Standing on a glacier in Iceland having a creative epiphany, Matt Wilson knew that thousands of other young people needed to get the experience he just had. As the Co-founder of Under30Media his team knew it was time to give other’s the opportunity to travel and make impact. Matt went on to spend seven months abroad scouting locations and exploring the world.
Under30Experiences is a travel company for young professionals. Spun off of the popular media site for entrepreneurs Under30CEO.com, Under30Experiences brings ambitious young people on life-changing international trips to spark their creativity, get attendees out of their comfort zone, and be the launching pad for their next big idea.
MO: Can you expand on how you’ve leveraged the success of your popular media site for entrepreneurs Under30CEO.com to launch Under30Experiences?
Matt: Under30CEO gave us the perfect platform and test market for our trips for ambitious young professionals. After realizing that Under30Experiences had the potential to be far bigger than any events series at Under30CEO, we decided to spin it off as it’s own travel company. Now, Under30Experiences is a client of Under30CEO and markets to the half a million ambitious young people that visit Under30CEO.com each month.
MO: Can you talk a bit about the development process of testing different models until finally nailing the perfect format for the trip in Nicaragua?
Matt: Under30Experiences are designed to be creative experiences where we bring awesome young people to amazing parts of the world. During the day, attendees have an option to surf, hike volcanos, do yoga, or visit villages and see microfinance projects, but if a group wants to relax in a hammock and brainstorm business ideas that’s cool too. In the past, we’ve run investor insight trips, done a green business tour, and tried to see a whole country at once. What we realized is that our attendees just want to be free to relax, connect, and explore, rather than have a set agenda. That’s when the real magic happens.
MO: What are some ways that you challenge clients to step out of their comfort zone? What kind of feedback have you been receiving after they get back home and are able to process their experiences?
Matt: Ever jump off a waterfall in Iceland, surf in Nicaragua, or hike a volcano in Costa Rica? These type of adventures get the group to open up to their fears very quickly and become very close with the people they experience these things with. The real fun begins back at the resort, where we hang out, and have organic conversations that end up perpetuating our next big moves. Five people on our last Under30Experience told us that this trip changed their life.
MO: Why do you think that it’s so important for young professionals to have exposure to the greater world? What kind of advantages can these experiences provide and how do you think that it can influence the way that they lead and innovate?
Matt: As we like to say, in order to take over the world, you have to understand it. Traveling breaks you out of your daily routine, and gets you to see the world differently. We think that your biggest breakthroughs, and greatest moments come when you are outside of that comfort zone, learning about yourself and the world around you. Leaders need inspiration, and we put them in that environment where they will be inspired.
MO: What advice would you give to an entrepreneur who is keen to travel but feels overwhelmed by the options available? What are some ways that they can try to guarantee having a deeper experience than the traditional tourist?
Matt: Sure you can pack your bags, go to a random country, and have a heck of a time, but Under30Experiences curates boutique experiences that you couldn’t have if you just showed up as a tourist. I spent seven months traveling the world in search of the perfect locations, setting up unique experiences for our groups, briefings at the US Embassy, establishing relationships with micro-loan recipients to host us in their homes, and working with organizations to teach English and play soccer with school kids. Even the surf instructors, chefs, and local guides, have all been hand selected. I have a pretty fun job.
MO: What are some trends in the travel industry that you’re excited about or think that our readers should be paying attention to?
Matt: People don’t just want to buy something anymore, they want to have an experience. In the travel industry, we think that people don’t just want to have experiences, they want to do it with like minded people. With today’s ability to stay in touch with friends across the world, building a community of passionate customers has never been easier.
MO: Congratulations on your upcoming launch of your new season! What are some ways that you’ve been preparing and creating a buzz for your winter experiences?
Matt: This month we’re giving away a free trip to Costa Rica through Under30Experiences at http://giveaway.under30experiences.com and tickets go on sale June 13th. We’re pumped to get back to Central America and continue building something special.
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