A Slice on Annie Aladjova, Co-Founder and CEO of Roameo
When Annie Aladjova and her husband Robby Nathan first experienced van life or “van-cation”, they were amazed. By staying in a van, they were granted freedom to sleep, drive and tell stories without having to pitch a tent or worry about a sudden rainstorm all while being able to connect with the outdoors. Their “van-cation” also awarded them the luxury of traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing this luxury, the couple saw a way to revolutionize travel and make experiencing the outdoors more accessible to all with Roameo.
Aladjova started her career in the startup ecosystem specifically in accounting and finance in the busy city of Chicago. Wanting a change of pace, Aladjova and her husband packed up and moved to Colorado in order to be closer to nature and start enjoying the outdoors more. As investors themselves, Aladjova and Nathan missed the day-to-day operations of running their own company so they found a business opportunity with Roameo, when COVID-19 hit the U.S. “We found [Roameo] through personal experience by wanting to go on a trip last year when the pandemic hit to visit some of [Nathan’s] family, but we could not find flights. We felt comfortable taking a safety risk at the time and decided to do something different and rent a camper van. This way of exploring nature was so much different than anything we had ever experienced before. We were really used to transportation being something that took us from point A to point B.” Then the realization hit. “What we’ve found is some of the best conversations in our relationship were on these drives, in these secluded places where you can’t go unless you’re camping and there aren’t any hotels. So we came up with a philosophy to go where hotels can’t.”
The outdoor industry is booming and rentable campervans are nothing new. But by renting these vans, you are still roughing it out in the woods, something that deters people from enjoying the outdoors. Roameo makes getting out there easier by providing amenities for your trip, whether that be lending out linens, where to park your vehicle, where to sleep and what to do on your trip.
When asked about how she measures success, Aladjova emphasized the need to eliminate barriers to the outdoors for everybody. “The more people we can get out there experiencing the outdoors, the more successful we are. We curate these trips or we try to pre-book campsites just to make it as easy as possible so that people can actually enjoy their trip, rather than thinking about parking, itinerary, sleeping arrangements, etc. Everything goes back to that mission of eliminating the barriers to getting outdoors.”
With 10 vans built and more on the way, Roameo is launching in late summer 2021 and is excited to get more people outside. By focusing less on researching the trip, vacationers are able to enjoy the adventure and not worry about where they are going next.
After experience as a VP of Finance with SwipeSense Inc., Aladjova co-founded Roameo with her husband amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With a mission of helping its consumers reach nature more easily, Roameo is set to launch late summer 2021. Connect with Aladjova on LinkedIn.