Technori event showcases travel startups

Chris Brusznicki, Vaystays co-founder & CEO. Photo: Chris Sweda, Blue Sky, originally published at

Technori, rated as one of the most active networking groups in Chicago by Crain’s Business, is a monthly event at Chase Auditorium where startups in a variety of industries showcase themselves on a stage in front of a live audience. The March 31st event showcased five tech startups, all based in Chicago, with offerings for the travel industry. The startups included Room Key, Vaystays, Trytn, Tripnary, and Unearth The World. The keynote, given by Options Away Founder & CEO Robert Brown, kicked off the event.

Room Key

Room Key creates a seamless experience for hotel stays including reservations, the check-in/check-out process, and concierge and front desk communications by leveraging an iOS app. When booking a room, the company has already negotiated prices with major hotel chains in certain cities, providing attractive prices. Using Apple’s iBeacon technology, a guest’s smartphone becomes a room key, which enables a guest to book a room and walk right up to the door to unlock with, bypassing the front desk. If a guest is out for the day and needs to communicate with the front desk, the mobile app can be used to send messages. Lastly, the mobile app integrates with popular expense solutions such as Concur, enabling easy expense processing for travelers.


Vaystays is a luxury vacation rental service a la Airbnb. Unlike Airbnb, Vaystays specializes in upscale properties and focuses on white glove service. With properties in the Caribbean, Jamacia, and the Bahamas, featured properties range from $230 to $3000 per night. Vaystays CEO, Chris Brusznicki, has experience in the property management industry including running Gameday Housing, which specializes in housing for college gameday events.


Trytn is a B2B service for tour operators looking to bypass working with major travel entities such as cruise ships, which enables a better guest experience. Trytn takes care of sales and booking by centralizing reservations via their web-based platform, so customers can learn about specialities, offerings, and easily book/pay for events. The platform also takes care of financial transactions and provides shops with analytics. Reza Barissi, Trytn Founder & CEO, has an extensive history leading dive tours.


Tripnary is a mobile app where users can build their travel bucket list. Described as a combination of Pinterest and Kayak, travelers can build their list based on trending recommendations and add landmarks, restaurants, and hidden gems. Users can also compare airfares to choose an adventure that fits their budget. Abhishek Ghuwalewala, Tripnary CEO, has worked in the technology industry for over a decade and has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Unearth The World

Unearth The World is a global service-learning organization that pairs travel with international nonprofits and promotes cross-cutural learning. Unearth The World was created after founders Mike and Kathryn Pisco gave up their corporate jobs for a year of travel and volunteer work. Due to their negative experiences, Unearth The World was created to provide a positive experience to those who pursue volunteer travel. Unearth The World currently works with nonprofits in Zambia, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Peru.

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