Travelport starts search for ‘game-changing’ UK travel start-up for seed funding

Travelport starts search for ‘game-changing’ UK travel start-up for seed funding

Travelport is seeking a UK-based game-changing travel start-up ready for seed-stage funding to enter its US incubation programme.

The early-stage investment and mentorship initiative was first launched in June to accelerate the growth of start-ups focused on travel commerce.

The programme is open to companies from all over the world but this new funding has been earmarked specifically to try to find two projects to take forward, one from the UK and Ireland and one from the Nordics.

The incubator, which is being run in-house by Travelport’s team in Colorado, will provide coaching to the winning applicants and provide practical support such as office space.

The winners will have access to Travelport’s APIs, software development kits and data feeds, as well as feedback from its customers including travel agencies and travel content providers, such as airlines, hotels and car hire companies.

It is hoped the companies will be able to take their travel commerce innovations to a stage where they can establish product/market fit, develop a user base and drive product usage.

Ultimately the company will pitch its idea to a panel of Travelport executives, investors and other potential business development partners from across the travel industry.

Simon Ferguson, Travelport’s managing director for the UK, Ireland and the Nordics, said: “Travelport is trying to encourage and inspire innovation in our industry.

“Our open platform already attracts some of the brightest and best developers to conceive, build and sell new apps and technologies.

“The incubation programme takes that to the next level and we’re looking for truly game-changing ideas.

“I want to encourage all interested developers and travel start-ups in the UK, Ireland and the Nordics to apply and firmly believe that with access to Travelport’s expertise and infrastructure, we could help them take an idea and turn it into a genuinely viable and successful proposition.”

Winning teams will be asked to temporarily relocate and base themselves at the Travelport Labs Incubator in Denver. They can choose to use a portion of the funding towards relocation costs.

More details, including how to apply, can be found at travelport.com/labs/incubator-apply-fall-2015.

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