ClaimCompass —frequent flyer? This bulgarian team will make sure you will never loose a claimable dime again!

CESAwards
CESAwards
Jan 31, 2018 · 4 min read

Can you believe that according to FlightAware, on the 14th of November in 2017, the number of flight cancellation reached 446 with 8217 flights delayed? Considering these skyrocketing numbers it is hard to believe that over 90% of passengers are unaware of their rights to claim compensation when their flights are disrupted and only a few that end up claiming it. ClaimCompass is here to manage our claims in an easy way. Moreover, they operate on a “no win, no fee” basis. Learn more about ClaimCompass from Alexander Sumin, Co-Founder and CMO of ClaimCompass.

“Can you tell us in one sentence what you guys do?”

We help passengers get money when airlines screw up their flights.

“Why did you and your co-founders (if you have any) decide to build something like you do today? What was your initial inspiration or problem you wished to solve?”

We’re all frequent travelers and we’ve all dealt with disrupted flights. And when they occurred, we just did like everyone did: shrugged it off. It wasn’t until the summer of 2015, when my flight to Zurich was delayed by 4 hours and Tanya (my co-founder and CEO) told me about my rights and that I can get some money back. I thought “great, let me give this a shot”, but the airline thought otherwise — I filed a claim and never heard back. It turns out that this is a common practice for most airlines, they just ignore claims and speculate on passengers’ absence of legal knowledge to get themselves exonerated from liability. We found out that there were some companies and smaller law firms doing something similar, so we decided to take it a bit further: what if we build a tool which tells you instantly if you’re entitled to compensation and saves you all the hassle of dealing with the airline.

And so, ClaimCompass was born — you could say, almost out of spite. Seriously, nothing frustrates us more than inadequate service.

“What excites you the most about your work, and what is that single moment in your past that you are most proud of?”

I think it’s the fact that we managed to lift ClaimCompass off the ground while having our full-time jobs, living and working out of three different locations — Berlin, Glasgow, and Montreal.

No investment, no mentors, no salary. Just hustle.

“…and fails? We all have them, but what were your most spectacular ones? Of course only the ones you wish to share”

We tried launching a feature without any prior research, testing or a clear hypothesis. Needless to say, it failed miserably and we just wasted a couple of weeks. Oh wait, it was a “great learning experience” :)

“We all know entrepreneurship is a difficult road to take, especially in the world of startups; are there any mantras, hobbies or routines that you use to keep your mind and body healthy?”

Yeah, it can be a pretty bumpy ride. I personally like to do sports, travel and I find talking to people outside of your immediate circle to be very helpful. Everyone can be interesting, they have different ideas, visions, and problems of their own. Otherwise, you risk to get stuck on a problem and it could drive you crazy — and let’s not kid ourselves — startups are 99% problems.

“Is there something in startup-zeitgeist that in an ideal world we would not need to have? Like pitching? :)”

Probably startup gurus.

“What do you value most in people? Especially those in your team?”

Honesty and hard work. We’ve been very lucky to have a team of super dedicated people, who not only don’t complain about our constant iterations and crazy ideas but embrace them and help us take ClaimCompass to the next level. I am ever so grateful to every single one of them and I sometimes regret
that I’m not saying it more often. When it comes to co-founders, as corny as it may sound, I think it’s just innate — we always end up on the same page.

“What do you anticipate the most for technology in the forthcoming 5 years? What are the things that knock your socks off?”

Blockchain. I think eventually everything will end up on the blockchain.

“Who are you most excited about in your local startup ecosystem and why?” — this could be startups, coworking offices, accelerators, mentors…basically anyone who you think highly!

Honestly, I’m excited about everyone — Bulgaria and especially Sofia is such a small ecosystem and I’m really happy to see that there’s so much going on. We have people working on some very cool stuff and solving real-world problems.

“In your opinion what are the single best and the single worst things running a startup from Central Europe?”

It highly depends. I think CEE is great for very early stage startups because you can figure things out for cheap without compromising on talent and skill. The market is also there. There are certain restrictions when it comes to fundraising, but in my opinion, that’s more of a pan-European issue.

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We at CESAwards stand with our hats in our hands each year in front of all the amazing innovation, the incredible stories and brave startupper who strive for more, who are here to build and change the status quo in the CEE region.

In this interview series we introduce our National Winners of 2017.