#OttawaInc – Postcard

By: Invest Ottawa | Jan 14, 2016

Number of Employees: 4

Year Established: 2013

What They Do: Postcard helps people discover, customize and book awesome trips

Whether you’re looking for the next book to read, where to grab a bite, what gym to hit up, or even travel destination, who do you ask first? Before the Internet, you probably started off by asking your circle of friends, family, coworkers, people you trust. Now with the power of the web, people are able to access an even larger network of bookworms, foodies, gym-rats, and especially travel-bugs.  But how do you get all that insight from the thousands of experts without spending hours online?  That’s what puts Postcard on the map.

Postcard (previously known as Travelabulous) is combining the experiences from people overflowing with wanderlust to make trip planning simple. With over 600 travel guides in almost 300 unique locations, Postcard is growing fast!

We sat down with Co-Founder Masha Krol about what they do and the Ottawa ecosystem:

Say I don’t work in technology – explain to me what you do? The problem you solve?

Masha & Kirk

Co-Founders of Postcard, Masha Krol and Kirk Munroe

If you’ve ever dreamt of taking a trip, but didn’t know where to start, then we’re building Postcard for you. People tell us they feel overwhelmed, intimidated, and even stressed by all the travel choices out there. We’ve heard crazy stories about people trying to avoid travel planning – some get so fed up with the research that they give up and put that vacation budget towards a new couch, which is just heart breaking! Or, they (gasp!) resort to buying a mass-produced pre-packaged vacation instead!
We want to live in a world where pre-packaged tours are not even a thing. And that’s where Postcard comes in – by letting people easily discover, customize and book awesome trips, we aim to make sure that every traveller takes their dream trip, every time. 

What was the light bulb moment that sparked the idea?

My co-founder Kirk and I are both experiential travellers, so we’ve faced this problem ourselves numerous times. And actually, that’s exactly how we got started: I was on an extremely logistically
difficult vacation through Spain, having spent months beforehand planning out our stops (all 7 The Postcard websiteof 
them!), places to stay and visit, and ways to get around in-between. Kirk had just come back from an anniversary trip he took with his wife, which had started out as a European tour of Paris, Venice, and Barcelona – and actually ended up in Hawaii instead, because the former was just too much work to plan! 

We were working together at another company at the time, and once we were both back, it was clear: we had to solve this problem. So we dove into Postcard full-time, and here we are!

How did you discover Invest Ottawa’s services?

We heard the talk about town, but got our first real taste during Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2013.

How has working with them helped your business?

Startup resources are always tight, so it feels great to know there is a behind-the-scenes team to which I can reach out when I need help. Ryan Gibson has been fantastic for bouncing press ideas!

What words would you use to describe the Ottawa Ecosystem?

“And though she be but little, she is fierce.” – William Shakespeare

Which resources in Ottawa have helped you grow and scale your business?

Let’s face it – Ottawa resources are rather limited compared to bigger hubs, like Toronto, and San Francisco. But there is nothing like a good old Ottawa connection to set us apart on those bigger stages, and we Ottawans are global citizens, so if you ever need an intro to someone I know, don’t hesitate to hit me up on LinkedIn! This has helped us out immensely, time and time again.

Which Ottawa companies excite you (Besides Shopify)?

Lots! PageCloud is already changing the way people think about design on the web. ChangeJar is single-handedly going to convert me from a pain-of-paying-with-cash-avoider to a delighted “cash-user”, helping out merchants along the way. There seems to be a bit of critical mass forming around FitTech in Ottawa – GymTrack, of course, and the Fitchek guys (hat tip!) are doing cool stuff in the fitness industry, looking forward to seeing that grow!


 

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