178 | Connecting Travel Startup Founders, Investors and Corporations with John Matson


John Matson is the Managing Director of Voyager HQ, a club bringing together startup founders, corporate partners, and investors in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry. Since their start in the summer of 2016, Voyager HQ has grown to a community of over 1,000 members, dozens of partners, and hundreds of investors in over 55 countries.

When he is not connecting the travel industry, John is the Programming Chair and Co-Founder for the NYC Innovation Collective, a nonprofit alliance of NYC’s top technology organizations working together to support program leaders of incubators, accelerators, and startup communities, along with the Co-Director of Startup Grind chapter in NYC, a monthly speaker series to educate, motivate, and connect entrepreneurs in over 300 cities around the world.

In his spare time, John co-hosts two podcasts, Travel is Your Business, focusing on the intersection of travel, business, and technology, and 5to9, a podcast interviewing people who pursue passions through side projects outside their 9 to 5 jobs.

In This Episode, John Reveals …

  • The vision behind Voyager HQ, the service they provide, and who their ideal customer is
  • Some of the pitfalls to avoid with startups, and some common red flags folks should look out for
  • How to spot a good deal, both as an investor and as a customer
  • His podcast, ‘Travel is Your Business’

Resources & Links

John Matson

Voyager HQ

  • 311 | Shelters From the Norm: Hotels used for hospitals and housing face unexpected problems

    A year ago, Darshan Patel, CEO of Hotel Investment Group in San Diego, California, was one of the first hoteliers in the U.S. to step up and offer properties to overwhelmed hospitals seeking places to care for COVID and non-COVID patients as well as vulnerable populations. As the crisis eases and Hotel Investment Group works to return the hotels to business, Patel is negotiating with local governments to pay for the wear and tear on the properties. Patel is not alone as many hoteliers are unexpectedly dealing with problems that state and local governments’ urgent decisions have created, including property damage, increased costs and eviction bans. This report is the second in a two-part series examining the pros and cons of opening hotels to alternative uses during the pandemic. It is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

  • 310 | Hotels Convert to Housing: Federal COVID-19-relief funds fuel transactions

    Dhruv Patel, president of Ridgemont Hospitality, in October shared a bittersweet moment with his parents, Pravin and Sima Patel, when the family business sold the first motel that Pravin had built from the ground up more than 30 years ago. But they rest assured knowing it was the right decision because the 22-room property is being converted into affordable housing for military veterans at risk of homelessness. The transaction is among hundreds taking place across the U.S. as state and local governments work with non-profit agencies to create affordable housing solutions for vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Episode 310 Long Live Lodging reports on the financial and legal aspects of what it takes to convert a hotel into long-term housing. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

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