Five finalists have been selected for Hotel Jumpstart, a mentorship-driven accelerator programme aimed at supporting the most innovative travel-tech start-ups of the future.
The scheme is run by Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN) and Hotels.com and attracted more than 230 applications.
The five finalists are:
Bag storage firm CityStasher, founded last year to provide secure and cost-effective spaces for tourists to leave luggage for short periods of time.
Digital marketplace Shoot My Travel connects travellers with local professional photographers, on demand in 230 destinations worldwide.
DayBreakHotels is an online marketplace selling hotel rooms, apartments and luxury ancillary services for limited amounts of time at a fraction of the standard room-per-night price.
Travel app Live2Leave enables users to record travel experiences and see recommendations from a community of selected friends. The app also allows users to save travel notes and build itineraries.
B2B start-up TripTech is building a direct marketing engine to improve the relevance, security and scale of direct marketing in the travel sector.
The finalists will be invited to present their business models to a panel of judges at a gala ceremony attended by senior Expedia executives and employees, invited guests and selected media in July 2018.
An overall winner will be selected and receive $10,000 worth of Hotels.com travel vouchers to go towards their business travel expenses.
The five will be mentored over the next six months by subject matter experts from Hotels.com and EAN, who will lead them through a specially designed programme including advisory workshops and mentoring sessions covering everything from product development and machine learning to strategy, sales and marketing.
The start-ups will also gain access to EAN’s suite of content-rich APIs.
EAN president Ariane Gorin, one of a panel of judges that whittled down ten shortlisted companies to reach the five finalists, said: “The hotel jumpstart pitches were truly inspiring. We saw energised, passionate teams working across various parts of the travel industry and trying to solve different problems.
“From in-trip experiences like photography, bag storage to hotel revenue management solutions, digital marketing solutions and trip planning – the innovation was breath-taking.”