True Colors of Travel Bliss Revealed

Hong Kong

daily cialis150.jpeg” alt=”travel startup, startup advice” width=”150″ height=”150″ /> Alex Trimis, Co-founder/CEO of

A Q&A Session with Alex Trimis, Co-founder/CEO of Dopios is a travel startup and offers a better way to travel. Read more about Alex on his Founder Profile.

When I sit down to talk with Alex Trimis, Co-founder and CEO of, I am struck by how eager and excited he is about life and traveling. While he talks about the incredible journey of founding a travel startup, it’s obvious that his success stems from the enthusiasm he brings to the table. Right now his energy is focused on his project to change the way people travel.

If you like traveling I am sure you have at least one story about how lost and confused you were in a foreign country. I have to admit that I still get lost in San Francisco occasionally. It’s no surprise when Alex tells me originated from a frustrating travel experience:

In December 2011 a friend of mine was traveling to New Orleans on vacation. She wanted to make the best out of her trip and spent hours on website after website searching for a better, more authentic travel experience. After searching the web and reading numerous travel guides she got frustrated and gave up. That’s when I came up with, the solution to find and connect with locals who match your travel style and can offer a much more authentic travel experience to you wherever you might be heading.

When you travel to visit a friend they are probably going to show you around their city through their own eyes and re-create their best experiences for you. We believe you should be able to do that with any place in the world, even the places where you don’t know anyone. The platform connects two parties, the visitor who is looking for a travel experience and the local who has knowledge about their city and can show them it’s true colors.

As Alex tells me this I start thinking about how bad being a tourist in San Francisco can be. On a daily basis I see visitors who look exhausted because they have been pushed and shoved around at the typical overcrowded tourist destinations. One of the worst things I see happen to tourists is the line for the trolley car at Union Square. There are hundreds of people in that line for hours everyday. I don’t believe I could find a local who’d be bribed to stand in it (correct me if I am wrong here San Francisco locals). I am beginning to see how this travel startup could make the tourist experience so much better. I am getting excited. It seems natural to ask Alex what have been the best moments since he started working on full-time in June of this year:

One really exciting moment for us was when we realized how enthusiastic people are about In one night, we got a 600 likes on a facebook page we put together to call for locals in Athens. We had been talking and working on the idea with our friends since December and they were all very enthusiastic about it, but it was even more encouraging to have validation outside of our network.

Another great moment was the first time we had a user use our service before going to Athens. They got travel advice, met locals and had a great experience traveling our way and wouldn’t have had as much fun without

Not everything is exciting or easy when working on a startup. One of the challenges that the team faces is making San Francisco the headquarters for and securing work visa’s for his team. Most of his team is working part-time in San Francisco while they finds a way to get everybody onboard. Alex is learning from the process and shared this piece of startup advice with me, “When you create a startup one part is the idea and execution and the other is learning the teams dynamics and keeping everything together”. Alex is becoming a master juggler finding funding, building awareness, finding users, making sure the team stays coordinated across multiple time zones and improving the product at the same time. I can’t help but feel overwhelmed for him, but he keeps an optimistic attitude. He says, “It’s crazy every day but, if you are doing something that you really love and solving a problem that you really care about you will be able to survive the challenges”.

I am slightly distracted from his great startup advice because I am still thinking about how nice it would be to skip being a tourist and make decisions like a local on vacation. In my head I am eating something exquisite without another tourist in site. Back in reality I ask Alex what makes traveling with his service different. “Unlike other sites that are well formatted database of experience listings, focuses on the community. Locals are available to answer questions before travelers pack their bags and users are matched based on travel styles not just keyword searches” he says. A little investigation on my part reveals that I can find a local in Athens, Greece who is a techie, avid shopper, foodie, museum geek, night owl, outdoorsy, arts lover, or trip master. You better believe that I am going to pick a foodie and try my hardest for a home cooked meal if I go to Athens.

The thought of food reminds me that San Francisco is one of foodie capitals of the world and also where I am eating lunch. I let Alex know that this will be the last question and I ask him what future he see’s for his travel startup. He could talk about it all day. “Our goal is for to become the third place you visit when you prepare for a trip. After booking your mode of transportation, and finding a place to stay, will take care of everything else”.


Want to learn more about @dopios? Follow their blog or contact @alextrimis on Twitter.

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