Wander Health, ZaNiheza founders open up about startup journey as scholarship recipients

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Starting a company is no easy feat. Building from the ground up requires passion, ideation, resiliency and an eye trained on the future.

And travel startup founders Dana Le and Charles Shima are no strangers to those qualities.

Le and Shima, who founded Wander Health and ZaNiheza, respectively, were named the 2023 recipients of the Philip C. Wolf Memorial Scholarship. As part of their scholarship, recipients receive a ticket to the The Phocuswright Conference, a three-night stay at the conference host hotel and the opportunity to participate in a mentorship program of their choice at the conference.

While attending, the pair stopped by the PhocusWire Studio. During their wide-ranging conversation, they opened up about their goals for the next three to five years.

Shima, who also serves as CEO and chief creative storyteller, classified his goals as “bold.”

“I founded [ZaNiheza] so that people can travel to the continent of Africa, and they can discover the culture above and beyond the safari and the wildlife,” he said. “And so I would like maybe to reach a million travelers by then, people who are coming to the continent, to see what they have above and beyond the culture.”

And Le, who is also her company’s CEO, elaborated on her goal to create a company that furthers her vision that no matter where people travel, they should have access to health care.

“We hope that as the world is now getting used to traveling again, that we’re able to connect people to health care, no matter what country that they’re in,” she said. “It shouldn’t be a barrier to [going on] your usual trips, there shouldn’t be any interruptions that way. You should be able to book online [and] see a doctor. So that’s truly our goal in the next three to five years.” 

The pair also touched on challenges they’ve faced and advice they’d share with other startup founders who may be earlier on in their journey. 

Watch their full conversation with PhocusWire senior reporter Morgan Hines below.

The Phocuswright Conference 2023 Executive Interview: Philip C. Wolf Memorial Scholarship recipients

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