AbiliTrek is a Yelp-like app to help people with disabilities
We covered AbiliTek back on January 9 of this year. AbiliTrek is a new startup founded by Western Washington University grad Daman Wandke, aims to provide comprehensive information about hotel accessibility and amenities for those with disabilities. Since the last time we covered them, the startup decided to pivot without changing their mission of improving access to people with disabilities.
AbiliTrek, like many other companies, began as an innovative idea; AbiliTrek is geared toward bettering the travel experience for people with disabilities. Currently, the travel industry lacks the information needed for travelers with disabilities. This makes traveling a daunting and exhausting task for many within the disability community. AbiliTrek was created as a fundamental resource for any traveler with a disability. AbiliTrek’s goal is to counteract the current state of the travel industry and make traveling with a disability a fulfilling experience. The idea of AbiliTrek was invented by Daman Wandke. Daman started AbiliTrek in response to his own experiences of traveling with Cerebral Palsy and decided to put his dream of changing the travel industry to the test in Bellingham’s 2016 54-Hour Startup Challenge. AbiliTrek won the challenge and that set his idea into motion.
2016 was all about planning and by the beginning of 2017, AbiliTrek started working to make sure everything was ready for the launch in April. From the beginning, AbiliTrek was dedicated to building the best website they could to serve the disability community; countless hours were spent constructing the website to make sure it was both attractive and accessible to all.
A website is a key part of a successful modern business; however, a classic strategy and important facet to a successful company is networking. Fortunately, networking is one of Daman’s talents. From landing contracts to strategic partnerships, Daman has spent and continues to spend much of his time building strong business relationships.
Though the genesis of AbiliTrek did not take place in a garage, the employees at this Washington State start-up are driven to be as innovative and affluent to the disability community as Microsoft, AbiliTrek’s neighbors located just to the south.
AbiliTrek began as a hotel booking service and is now in the midst of a pivot. AbiliTrek is phasing out the hotel booking service and creating a Yelp-like app with the goal of improving access for people with disabilities. With the hotel booking service came a review that a user could fill out to rate the accessibility. AbiliTrek’s new app will not only allow people to complete reviews of hotels, but it will also be more expansive in that people will be able to review the accessibility of almost anywhere someone can travel.
AbiliTrek is building this new service with the hopes of improving the database of accessibility within the travel market and in turn making traveling a more simple yet fulfilling experience for people with disabilities. Please be on the lookout for our updates and support AbiliTrek’s mission of making travel accessible for all.