Although all of the businesses presented at 48Hour Launch were amazing, TripRaiser was one business that hit close to home for me. After making the decision to take a mission trip to Haiti, there was one key dilemma: raising money. Even though I was doing an honorable thing, there was still the awkwardness of asking people for money. Well, the founders of TripRaiser have  created an awesome alternative solution for raising money, specifically for people taking trips.

The inspiration for TripRaiser came one Christmas when co-founder Lauren Honeycutt was thinking about the perfect gift for her in-laws. “They love New York and they keep a ‘trip fund’ drawer in their kitchen. I thought it would be fun to give them some money toward their fund. However, the more I thought about it, the more awkward it seemed to just hand my in-laws some money,” Lauren states. She searched the internet for the perfect solution but came up emptyhanded. They say that if you don’t see it, then create it. That is exactly what Lauren decided to do and TripRaiser was born.

So how does TripRaiser work? It’s easy. There are a few key features: crowd-funding trips, blogging past and current trips, and social networking with other travelers.

  • Crowd-funding trips: “The site gives travelers the tools to create a trip funding campaign,” Lauren explains. “Your trip profile includes your trip pitch (text, video, or image), why you are going, and how much money you need to get there.” Since it is always good to say “thank you,” there is an option available to send your thanks to donors and even offer rewards for donating a certain amount of money.
  • Blogging past and current trips: Not only are travelers provided with a way to accept donations, they also have a specialized blog to keep donors updated on their experience. “We believe the blog feature allows travelers to show donors the ‘value’ of the money they donated,” Lauren says. However, users do not have to seek funding to be able to blog about previous and current trips.
  • Social Networking with other travelers: Similar to Twitter, the site will feature a “Follower/Following” feature so that travelers can interact, give and receive advice, and learn from one another. “The wealth of information that our site will harbor will be fully accessible to your social network.”

When I asked Lauren what her expectations were going into 48Hour Launch, she admitted that they had no idea what they were getting into or what to expect. However, the launch provided them with much needed resources. They received extremely helpful advice from Chambliss, Bahner, and Stophel and were able to bounce ideas off the Delegator team as they were writing a lot of content for the site. Lauren found that “pitching TripRaiser was great practice as well.”

Since 48Hour Launch, TripRaiser has launched their private beta site and the public beta will open up by the end of June. They are still rolling out new features as they receive feedback from travelers. To find out more about being a beta tester for TripRaiser, email hello@tripraiser.com.