Startup Directory

Visit.org

Founded in early 2015 by Michal Alter ’13SIPA, Visit.org is the world’s leading platform for social impact travel experiences.

In the $2.3 trillion dollar travel industry, only 5% of proceeds stay in local hands. The only entities that can guarantee that 100% of revenue is invested back into the local community are the 10 million do-good organizations (nonprofits and other types of social ventures) that can also offer unique access to local culture. Before Visit.org, no solution existed to enable these do-good organizations to easily package a travel product that: (1) aligns with their mission and programming, (2) generates sustainable earned income for the org, (3) transforms visitors into long-term supporters, (4) is easily bookable online, and (5) is marketed and distributed to the mainstream tourism industry.

Visit.org works with 500 exclusive suppliers in 65 countries, making it possible for 100% of hosts’ revenue is invested back into the local community. On Visit.org, you can book immersive experiences such as an artisanal weaving workshop with women in Peru, a cooking class with a family in Vietnam, or a salsa dance lesson in New York City and know that revenue will be invested back in the local community through the host do-good organization.

Visit.org has won Columbia Business School’s grant for social entrepreneurship, Inc. Magazine & Salesforce’s annual “Small Business Big Impact” competition, and the Accenture Consumer Tech Awards 2017.

Columbia community: Michel credits her success include: the people she met at SIPA ( professors, classmates, and event speakers); the interdisciplinary ties with folks at other schools inside Columbia; the many internships, workshops, consulting gigs, capstone projects, and other engagements outside of class that were made available; and getting access to organizations and companies that provided real exposure to relevant sectors. As mentioned, Visit.org also won Columbia Business School’s grant for social entrepreneurship