MIT Sloan student aims to make group travel planning efficient and seamless
Published: August 14, 2012
Stephanie Lampkin, MBA ’13
Hoowenware startup founder Stephanie Lampkin, MBA ’13, is changing how large groups of people will make group travel plans.
Founded in the spring, Hoowenware is an innovative website that enables friends, families, and colleagues to efficiently plan a group trip by integrating existing online tools to complete numerous travel tasks such as booking flights, renting cars, and updating itineraries. On the site, visitors will be able to connect on social media and view travel maps.
“Right now there are not a lot of tools for do-it-yourself group travel,” said Lampkin, an intern at Tripadvisor in Newton, Mass. “We still rely on travel agencies or one or two people to bare this huge burden of getting information for the group.”
She hit on the innovative and entrepreneurial idea long before attending MIT Sloan, attributing her own travel frustrations with organizing trips for her ski club.
“I have planned and participated in a lot of group trips, so I was always in the position of having to book things, setting up itineraries, and waiting for people to pay me back and just going through all of the headaches,” said Lampkin.
Lampkin said MIT Sloan is the best place to translate her business plan into reality. Today, she is working on a prototype for the website at MIT’s Beehive Cooperative startup accelerator and is hoping to secure a first round of angel funding by the end of the summer.
“At MIT there are professors who provide angel funding for students who they see with potential,” said Lampkin, who is enrolled in the MBA program’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Track. “I think I would like to limit my resources to people who know me well. It is better to have investors who trust you, understand how you work, and know what you can achieve.”
Sponsored by the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, the Beehive is MIT’s newest and largest startup accelerator accommodating more than 40 startups and 100 team members. The 5,000 square foot facility is housed in MIT building E52, allowing plenty of room for startups like Hoowenware to strategize and plan ahead.