While Co-Founder, John Eddins, was studying abroad in Australia, he spent three weeks traveling around Thailand. He rented a moped, rounded a sharp turn with faulty brakes, and was lying on a makeshift operating room table at a small family-run gas station in northern Thailand, getting stitched up by a local 12-year-old boy in exchange for English lessons. John thought to himself, "How could my university not have prepared me for this?"
Duff and John met in high school and developed OffWeGo while attending St. Lawrence University and Colgate University in upstate New York. They came together based on their respective study abroad experiences to offer an easier way for students to stay engaged with safety protocols, and a more accurate way for universities to track their students. Duff and John originally conceived OffWeGo as a fun and easy group booking platform based upon time studying abroad in London, Copenhagen and Australia.
Post-graduation, after extended research and networking with universities and travel assistance firms, the team shifted to the present model: combining the “fun” of travel with risk management, a top issue of concern for the sponsoring institutions (and students, post-crisis).
Well hello there! Nice to meet you
👋 Hey! I'm Duff. I'm a Product Manager by trade, with experience in hospitality (Hilton), Startup Operations (1776), and Technology Commercialization (FedTech). I graduated Cum Laude from St. Lawrence University with a degree in Economics and Business in the Liberal Arts, and a minor in European Studies. While at St. Lawrence, I lived and studied abroad twice: London during my first semester of Freshman year and Copenhagen during my junior spring. My favorite place I've traveled to is Iceland.
👋 Hey! I'm John, and I graduated from Colgate University with a degree in Economics. I am a financial analyst by trade, with a background in corporate strategy, finance, and insurance. I have experience in insurance (Aon), asset management (Iron Bridge), and LP management / GP Stakes. Having previously studied abroad in Australia, and gotten into a motorcycle accident, I know firsthand the importance of travel safety and risk management. I also empathize with students – knowing what it's like to move to a new continent, not knowing anyone there, and trying to plan a trip with limited knowledge and a limited group of friends.
👋 Hi, I’m Neil, the CEO of ThinkNimble, a development agency that works with startups and social change. Previously I founded and sold Aspire, an employee engagement software, and worked at EverFi, managing product for video games related to critical skills education. I’m a huge fan of travel — my wife and I try to leave the country once every 3 months. I wish I would have gone abroad when I was in college, so OffWeGo is my way of making that happen now!
We believe that youth travelers have good intentions and want to remain safe during their travels, but their travel anxieties differ from their above stakeholders.
We are deeply empathetic to our Gen-Z users. Youth travelers are worried about where their next meal is coming from, whom they're going to eat that meal with, and how much that next meal is going to cost. They are so preoccupied with logistics that they often forget situational awareness.
We are building OffWeGo to bridge these gaps in a win-win system where both Gen-Z Traveler and Admin are engaged for different reasons but for the same outcome. By giving youth travelers what they want, we're able to give travel managers what they need.
By engaging the individual youth traveler where, when, why, and how, they want to be engaged on travel risk management, we open up a world of possibility and opportunity and paint a picture of their daily travel habits - one that can extend its value past their university days as they emerge as young business travelers, digital nomads, and remote-first employees.