"Group travel needs to offer more value in order to reach younger customers," says Catalano. "They want to see more customization and to know who they're going to travel with. TravelBlender offers this, and we believe it means our users have a better chance of enjoying themselves when they're traveling." Furthermore, notes Catalano, most popular social travel sites don't necessarily expand one's social graph, they merely provide recommendations.
TravelBlender is also offering its services through alumni and professional organizations to maximize participation on the organizations' travel offerings, especially among more recent graduates. "It's not that younger alums are opposed to traveling together," says Catalano. "It's just that they can keep in touch with their former classmates on sites like Facebook. If they want to meet other alums, they want them to be within or close to their class year. That's where we come in."
TravelBlender's two founders, Catalano and Chief Technology Officer George L'Heureux, are finalists in the University of Dayton's Business Plan Competition this year, where Catalano took first place in their elevator pitch round in the fall of 2011.
TravelBlender, LLC is an Ohio limited liability company founded in 2012.