Ulane Vilumets
Co-Founder and COO
of Like A Local Guide, 
Estonia

Gerry Sulp

ulane-vilumets-like-a-local-guide-the-hundert-com

Q: What makes you happy?

A: It makes me happy to discover unknown and abandoned places.

Do what you‘d want to do if you weren’t getting paid

In 2010, I was ready to move on in my career and began looking into the possibility of getting an MBA in the US. That same year, my longtime friend came home from a trip around the world with the idea of growing our hobby project – organizing tours in Tallinn – into something bigger. The chance to share our passion for local travel was exciting, especially because it’s something we had always done for fun. Getting paid was just a bonus. We already knew we worked well together and had complementary skill sets, so this motivated us even more.

We started out organizing off-the-beaten-path tours in Estonia and publishing printed travel maps for cities in all three Baltic states. Figuring out how to grow Like A Local Guide into a global platform of crowdsourced tips was the natural next step. I guess we’re not typical startup founders looking to get bought out by a big corporation. We’d rather take baby steps. It hasn’t always been rosy, but it’s much easier to stick with something during the rough times when your heart is really in it. 

Ülane Vilumets is a 32-year-old serial entrepreneur based in Tallinn, Estonia. She has an MBA in Entrepreneurship and previously worked as Human Resources Manager at Estonia’s largest real estate agency. In 2012, Ülane co-founded Like A Local Guide – a website and mobile app that helps travelers avoid tourist traps and discover authentic places off the beaten path. The company has since grown to seven international employees.

likealocalguide.com

This article was published in ‘the Hundert Vol. 8 – Female Startup Founders Europe’, May 2016.