As one of the members of The Lonely Island, he’s been on a boat. He’s been a Motherlover. And he just had sex on a “Lazy Sunday.” Now it seems Saturday Night Live's Andy Samberg has something else to wax poetic about -- being an entrepreneur.
Samberg recently co-founded CanaryHop, which the company describes as “a marketplace for activities, tours, lessons and experiences.” The funny man is among the growing ranks of celebrities who have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, choosing to start their own businesses or attach themselves to innovative startups, rather than just sign endorsement deals. Actress Jessica Alba, for example, recently wrote about her decision to start an eco-friendly baby products company on HuffPost Small Business.
For Samberg, CanaryHop continues a trend of connecting travelers to locals a la Couch Surfing. The startup divides its user base by so called “canaries” and “hoppers.” Canaries are locals who harbor passion for their community or city and are willing to give tours to visitors or share their expertise. Hoppers are travelers or locals looking to truly experience local culture, learn a new hobby or just try something different.
Searching for a place like Florence, Italy, will yield a page like that of Mila L. which offers multilingual walking tours for one to six people of “Florence by Moonlight” for $140. Meanwhile, in Prague, you can go on a beer tour with Katarina M. for $24. The site offers a variety of experiences for the curious world traveler, with a rating/comment system and “Canary of the Week” to help highlight the best guides for your money. The site also has a space reserved for “Celebrity Canary of the Month,” hinting that Samberg plans to use his celebrity clout and friends to draw visitors to CanaryHop. The site depends on Canaries to supply photos and vivid descriptions of their tour offerings and qualifications before being approved, with 85 percent of the Hopper’s purchases going to the Canary and 15% to the host site.
Samberg kicked off the CanaryHop launch on last week by doing what he does best: making absurd and funny viral videos. In the video, Samberg wakes up in a fog with a French girl and realizes he has a new set of skills -- everything from speaking French to painting to throwing knives and snake charming.
"CanaryHop.com is a fusion of culture, travel, and social networking,” said CanaryHop.com co-founder Damon Spiegel. “I am thrilled to be a part of such a forward thinking venture that allows us to make such a momentous impact on the next generation of booking travel."
So how does Samberg's new venture stack up against against those of his fellow celebrities? Here's a look: