Back in 2007, Federico Folcia started New York-based tech company Roomorama at a time when the trends of peer-to-peer and sharing economy were almost unheard of. While it has since ceased operations, the online global marketplace for short term accommodations was ahead of its time – the idea that people would be willing to open their homes to strangers for short term stays. Sound familiar? Airbnb, now a household name, only took off a year later.
“Most people thought I was crazy and the idea had no legs,” recalls Folcia. “We have all seen how the travel industry has changed ever since.” His new venture, Crane, faced similar sentiments at the start, with skepticism and lack of trust. However, the tech geek now sees these doubts as growth opportunities to constructively question assumptions to better structure a business.
Crane is a tech-enabled community for grown-ups and mature professionals who gather for fitness, wellness (he loves nothing more than a salad for lunch), workshops, lifestyle and co-working. Billed as a safe, supportive space, Crane leverages technology as a problem-solving tool that can be harnessed for good. It doesn’t just strictly target mature professionals — you’ll be surprised to find younger folk in this age-neutral ecosystem.
Among his passions which include travelling to remote areas, Folcia is keen on how the social impact of technology can improve the quality of life of the Silver Generation.