Travel Forward announces second annual Startup Competition

Travel Forward, the only dedicated global event serving the entire travel and hospitality technology ecosystem, confirms that Amadeus is continuing its sponsorship of the Startup Showcase and Competition for 2019.

Francesca Benati, SVP Online Travel, and Startups for Amadeus in Western Europe, Middle East, and Africa, said: “Identifying and nurturing best-in-class travel startups is one way to ensure innovative ideas become part of the broader travel ecosystem. That’s why Amadeus is delighted to be sponsoring Travel Forward’s Startup Showcase and Competition for the second year in a row.”

Travel and hospitality startups, which are less than four years old and have raised no more than £2 million in funding are invited to register. It is completely free to apply, although the number of successful participants is limited to ensure quality over quantity.

All the chosen startups are allocated a booth in the Startup Zone, which has a prime position on the main exhibition floor and can demonstrate their product on the Startup Showcase Stage.

They are also invited to take part in the Startup Competition, which takes place during the opening two days of Travel Forward. The process involves startups making a six-minute-long pitch to a panel of judges who will select a shortlist of three. The finalists then take to the Keynote Theatre stage and re-pitch to the entire audience who will decide the winner, in real-time, using a live voting system.

Amadeus will provide the victorious startup access to its senior executive team through  twelve hours of one-to-one mentorship. An individual stand on the main floor for Travel Forward 2020 is part of the winning package.

The inaugural Startup Competition, also sponsored by Amadeus with mentoring as the prize, was won by Trip Ninja. It is a Canadian business which has developed a B2B multi-city flight search engine.

Its CEO Andres Collart said that the mentorship included looking at “how we can work together to get the Trip Ninja technology into the hands of their customers.”

He also said being part of the Startup Showcase was not only “a great validation for the business” but also contributed to Trip Ninja securing business. “We licence our technology to online travel agents, retail travel agents, and consolidators, and we were able to meet buyers from all three segments. At some points during the event, people were lining up to see us at the booth.

“As a result, we’ve since signed deals with two OTAs, including a globally active Canadian OTA we’ve never had the chance to meet on home soil.”

In addition to the Startup Showcase, Travel Forward has added a new “Meet the Investor” initiative and will incentivise execs from boutique and generalist firms, as well as angel investors, to attend.

Amadeus’ Benati added that its specific area of interest was finding businesses which “make the travel experience more connected and frictionless for travellers, retailers, and suppliers”.

Richard Gayle, Event Manager, Travel Forward, said: “Amadeus are one of the travel tech elite and we’re honoured that they have committed to supporting our StartUp Showcase and Competition for the second year.

“We are intrigued by what the class of 2019 will bring to the event and we’re excited about letting these startups share their story with our engaged and interested visitors, invited investors and their peers.”

If you have a travel tech startup idea or fledgling business and would like know more about how you can join the Startup Showcase and Competition at Travel Forward, please contact Richard Gayle at richard.gayle@reedexpo.co.uk.

 

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