and sightseeing specialists, as well as the luxury boutique chain, Red Carnation Hotel Collection.
    Tollman is also vice-chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council and creator and director of The Treadright Foundation, a non-profit organization that looks to bring about sustainable initiatives in the industry.
    He joins us as the latest guest on How I Got Here.
    HIGH is a weekly show produced by PhocusWire and Mozio, aimed at getting the inside stories behind startups and innovation in travel and transportation.
    It's hosted by PhocusWire's editor in chief, Kevin May, and Mozio co-founder and CEO David Litwak.

    • 38 min
    67. Richard Valtr of Mews

    67. Richard Valtr of Mews

    The unconventional stories of a company's founding are often the most interesting - rather than the fairly formulaic idea-when-traveling-Y-Combinator-seed-investment-route.
    After studies overseas, Richard Valtr was back in his home country of the Czech Republic and helping with a family project to renovate and build a hotel, when the concept of Mews was formed.
    Now powering 2,000 hospitality brands around the world, Mews is a platform to automate and simplify operations for hotels and their guests.
    Payments, front- and back-office functions, guest apps and business intel - Mews has come a long since its foundation in 2012.
    Valtr and team have not trodden the typical path favored by other startups in travel, tourism and hospitality, having not taken on any external funding until 2016 or built out a sales team until solid revenue was coming in the front door.
    Valtr joins us as the latest guest on How I Got Here.
    HIGH is a weekly show produced by PhocusWire and Mozio, aimed at getting the inside stories behind startups and innovation in travel and transportation.
    It's hosted by PhocusWire's editor in chief, Kevin May, and Mozio co-founder and CEO David Litwak.

    • 50 min
    66. David Armstrong and Sebastian Kaatz of HolidayPirates

    66. David Armstrong and Sebastian Kaatz of HolidayPirates

    HolidayPirates was born in 2012 - essentially as a travel hack for people to find cheap air tickets.
    This came about after co-founder Sebastian Kaatz (now the companys vice president of special products and projects) got increasingly frustrated about the lack of information online for travelers to get secure decent fares.
    The content site, based in Germany, quickly morphed into a listings service for discounted air tickets and the company has been growing ever since.
    With a need to add some business muscle to the business, David Armstrong was brought in to the company in 2014 as its chief operating officer and eventually becoming CEO in July 2016.
    HolidayPirates has taken a unique (in some respects) approach to customer ascquisition, having never bought traffic from Google and relying on some smart social media activity.
    They join us as the latest guests on How I Got Here.
    HIGH is a weekly show produced by PhocusWire and Mozio, aimed at getting the inside stories behind startups and innovation in travel and transportation.
    It's hosted by PhocusWire's editor in chief Kevin May and Mozio co-founder and CEO David Litwak.

    • 50 min
    65. Alex Cruz of British Airways

    65. Alex Cruz of British Airways

    Alex Cruz admits that his career has been centered around people "betting on me" as a leader of businesses.
    During the course of over 30 years, Cruz worked for American Airlines and Sabre in the 1990s before a brief stint in the world of management consultancy at Accenture.
    But it was the lure of creating a brand new airline in the guise of low-cost carrier Clickair in 2006 that brought it back to aviation.
    It was this frenetic period running what was essentially a startup that raised his profile to the extent that he came CEO of fellow Spanish airline Vueling when the pair merged in July 2009.
    By April 2016 he was chairman and CEO of British Airways, the flagship brand in the International Airlines Group portfolio that included Vueling and Iberia.
    The next five or so years were marked with the introduction of some major strategic developments but also industrial disputes with staff unions and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.
    Cruz left his role as CEO and chairman in October last and remained as chairman of the board until March 2021.
    He joins us as the latest guest on How I Got Here.
    HIGH is a weekly show produced by PhocusWire and Mozio, aimed at getting the inside stories behind startups and innovation in travel and transportation.

    It's hosted by our editor in chief, Kevin May, and Mozio co-founder and CEO David Litwak.

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Litwak ,

Super Informative!

Great interviews with smart people about specific topics!

mati1891 ,

Great podcast

Recommended for anyone interested in the travel industry

K. Alexander ,

Great resource for travel entrepreneurs!

This is a great podcast for anyone working in the travel industry (or anyone in general). Learned some great insights for TripScout.

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