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Visajump Seeks to Rid the Stress of Traveling Abroad

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

A new app hopes to create a seamless way for users to plan a travel itinerary and keep track of all their travel documents, including visa information, in one place.

Local company Visajump hopes to take away the stress and worry travelers have when trying to keep up with documentation and the bureaucratic processes of traveling.

While the app is still in development, its co-founders, Craig Chavis and Wendy Truong, have been in touch with more than 20 embassies.

Many have agreed to keep a continuing relationship with Visajump so users will be able to receive live updates regarding travel alerts and visa information, Chavis said. In turn, he added, users can also provide live updates from the ground.

“Every passport has a unique, different situation, so changes occur all the time, and so having those relationships with the embassies we’re able to stay ahead of the game,” Chavis said.

Currently, Chavis and Truong are testing out the visa database feature in the first version, Chavis said. This includes going beyond the questions — do users care about immunizations? How long does it take to get a visa? How much will it cost?

“You know basically we’re figuring out how the travelers think, how they do their planning process from the beginning to the end,” Chavis said. “And so we’re gauging those different responses, because you know every traveler is different.”

The vision behind Visajump came out of Chavis and Truong’s passion for travel. Chavis had recently travelled abroad for three years and Truong had travelled for 19 years.

When Chavis was abroad he met other travelers who had issues obtaining their visas, keeping track of travel plans and staying organized. So once he returned to the U.S. and met Truong at Startup Week D.C. the two wanted to solve this solution on a global scale.

Truong added that once the U.S. passports are established in the app, the two want to start working on other passport user cases.

As a Vietnamese woman, Truong said she always needed a visa during her 19 years abroad. In fact, Truong believes the market for the app lies within developing countries.

“In turn, yes there’s a lot of U.S. travelers going abroad but not a lot of them require visas,” she said. “Whereas people from developing countries, they actually are traveling more cause there is a middle class rising from those markets and you know for them to go anywhere they require visas.”

Overall, it is the two founders’ avid passion for travel that has driven the app forward since its inception four months ago. The company has several investors and it meets with them weekly.

Next up, Chavis and Truong plan to enter into the Airport Innovation Challenge, a program that it said will “activate the startup community and identify innovations that will transform the passenger journey.”

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