Daniela Pachon and Diego De Stefano may have just graduated from university, but they are already highly accomplished serial entrepreneurs. And now they’re growing ventures, jet-setting around the world, and making a difference in their communities. These 3DS alumni are getting ready to launch and are already breaking into the Mexican market with their company, Triploop, which seeks to help travelers connect with their group and navigate while abroad.
Daniela first started getting interested in entrepreneurship when she moved to Austin to attend UT, where she studied environmental science.
“I think what really pushed that was going to a 3 Day Startup program.” Pachon explains, “Because I feel like the way that the education system is right now is molding you into someone who can work for a lot of companies. But seldom do you ever hear ‘you create this company’ or ‘you can have an idea and execute it.’ So with 3DS, I was forced into an environment where I had that control with a group of people. I felt at home for the first time.”
And for Pachon and De Stefano, entrepreneurship is more than a place they can feel at home mentally. It’s a vehicle for them to make positive change in their actual homes and communities.
As De Stefano sees it, “Through entrepreneurship you’re able to really create a bigger and broader vision of what you want to do. So in my case, it was to really help grow the community in my country, where I come from.”
Beginnings in Social Entrepreneurship:
So it’s no surprise that, with their first forays into entrepreneurship, Pachon and De Stefano had a passionate, social focus.
At De Stefano’s 3 Day Startup program, he started a company called Green Aura that was intended to clean oxygen in areas affected by contaminants. After that program ended, Green Aura continued with help from Pachon for several more months and cemented the two’s passion for entrepreneurship with an impact (with Pachon starting up a farmer’s market on UT’s campus that was later acquired by the university).
Developing Triploop into what it is today:
De Stefano got his inspiration to build Triploop in the Summer of 2015, when he joined a group of 60 students traveling through 15 countries in Europe in 45 days. It was during this trip that De Stefano found the problem that he could solve for travelers. But the journey started with solving a problem for one particular man.
“The leader of the program was a 70 year old man who had more energy than most of the 18 year olds on the trip with us.” De Stefano explains, “He was very intense and very passionate, but he had to endure a lot of stress because of miscommunications and poor coordination. So because of these experiences, I created Triploop for him. Because I paid nothing for the trip, I made it as a way to repay him.”
The following summer, Pachon went on a big family trip to Europe. “I kept thinking that Diego’s app was perfect,” she says, and their partnership and Triploop has grown from there.
Together, they developed and spearheaded their solution.De Stefano lights up when he talks about Triploop and how useful it can be to their users:
“Triploop is for people traveling together in groups who already have everything paid. Once they arrive to their destination they are often in a foreign country where they may not even speak the language. They open up the app and it shows them everywhere they need to go and how to get there. Whether it’s their hotel, conference, meetings, or tours. Everyone in the group is connected through Triploop, so they know exactly where their group is. And they see all this information in one screen.
We know when you’re abroad it is a luxury and a rarity to have wifi or cellular data, so all of our technology works with bluetooth.”
As Pachon expands, “it’s one place to connect, one place to have all your information, and one place to solve all the communications issues. And that solves safety issues as well. It’s a modern compass.”
And this compass is continuing to take De Stefano and Pachon in the right direction.
They started slow and small with just two co-founders. But they now have a team of 6 and two advisors working on the project after they got accepted into Longhorn Startup Labs in their final semester at UT.
After a round of testing this past summer, Pachon and De Stefano are closing their first deal and building a strategic partnership with their first client. And they are excited about the months to come where they can transition from development to sales.
Pachon attributes a lot of the success they’ve taken and how far they’ve been able to come to the Austin startup community: “In Austin, with me being female and us being latino founders, there has been so much help and so many resources. It’s been such a learning environment. I think that, among entrepreneurs worldwide, we might be some of the luckiest ones.”
But their success isn’t just driven by luck or hard work, but is fueled by their passion for entrepreneurship.
Pachon and De Stefano are still social entrepreneurs at heart, striving to make a difference and make a better world through their ventures.
Pachon explains, “I think that the main thing that convinces me to keep pushing when I’m so tired is that we want to do something that has social impact. That’s always been a big part of it for us.
There was a point in my major where I got so frustrated that, as a scientist I was so limited by the government or whatever private company you’re working for and they just want you to do research and you don’t ever get to see the change. I realized that being an entrepreneur is so much more than being ambitious, it’s being ambitious for a greater good — not just to have a lot of money.”
And their advice to new and aspiring entrepreneurs?
Pachon says, “We have been in the ideal process for people our age. To us, that means going through a program like 3 Day Startup first and getting into company-building programs at our university.
Today, if anyone calls Diego or me and is interested in starting this kind of journey, the first thing that we would both recommend to them is a 3 Day Startup program. After a program like that, you’ll know whether or not it’s right for you.”
And from De Stefano: “Be persistent and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. Don’t be afraid to speak up and get out of your comfort zone.”
We couldn’t agree more.
3 Day Startup is so excited to have been a part of Pachon and De Stefano’s entrepreneurial journey. And we can’t wait to see Triploop launch and continue expanding through the US and Mexico.
Congratulations to you both!
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