Meet the Founders Special Segment - Ted Finn, CEO

March 17,2018

Frequent global traveller Ted Finn knew he was on to something when Dr. Charles Krebs shared his cure for jet-lag with him. After trying out the unique acupressure activation techniques after multiple international flights, Finn knew that so many other global travellers could benefit greatly from this discovery.

As a co-founder of Uplift, Finn is at the core the ideal customer for the app; As an individual who travels internationally at least once a month, thus experiencing the intense side effects of jet-lag quite frequently. Finn, an entrepreneur for 30 years now, began with his first venture in 1987 with his family. Their footwear company was a spinoff of his father’s company, and introduced Finn to “being his own boss.” From there, Finn describes that he “got the bug to work for myself,” and explored additional product innovations. Although Finn has extensive global knowledge and experience, Uplift is his first venture within the travel industry.

Finn first met Dr. Krebs in Cambridge while he was treating Finn’s wife. From there they became friends, and bonded over their similar love for travel. Travelling internationally starting at age 13, Finn could relate to the feelings of jet-lag. Inspired by Dr. Krebs’ discoveries, he decided to try the accupressure point activation on himself. After realizing how useful and effective Dr. Krebs’ system was, he knew there were global travelers out there that could equally benefit from it.

In early stages of product development, Finn realized “based on global travel patterns that users would need to have the solution in hand wherever they would be.” The only scalable solution was to create an app to support Dr. Krebs’ unique algorithms. He also found that users who used Uplift for one international flight and felt the benefits would continue to use it again and again, hence the need for a mobile app that could be used wherever there was internet.

Fast forward to 2018 and Uplift has finally launched commercially. Finn recently got a chance to educate thousands of travellers in person at the New York Times Travel Show in January. He says about the experience, “the trade show was amazing and there was such a great turnout.” The team met travel companies, resorts, and global adventure travelers. The feedback from the trade show was immensely positive, says Finn, and that people were “genuinely relieved there was finally a cure for this global problem.” Because acupressure is not as familiar to Americans as it is to people in other areas of the world, Finn has a responsibility to educate consumers on how it can greatly impact their travel experiences. “We’re offering incredible value here, costing such a small percentage of anyone’s long distance trip, providing them with major benefits,” he says. Only being a few months old, Uplift is growing and adapting constantly. “Every start-up has its own unique set of challenges,” Finn says, “you must be successful with a great product, organization, and a great team.” Among the most challenging hurdles that startups face are how to spread the word and how to grab consumer attention. Finn describes this stage as having “a lot of moving parts that need to align.” He claims that the best part of working on Uplift is the “ability to help millions of people enjoy their travel experiences.” His personal favorite travel experience? “That’s tough...but it would have to be Florence, Italy,” where Finn once lived, “I’ve been traveling back and forth to Italy for 40 years now.”

What’s next for Uplift Ventures? The team will be taking Uplift on tour this year, and interacting with global consumers. Finn says “this year is all about getting people’s attention who travel, and partnering with others in the travel community.”

(Ted bicycling outside of Florence)

By Uplft Contributor - Kaitlyn Mentlick