TripZeeker: Kim Lim and Michael Montoya’s innovation towards travel experiences
By: Asha Gutierrez
A combination of great minds
Kim Lim (CEO) and Michael Montoya (COO) are both the creators of TripZeeker. As Co-Founders who both loved traveling and technology, they both aspired and succeeded in running an e-commerce marketplace that allows customers to connect with travel providers based in the Philippines. Presently, their team is now focusing on their home country which is the beautiful islands of the Philippines. They are scheduled to launch in October 2017. It is their goal to be able to improve the travelers' experiences by filling it with wanderlust and inspirational stories and experiences. It is their vision to bring the TripZeeker experience for every customer by having an easy and fun booking interface through a thriving and supportive community of like-minded people.
Kim Lim a.k.a. ‘The Hustler’ is known as a travel aficionado. She is the CEO of TripZeeker. She has visited countries across continents and has been to numerous destinations within the Philippines. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Management Accounting from the University of Santo Tomas.
She shares, “As technology evolves, so does the way the business is conducted. Our beloved Philippines is now a popular destination for Filipinos and non-Filipinos. Today, tourism is a sustainable booming industry that drives emerging economies globally.” She is known for her passion for startups and enthusiasm for the industry’s potential here in the Philippines. Her goal is to promote local travel SME’s as she creates harmony within the travel ecosystem while collaborating and boosting the tourism of the Philippines
Michael Montoya a.k.a ‘The Visionary’ is known as the tech-savvy explorer who basks in the experience of numerous cultures. He is the COO of TripZeeker. Through this, it is his aim to deliver quality customer and user experiences. He specializes in operations, business development, and entrepreneurship.
He has a broad experience when it comes to developing and launching successful software products for the past 8 years. “I’ve always aspired on having my own online business,” he says. He was born and raised in the United States and graduated from Texas Tech University as the Cum Laude. He never fails to stop educating himself as he further learns something new every day.
Dreams as an opening of great dynasties
Kim Lim before co-founding TripZeeker, she was able to work in the corporate world for about five years as a stockbroker. She has always dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur someday. Last year, she was able to outlive this vision through the startup industry of creating TripZeeker and by quitting her former corporate job. “I’ve always been passionate about traveling” she admits. From here, she pursued her passions for travel and tourism. As she reminds us, “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” They are planning to invite travel related businesses all over the world someday.
Michael Montoya, chooses to pursue both of his passions in technology and travel through TripZeeker as well. He said, “I wanted to invest in technology with the developers.” When he graduated he was also able to create his own company and soon dealt with the online Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. In the year 2015, he already developed the urge to start doing business internationally and he started to look for new locations. Soon, Philippines became known to him through friends and his close acquaintance with Kim Lim. From there, they combined their dreams and ideas into reality.
The Online bazaar of travel experiences
TripZeeker is known as a start-up online marketplace that offers travel experiences and activities to foreign visitors and Filipino travelers. They enable credible travel providers to be able to post and sell activities, tours, adventures, and other travel-related experiences into their platform. "There are a lot of opportunities. But if the opportunity doesn't knock, you have to create your own door." Kim advises.
The plan is to make TripZeeker as unique and accessible as possible. They will make this happen by making a page that is easy to understand and have a millennial style at the same time. This way, all kinds of people will find it appealing. They are also planning to expand this idea to a larger scale: “We are planning to include to our platform most Southeast Asian countries” Michael said.
They want to achieve the local, regional, and global platforms. In order to do that, he believes that they need to have a sharp business. For them, it’s all about moving the travel industry to the highest attainable level. The Philippines is one of the best places to create good partnerships. Their target now is to help a lot of economies and local providers so their goal is to be the go-to website or app for the people who plan to travel. It is about creating a much-needed company that will soon have a world-class support as it grows.
A perspective on women empowerment
When asked about how her gender influenced her motives to create a startup industry Kim replied, “Prior to startups, I came from the Finance industry which is also full of men but that doesn’t stop me to be the best that I can be. It also has a positive effect on me as I have the opportunity to possibly inspire other women to enter entrepreneurship, follow their dreams and find their real purpose.”
Kim was also inspired by Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operations Officer of Facebook. Her book was able to help Kim for it stresses the importance of believing in oneself and creating a working attitude. Apart from that, it is also about influencing others for the better good.
A powerful note on giving back
Kim Lim is a spectacular woman with inspiring dreams. She aspires to add value to people’s lives while inspiring others to pursue their dreams. She wants to assist in bringing happiness to the world by sharing and creating memorable travel experiences.
She notices that it is indeed easy to forget the work and perseverance that one has to go through during the process of making a startup successful. This is why she keeps in mind to continuously appreciate the helpful people through her journeys. “Aside from asking, always be open to giving as well. Share whatever wisdom, skill, or knowledge you have. Share your story. Pay it forward.” They are now closely looking for technology startups in the Philippines that can help them create opportunities for travel communication.
Michael believes that there is still a long way to go. However, for him, it is about giving back to the ecosystem because it’s all about moving forward. “The Asian culture is innate and one should give back and to actually worth wanting to help,” he adds. The path towards entrepreneurship is having mentors and knowing how to share and collaborate ideas. It’s about innovating yourself and your product. Focus on your clients and focus on your business by treating everyone right.
Kim believes that learning is an ongoing process that should never stop. Pushing yourself to the limit can make you be capable of doing a lot of things. “In Southeast Asia, the startup scene is relatively new, so the possibilities to innovate cutting-edge technologies are still wide open. Be creative, think big, and innovate. Do not be afraid to ask for help or advice. There are a lot of people who are willing to help you achieve your dreams and pursue your passion. Learn something new every day. And for me, I feel really thankful to the people who lift me up me and help me grow,” says Kim. For her, it’s all about helping the people, society, and environment as a priority for further improvements. Hustle, because there will always be light at the end of the tunnel.