The original text was published at Åbo Akademi’s blog and is targeted for students interested in startups and entrepreneurship.
No one wants to be a tourist anymore. People are nowadays looking to live like locals, experiencing the culture through the eyes of a local. We are in search of deeper cultural learning and always looking for ways to travel in more sustainable way. The trend is moving to a direction where travellers are no longer tourists but temporary locals.
Doerz started when I decided to drop my corporate job and take a leap to the startup world. The idea came from my personal life experiences. When travelling, I always go the extra mile to hang out with the locals to do authentic local things together with them. For me, that is the best way to feel what the city is all about. But it is always a bit too random if I actually find the true locals from a city, that is where a little help is needed. Hence, I wanted to provide a community where local people offer things to do for travellers and locals as well. The providers – Doerz as we call them – are not tourism professionals, just passionate about what they do and willing to share their hobbies and cities with others. This is what the sharing economy and platform economy brings to the table. I just love this trend.
We have been around since 2016, first it was just me and the idea, nowadays we are a core team of three and we have around 10 ambassadors altogether in European cities. First we started testing in Finland, finding our first experience providers here to offer tourists some real-life experiences. Earlier, people were often asking if it’s legal to offer sharing economy experiences to tourists. Today, with Airbnb and others starting to move to this direction too, it is easier, we don’t have to spend time educating the market anymore. Now we are scaling Doerz in Europe and most likely moving to Asia after Europe.
My entrepreneurial motivation comes from three things: 1) ability to create something from the scratch, 2) freedom from excessive bureaucracy and 3) willingness to serve the people. There is fourth one too, way more superficial, and it is making money. But as a main driver the latter is not very good since we all know the odds of a startup actually making it big. smiley.
For the ones with less patience of waiting for months or years to be able to do something in the corporate world, being an entrepreneur might be a good option. But it is far from secure, it helps a lot if you have ability to deal with higher levels of uncertainty. Freedom is always present, but it also has its flip side: often it is up to you and no one else to have things happening.
We are constantly looking for new experience providers in all our cities. Almost all our experience providers have some other profession and quite many of them are university students. Some do this for the money they are receiving. But many do it for being able to meet the interesting people and share the love towards their city, hobby or their passion. Experiences are being listed in five categories: traditions, food, urban culture, outdoors and active.
As a student, you’d be perfect for sharing experiences for the travellers. Student life is full of interesting things that “outsiders” don’t have a clue of. Back in the days we had a student offering a Finnish cultural experience of cooking pea soup and pancakes in a student village studio apartment. That was just awesome! Now she’s graduated and left the city, maybe one of you could do that (or similar), I bet the Asians would go crazy over an experience like that!
Founder of Doerz
Doerz is a Turku based travel technology startup building the bridge between travellers and locals. More information of providing the experiences you’ll find from https://www.doerz.com/becomedoer. When scaling our service to new cities, we look for Doerz Ambassadors, more of that here: https://www.doerz.com/ambassadors.