The inaugural Travel Forward – comprising a conference and exhibition – will take place from 5 – 7 November 2018 at ExCeL London, UK.
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Evantia Giumba, who heads up Amadeus’ startup programs across the Western Europe, Middle East and Africa (WEMEA) region, said: “Amadeus has a global interest in startups and it is important that we are seen to be active in all the major travel tech hubs. London is a city with not only a dynamic local startup scene but also the ability to attract innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world.”
The startups on show highlight a dazzling array of use cases for emerging technologies across the travel landscape. Visitors to Travel Forward – including investors, technology buyers and media – can visit the stands throughout the three days of the event to find out more. There will also be a schedule of detailed demos taking place on the Startup Showcase Stage.
Visitors will have the chance to vote on which startup is the most exciting as part of the Startup Competition. Over the first day and a half of the event, teams will present their ideas to a panel of judges, who will shortlist three for the final round.
The final takes place in the Travel Forward Keynote Theatre and is open to all. Each shortlisted startup will present their product to the audience and the winner will be decided via a live vote system which takes place immediately after the presentations.
Amadeus’ Francesca Benati, executive VP Online, WEMEA will provide the winning team with two hours of mentorship, every month for six months, via phone or an online meeting platform.
Benati said: “Amadeus is committed to supporting startups in many different ways and I’m looking forward to working with the winners. Mentors are important to any startup, but it also works in reverse – often the mentor can learn something from the startups.”
The businesses which are exhibiting in the Startup Showcase Zone and taking part in the competition are:
- Thimus Srl – an Italian business specialising in travel-specific applications of applied neuroscience and biometric data
- Hexis – a Croatian software development and design studio
- Becheckin – an Italian mobile and app platform for hotel operations
- Brandkit.io – a content management platform for brands’ digital media assets from New Zealand
- Trip Ninja – a Canadian multi-city flight search technology specialists
- Mov’InBlue – a French smart mobility solution for car rental companies
- Manet Mobile – an Italian advanced solution that enhances hotel quality and standards
- Futourits d.o.o. – the first blockchain travel review platform where users get rewarded for creating and curating reviews from Slovenia
- eRoam – an artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions for the Global Travel Industry from Australia
There are also some UK-based startups taking part:
- Travel Ledger Alliance – another blockchain project, this time focused on improving billing and settlements across the travel supply chain
- Autoura – a technology platform for self-driving sightseeing tours, based in Southampton
- whym.global – a live translation app founded in London
- Pathway Consulting Group – Essex-based consultancy with a patent-pending solution factoring in the Internet of Things, digitization and personal healthcare
- 15toGo – the first decentralized application for group traveling where you match with new people to go on organised trips, based in Ireland
Amadeus’ Giumba added: “We are really excited to find out more about these businesses. Amadeus prides itself on having innovation at the heart of its corporate culture, backed by a strong financial commitment to research and development.
We are serious about working with startups and our involvement with Travel Forward is meaningful and being watched at all levels of the business.”
Elsewhere, Richard Gayle, events manager, Travel Forward, added that the Startup Zone participants are a bellwether for the entire travel tech industry.
“One of the foundational principles of Travel Forward is that technology has the power to change existing paradigms as well as establish new ones. The variety of businesses committed to the Startup Showcase validate this approach. We’re proud to be leading the conversation around blockchain, applied neuroscience and self-driving tours.”
“And the fact that we have attracted startups from as far afield as New Zealand and Canada proves that we are onto something with a dedicated technology event for the global travel industry.