June 23, 2010) — Resort Rentals by Owner (RRBO.com), a newly launched travel Web site offering timeshare vacation rentals, recently participated and won top honors in a business pitch competition among startups from around the world that participated in a live Internet competition hosted by This Week in Startups (TWiST). RRBO, an online marketplace where consumers can find timeshares for rent at exclusive resorts directly from owners and save 30-50 percent versus comparable hotels, was chosen for top honors as part of the first ever multi-city Meetup for startups.
TWiST is a live Internet show hosted weekly by entrepreneur and angel investor Jason Calacanis. The show features a rotating group of guest experts and news on the best, worst and most interesting stories from the world of Web companies. Calacanis is considered a podcasting pioneer who provides an insider’s look at what’s happening in the tech industry.
Calacanis organized the business pitch competition as part of a multi-city Meetup that brought together over 175 startup groups worldwide. Meetup is an online resource that helps local groups self-organize around a common interest, theme or cause. Only recently has Meetup introduced the capability to link multiple groups together across diverse locations through the use of Skype and UStream video for simultaneous Meetups.
Out of the 175 cities which organized Startup Meetups, nine were chosen to present their best and brightest startup before the worldwide participants. At the end of the 2 ½-hour event, RRBO.com, representing Columbus, OH, was chosen for top honors by Calacanis and co-host Lon Harris.
Coincidentally, RRBO won this distinction on the very day the company went live with its “Stub-Hub-like” Web site that connects vacation travelers with timeshare rentals by owners.
According to Bob Kington, RRBO chief operating officer and co-founder, “The opportunity to present our business on the same day that we launched the product was incredible. Winning the competition validates not only that the product serves a definite need in the market, but that our transaction-based business model is solid which puts us in a great position to attract venture capital to scale our business.”
RRBO operates much like other popular person-to-person commerce sites. A traveler visits RRBO.com where they can view more than 700 resorts all over North America, find the timeshare owner rental they want, and rent it immediately. RRBO acts as the marketplace intermediary and when a unit is booked, the owner pays RRBO a portion of the rental fee to guarantee the payment, handle the booking and eliminate risks of non-payment. RRBO was founded by former AOL executives including CEO Mike Blackwell who also served as the CEO of ShareThis. There are currently over three thousand timeshare units available for rent on RRBO with new listings being added daily. http://www.rrbo.com/
For more information on RRBO, contact Bob Kington; 1-877-357-RRBO (7726).