Flightsuit is an online business travel management solution and one of the 8 startups selected for the River City Labs Accelerator Program, a six-month intensive program that aims to turn startups into scaleups.
The company was founded by solo-entrepreneur Scott Hutchens who was previously both the founding CTO of Ladbrokes Australia and CTO of Flight Centre’s Australian corporate travel business.
Startup Soda had the opportunity to sit down with Scott to learn more about his startup and the persistent problems he sees in the business travel sector. As Scott went on to explain, “Flightsuit’s mission is to take the work out of work travel. I’ve seen first-hand that the technology needs of business traveller’s are simply not being met. This means that they fall back into slower, more traditional forms of communication with third party travel agents or using individual websites to book each element of their trip.”
It was this realisation that led Scott to build Flightsuit, a platform that helps busy business travellers book and manage upcoming trips with ease, while also helping their employers understand and optimise spend.
He says, “Flightsuit delivers a streamlined interface where it’s easy to manage your own work-related flights and accommodation.”
He is confident that “despite other booking solutions existing on the market, no other business understands the pain points experienced by business travellers as intimately as Flightsuit. We are passionate about making booking work travel as simple possible – while seamlessly ensuring that each business’s unique travel policy is adhered to.’
This week Flightsuit launched Ditto, a service that allows users to quickly duplicate previously booked trips with new dates, avoiding the time-consuming booking process.
The idea to launch a small side project while their core offering was still in development was conceived during regular ‘deep-dive’ sessions with RCLA mentors. Scott says participation in the accelerator program helps founders avoid blind spots; “I’m not sure we would have thought to pursue an opportunity like Ditto without the mentors pushing us to look at our business from different angles”.
This is just one of the benefits Scott has witnessed during his time at River City Labs. Much like the founder of Monarc Global, a fellow River City Labs Startup, the benefit of the community and sense of being in a cohort of startups all facing the same challenges has also been valuable to Scott. He says ‘The value of being surrounded by like-minded Founders at a similar stage of business development is being able to draw on external perspectives when times get tough. We band together and use the collective knowledge of the group to ensure we all learn from each other’s experiences.’
This plays into the biggest takeaway that Scott has witnessed from his time at River City Labs. As Scott explained “Every Founder’s journey is unique but there are so many common challenges that we all face. There is huge value in learning from those around you, and those who have forged the path ahead.
Looking to the future, the next three to six months is going to be fairly intense for Scott and his team. The next big milestone for Flightsuit is to launch their keenly anticipated pilot program “We’ve got a solid base of customers who we are working with to shape our product before a wider release later this year. With just a few places left to fill in our pilot program, we are excited to take Flightsuit to investors later this year.”
Following this, the US and UK are on the horizon with Scott being of the opinion that “there is a real opportunity here to have a truly global business travel platform. We understand the need to build a platform with a ‘global first’ approach. Our approach is different in that Flightsuit is looking to stay as close as possible to global standards and avoid the regional nuances that have tripped up those before us”.
To learn more about Flightsuit as they gear up for their launch you can visit their website at www.flightsuit.com.au