A New Marketplace For Experiences: Skyara

November 5, 2010

12:29 pm

In San Francisco there’s a guy named Ben who graduated from West Point, is certified to train individuals in marksmanship, ranger fitness, and ranger combatives and would like to teach you some of his techniques. There’s also a guy named Rick who recently won the 2009 award for the Best Walking Tour of San Francisco who would love to offer you his memorable two-hour walking tour of San Francisco’s most famous downtown buildings, hard to find rooftop gardens and historic landmarks. But how would you ever find Ben and Rick? In the past, you may never have found them. But starting today, you can use Skyara to find people and small businesses offering unique experiences across the country.

An experience can be any service or activity that people want to try, or offer, such as kayaking, culinary tours, or personalized yoga. An experience can also be something a little more exciting or unique like extreme kite lessons, learning how to be a barista or an inside look at i/o Ventures (the incubator Skyara is part of). The team at Skyara built the marketplace to allow anyone to offer an experience and offers users a complete scheduling and payments system, voting system, search and browse functionality, user reviews, following, and messaging capabilities.

Browse Experiences to Buy at Skyara

From the team:

Our goal is to get all of the screen tanned entrepreneurs and business folks out of the house and trying exciting new things. We want Skyara experiences to become a part of everyone’s weekend schedule. We know people have busy lives, all of us were past management consulting or investment banking professionals so we understand the value of time. We want our users to stop seeing the same movies, shopping at the same malls and eating at the same restaurants. It’s time people do something different and experience all that life has to offer.

The Skyara team, Jonathan Wu, Dennis Liu and Steven Ou, is funded by i/o Ventures in San Francisco. Their focus will now be on building up the marketplace of experiences within San Francisco by reaching out to potential sellers as well as building awareness of Skyara to everyone who is looking for something new to do. They are leveraging the “Requests” section as an idea funnel for new experiences to bring into the marketplace. Co-founder Jonathan Wu added “We’re trying to create an entirely new market for anyone to be able to offer a unique local experience, just like airbnb or etsy in their respective markets.” And like most other marketplaces, buyer beware – the services offered on Skyara are offered directly by the supplier – so read carefully and pay attention to the user reviews.

Skyara has offered a $5 off promotional code for the first 100 Tech Cocktail readers to register. Use referral code: TECHCOCKTAIL when you sign up for a free account. Now I’m off to go convince Captain Dave to offer lobster boat experiences in Southern Maine.

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Jen Consalvo is the Cofounder and COO of Tech.Co. She previously worked in product development for almost 13 years at AOL for audiences of millions. Follow her on Twitter at: @noreaster.

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