REDI Innovation Hub's newest client, Kolu, is launching its beta model on July 25 in Columbia. Kolu is a new travel application for web and mobile devices that will provide part-time work for locals who are interested in showcasing the city to travelers.
Kolu helps travelers match with local guides based on shared interests, budget, and availability. In effect, the app provides travelers with a truly customizable experience when immersing themselves into all that a new destination has to offer. Kolu's web and mobile technology allow for human interaction and global mobility that will position Kolu as the digital destination for all things travel related.
For the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, which also happens to be the first day of classes for the fall semester at the University of Missouri, Columbia is lucky to be one of the prime viewing locations where the sun will be completely obscured by the moon. The eclipse will draw more tourists to the area than ever before. Kolu has positioned its beta launch just prior to the solar eclipse to accommodate the influx of tourists to the area.
“We really see this as the best opportunity to test a service that people around the world have been asking us for and anticipating the launch of, for over a year now,” said Kolu Founder and CEO Alex Winkler. “We’re excited to begin offering high-value experiences to travelers who are coming to Columbia for this historic event.”
To date, Kolu has received interest from over 250 people in 18 different countries, who want to become local guides in their respective cities. The interest has come in the form of signing up on the company’s static website (koluapp.com).
Currently, the company is in its initial stages as a startup, raising funds, seeking capital, and onboarding guides who will work for the company as independent contractors. Kolu’s business model is similar to that used by companies like Uber and Airbnb. Kolu is currently available for download in the App Store and Google Play.