Top Techie Paul Kurklis is connecting locals and travelers
Savvy Amigo's business model is comparable to Airbnb, connecting curious travelers with helpful locals
Paul Kurkulis | Founder
Savvy Amigo | Aspen
Savvy Amigo, founded in 2016, connects travelers with advice from locals in destinations around the world. What sets it apart, aside from its ski town headquarters, is the unique level of engagement, accountability and transparency provided in a peer-to-peer environment.
Founder Paul Kurkulis had no formal technical background before beginning this venture. He felt compelled to create a new platform after planning a family vacation. Though there is great information available on the web, time and relevancy are not strengths in many travel search services.
He compares his business model with that of Airbnb, connecting curious travelers with helpful locals.
“Savvy Amigo was built to create a new, direct and uncluttered internet resource to access timely, credible and relevant travel advice,” Kurkulis says. “Yes, there are a plethora of options for travel information on the internet. The ambiguity is the biggest challenge that Savvy directly addresses. We want to be the go-between for people who are traveling and looking for answers with the locals who actually possess that information and would be happy to share it.”
Visitors to the website can find a local to provide information that matches their interests and demographics — “someone who may act and think like you,” Kurkulis says. “Ask them a direct question and get direct responses. With Savvy, our filters, profiles and reviews can add tremendous value to any travel inquiry.”
Kurkulis soft-launched the service in early 2019, testing features and absorbing input from users to enhance the tool and experience.
“Currently, I am the main interface between the technology team and the business model, guiding our future direction,” Kurkulis says of the state of the business and his role as founder. “Fortunately, I have found a single resource for all my coding needs.”
Working in the technology space, he says, “A touch of humility never hurts. I normally preface my meetings with a reminder to my team that I do not have a monopoly on all the good ideas.”
This article was part of a Top Techies feature, which highlighted six Colorado tech companies that are thriving on ideas and execution. While each company is in a different stage of their journey, the people behind the technology all believe that the tools themselves need a mission attached and positive impact on the bottom line. Read more about the other top techie standouts:
JESSICA RUSIN & BIJAL SHAH | REGINA OCWIEJA | KEVIN NESS | ASHLEE COLLINS