Technical.ly Philly

Apr. 18, 2011 11:00 am

Catapulter aims to be Kayak.com for ground travel

Switch Philly Details: Catapulter will be one of five startups demoing during Philly Tech Week When: Tues., April 26, 6 p.m. Where: Huntsman Hall, University of Pennsylvania Price: $9 (Tickets close morning of the event) Click Here to Get Tickets For being a company focused on travel, Catapulter‘s journey to Switch Philly will be quite […]

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Switch Philly Details: Catapulter will be one of five startups demoing during Philly Tech Week

When: Tues., April 26, 6 p.m.

Where: Huntsman Hall, University of Pennsylvania

Price: $9 (Tickets close morning of the event)

Click Here to Get Tickets

For being a company focused on travel, Catapulter‘s journey to Switch Philly will be quite simple: they’ll only have to walk down the hall.

The company, founded by Penn students and based in Wharton’s VIP incubator aims to pick up where Kayak.com leaves off, allowing users to search across mass transit lines, bus routes and taxi services to provide cheap door-to-door ground travel.

For example, a Catapulter user can easily determine that its cheaper to buy tickets from Philadelphia to New York and from New York to Boston then it is to buy a direct route to Boston, even if the tickets are all for the same bus. The site can also help determine the cheapest (or fastest way) to take trains, cabs and busses to your destination.

Chief marketing officer Jenny Cheng says Catapulter was born when she gave up her car and realized the amount of research needed to piece together a cheap route from city to city.

“Plus my brother always uses me as his personal travel assistant… so I’m always on the computer looking for cheap busses and cheap trains,” says Cheng.

Cheng enlisted the help of Adam Waaramaa, an old coworker from another startup and got to work.

The site has only been live for weeks but the company says its receiving lots of feedback and trying to tweak the site to pitch to investors and eventually expand to other cities and partner with other local startups.

For Switch, Catapulter plans on showing the benefits of their point-to-point service which factors in the cheapest and fastest way to get from door to door but they know the best way to demonstrate what they’re all about is to crack open the browser.

“When we try to explain, people just tell us to shut up and demo,” says Waaramaa.

Looks like they’ve come to the right place.

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Sean Blanda is an adviser to Technical.ly, the local technology news network, having cofounded its flagship Technically Philly in February 2009. He is a media consultant, engagement editor for Behance and lives in Brooklyn, NYC.

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