Although a car accident left him paralyzed, Alvaro Silberstein refused to let that stop him from traveling with his friends. But he soon realized that while he successfully hiked the peaks in Patagonia, for most people who live with disabilities, adventure accessible is not a possibility. That’s why he founded Wheel the World, an online marketplace for people with disabilities and seniors to book accessible trips.
On this week’s episode of FOMO Sapiens, Alvaro talks about how he convinced the skeptics that his business could work and raised venture capital to scale. He also unpacks the opportunities and challenges that he sees as a Latin American entrepreneur who targets a global audience with much of his team in South America.
Meet our guest:
Alvaro Silberstein is co-founder of Wheel the World, an online marketplace for people with disabilities and seniors to book accessible trips. A Chilean entrepreneur, public speaker and passionate disability advocate, he created the company in 2018 to empower millions of people to explore the world without limits. Wheel the World was inspired by a 2016 trip to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. It was a journey that once felt impossible after a car accident left Silberstein paralyzed when he was a teenager, but with the support of Camilo Navarro and other friends, Silberstein became the first to complete the rugged Patagonia trek by wheelchair. While graduate students at UC Berkeley, Silberstein and Navarro partnered to launch their startup and have grown it to offer accessible travel experiences in more than 50 destinations in just three years. With a background in management consulting for leading Latin American companies, Silberstein works closely with businesses to offer fully accessible travel experiences, making it possible for people with disabilities to enjoy destinations such as Machu Picchu, Easter Island and Patagonia. Silberstein has also served as an advisor to the Chilean government for the development of the national strategy for the social inclusion of people with disabilities in Chile. He received his undergraduate degree in information technology engineering from Universidad Católica de Chile and has an MBA from the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business.