Travel Startup Success David Litwak from Nomadic Mentors Inspires X2 Labs Teams
X2 Labs invited Nomadic Mentors' David Litwak to Stavanger in order to inspire and guide our Digital Tourism teams. As the founder of Mozio, a Silicon Valley based travel search startup worth over 12 million dollars, Litwak brings a vast knowledge of how to build companies and succeed in the tourism industry. His contribution to our program is a part of our ongoing cooperation with Nomadic Mentors, a global community of startup experts.
“It was great to have Litwak inject San Francisco’s best practices into our teams, and for us to showcase Norway to the world.“ says X2 Labs Captain, Sean Paul Shanor. Litwak was pleased with the X2 Labs startup environment he encountered in Stavanger: "The X2 team is running an innovative tourism incubation program, helping to turn Stavanger into a startup hub. The startups I met with were the definition of hustle, getting commitments from customers in the first week.”
Litwak advised and inspired our X2 teams with excellent advice, including:
- When talking to potential customers and partners in the early stage, don't go straight into pitch mode! Ask & listen.
- Don’t spend your money on stuff you don’t need, like an office with a jaccuzzi. Your living room is the only office you need!
- Get used to asking people to give you stuff for free. (You'll be surprised by what you can get!)
- Always check your competition globally, even if you're focusing on a local market. Learn from them and differentiate!
- Take care of your physical and mental health. Startup life is hard and it's your job to make sure you can handle the pressure.
To show him what Stavanger has to offer as a tourist destination, X2 Labs challenged a Digital Tourism team, Gosta, to create a customized 5 hour tour of Stavanger (with only 24 hours notice). Gosta is creating a business solution that connects tourists with locals to provide authentic experiences. It seems they have a knack for it, too, as their solution far exceeded both our and Litwak’s expectations!
Litwak enjoyed a helicopter ride over the fjords, visited ”The Three Swords”(Sverd i Fjell), went for a walking tour of Old Stavanger, saw our local street art, and finally, a private tour of the Oil Museum - after opening hours.
He was impressed by both X2 and Stavanger, and says, “The staff was incredibly committed to showing me a good time and making me comfortable, can't recommend them more!"