Frederieke was used to coming up with fresh ideas. As former Senior Innovation Manager at KPN, she was on a trip over a decade ago when she came up with an idea that she thought would greatly enhance the way we travel.
Working in the corporate world gave Frederieke the chance to travel extensively - a great perk for such a keen explorer. “Every time I was planning my trip, I wondered why is wasn’t possible to plot your own route and add to it while you’re travelling, and then later on share it with other people”. Taking matters into her own hands, Frederieke founded Favoroute.
I was in a management position, and everyone was like ‘huh, what are you doing?'
Making the switch
The trend of moving from the corporate to startup world is becoming more and more common, but that doesn’t mean that everyone understands the decision. When Frederieke left her corporate job, her colleagues didn’t fully get her rationale. “I was in a management position, and everyone was like ‘huh, what are you doing?’”, she explains. She left the company telling her co-workers “I’m going to do something with routes’, so they thought it was a hobby. Of course, it’s a little bit of a hobby as well, because it’s something I really like doing. But that’s a good thing - when work and life mix so you’re doing things you really like”.
The idea came about thanks to her life philosophy that “we all know something, and together we know everything”. Frederieke explains that this is particularly true when you’re travelling: “sometimes you need information from someone, and when you add this to what you know, you can make your own personalized route - your favoroute”. With most new business ideas, the final product is rarely what you had set out to create, and Favoroute was no different.
I want people to really use it for themselves, not only for reading guidebooks for others.
The initial idea of sharing your routes from your travels gave way to Favoroute as it currently stands - an online platform for guidebooks with a difference. The guidebooks are designed to provide the user with a personalised experience, based on your preferences. Looking for an eco-friendly tour of Berlin, or insider tips on visiting Costa Rica with kids? Favoroute has you covered. Their guides are written by a mix of travel journalists and bloggers, but they prefer sourcing locals, who after all have the best tips.
Mountains to climb
Frederieke is open about the fact that her entrepreneurial journey hasn’t all been plain sailing. Her biggest challenges? “Deciding what our focus is, and of course how are we going to make money?”, she laughs. She explains that when she started her company, she wanted to try everything - “but travel is so broad, and choosing a niche to focus on is quite hard”. Frederieke points out that when you’re starting a business yourself for the first time, even something as simple as learning how to simply make choices can be a learning curve.
The next stage of the journey
Now that her platform features over 100 guides, Frederieke’s next move is to substantially increase visibility. Right now, Favoroute focuses on content from external writers, and also forges partnerships as part of its business model. In the future, Frederieke wants the platform to become “a self-evolving thing”, which grows thanks to the involvement of people using the platform who will contribute their own routes. Frederieke is looking forward to moving into the next phase of Favoroute: “I want people to really use it for themselves, not only for reading guidebooks for others”, but also making their own, she explains. “And of course, I really want to make my own! Because after all, that’s why I started Favoroute”.
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