Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Moving to Munich inspired me to disrupt the travel industry

Thought Leader

Moving to Munich inspired me to disrupt the travel industry


USWC.jpgThe four founders of KOMPAS turned their experiences of living in Munich into a must have pocket travel guide – with a community of over 26,000 and plans to expand across Europe.


Name          Tom Charman

Business      KOMPAS


A few years ago, my future co-founder Olivia Higgs and I moved to Munich. After the first flurry of moving, we were left in a city where both of us had no idea what to do.


Instead of remaining lost in the city, we decided to build up our knowledge of the city. We started a joint blog and wrote about the best places that we found in Munich. Very quickly we build up a following of 20,000 fans, and that’s when we realised that we weren’t alone in how we felt when we first arrived.


After getting so much interest from the blog, we knew that we needed to look at this on a wider level. I’m no stranger to entrepreneurship and started my first technology business at 18. We didn’t want to get lost as another blog, so we brought Kurt Henderson and Doug Walker into the founding team to help build the technology. Together we launched KOMPAS, the mobile application that acts as a personal guide to the world’s urban jungles.


From social media to understanding where you’ve travelled in the past and the places you’ve enjoyed, we use artificial intelligence to work out where you’d want to visit. We want people to find secret spots and gain from that local insider knowledge.

Challenges of young entrepreneurs


For us, the idea was the easy part. We faced a real-world problem that we wanted to solve. But being a young team has meant that we’ve had to work extra-hard to prove to potential investors that we’re the right people to take KOMPAS all the way.



Appscreens_V2.jpgThe way we get over this is by proving we have the skills to move our ideas forward. We try to do everything we can to increase the credibility of our team. And if there was one thing I would re-do from our earliest days with the app, it would be to make sure we focus on our own reputation as well as our idea.


Since we first started we’ve won several awards, and getting press attention has come more quickly. I also gave a TEDx talk on the Future of Technology in 2016, which has certainly helped with proving that the technology we’re building is right for the future.


Next steps


We’ll always see KOMPAS as a growing team. Creating a loyal user-base has always been our top priority, so we understand exactly what they need from us to get the most out of the app. That’s why we wait until we have at least 1,000 people signed up in a city before we launch the app there. So, after having tackled Munich, London and Berlin, we’re now looking big, and after closing our next round of funding will be expanding across Europe.


I want to make sure that our product has a meaningful impact, so whether that’s helping someone having the best experience possible in a city due to our unique content, or adding more social elements into the business, I know that the team and I will do what it takes to make KOMPAS a success.