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    Date submitted
  • 07-Feb-2018

OdysseyPass

Abstract

OdysseyPass’s mission is to simplify the visa application process through automation and technology, with the intention of decreasing the stressors of planning international travel. Our innovative and responsive platform is built for globetrotters, scholars, and enterprise travelers of the sort who are looking for a seamless channel to apply for international travel visas.

Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Target customers include leisure travelers (B2C), students (study abroad), and Enterprise customers (B2B). The current demo/platform prototype is fully functional, but it is not live. Although, a few users have tried to purchase a visa through our system. In terms of acquiring use contracts with universities, the Dean of Study Abroad, Christine Gozdziak (and Dan Anderson), has expressed interest in our service offerings. Furthermore, a sales representative for MorningStar Corporation has mentioned that his company uses a similar service, but the process is error-prone and inefficient and they would like a more efficient service like the product offerings of OdysseyPass

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

The visa service industry is highly complex and outdated. Current industry players have manual processes on both the consumer and company side that slow down the customer's ability to get a visa (especially on short notice). Additionally, visa requirements and expectations are poorly communicated to the customer. These pain points add to the many stressors associated with international travel. OdysseyPass uses three main themes to address such issues. 1) OdysseyPass uses an online platform to automate the entire visa application process from customer to consulate. 2) OdysseyPass enhances the user experience by making the process easy to understand and increases transparency for country specific requirements and expectations. 3) The business model differs from current industry players by using an active targeting sales strategy to acquire use contracts across Universities and Enterprise travelers. Our ideal vision is to make visa applications as easy as shopping on Amazon. We currently have a fully functional platform on Lightningvisas.com in its Alpha phase.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Each customer segment has their own unique motive for using our platform to apply for their travel visas. The Leisure and Student travelers: Many travelers looking for a vacation abroad are unfamiliar with the ever-changing requirements of a travel visa for the specific country they want to go to. Furthermore, each country's requirements are very different, which means a traveler who has experience traveling to one country would have to re-learn the process for another country. Moreover, there are limited amounts of consulates in the US where a traveler can apply for a visa, and thus requires the traveler to drive (4 hours or more) to the nearest consulate. Therefore, a seamless, organized, and a simple channel will address these issues. Enterprise: In addition to the above, businesses want to minimize costs and would pay a premium to a third party.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

1) OdysseyPass uses an online platform to automate the entire visa application process from customer to consulate while other third-party visa services are manual processes. 2) OdysseyPass enhances the user experience by making the process easy to understand and increases transparency for country specific requirements and expectations. Similar to how Turbotax makes taxes an easy and seamless process 3) The OdysseyPass business model differs from current industry players by using an active targeting sales strategy to acquire use contracts across Universities and Enterprise travelers. We will use these tactics as well as others to build switching costs after acquiring new customers.