Alumni Entrepreneurs

Meet Myles Hooper, Italy Communication Lead at Flypside

May 5, 2016

By Paola Pagani

“Take full advantage of the opportunities around you, you may not see them at first, but when something comes your way do not be scared to take it.” Myles Hooper graduated from JCU in December 2015 with a BA in Political Science and a History minor. Throughout his university years he had the opportunity to collaborate with two very different startups, Pompei Rentals and Flypside. Now that Pompei Rentals has become sustainable, he is putting all of his energy into Flypside, working as the Italy Communication Lead. Flypside is a free and revolutionary smartphone application for people in motion. The app creates a forward-facing timeline to communicate where you will be in the future, meet up with the people you choose and find things to do when you get there.

Where did the idea come from?
Andrew McGill, the CEO and Co-Founder of the company, was traveling in the Greek Isles when he had the idea “what if I had this tool to instantly connect with other people, how would that change my traveling?”. I came to know about Flypside through Scott Adelson, one of the Co-Founders and a long time family friend. He was the one to involve me, asking me to help them take Flypside international. Most startups try to stay local and then eventually expand as they get more funding. They did the complete opposite, and this energy to take risks is the element that is making them stand out.

 What is unique about this app?
Apart from Flypside’s extraordinary mission and values, I was very impressed by the International Brand Ambassador Program. This is a sort of internship program in which our “Flypside Guerrillas”, a global network of individuals who are passionate about the application, spread the Flypside message through word of mouth. This creates a unique network of colleagues all around the world, whom you can always count on and meet when traveling.

What have been the main challenges?
It is always challenging to work in a start up, especially in the very first stages. Flypside, for example, doubled the number of employees in just one year. This made the managing activities much more difficult to coordinate.

What is most rewarding about what you do?
Working in a young, innovative environment is very stimulating; you are working with individuals that strive to become the best in their market.  Besides, working in a startup you feel much more invested in what you do. I feel personally connected to the amazing results that the company has achieved.

Anything you want to share with the JCU community?
Working in a startup was probably the last thing I wanted and even imaged myself doing. As a  Political Science major working in a startup never crossed my mind. Now though, I cannot be happier with my decision. Working in this environment has not only made me grow as a person, I know that I have made a company grow too. From my own experience, I would recommend all students to work as early as they can. I know they try to enjoy university but the positive impact that internships have on your career is invaluable.

Learn more about the John Cabot Institute for Entrepreneurship.
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