EAN and Hotels.com initially launched the programme in October and has since whittled 230 entries down to a shortlist of 10 before a panel of judges selected the final five.
In terms of selecting the finalists, Ariane Gorin, president of EAN says:
“We looked at several factors – potential disruption of the idea, quality of the team and if the start-up could benefit from our Expedia Affiliate Network and Hotels.com experts. Passion was also a key determining factor; innovation and creativity have many forms, but passion and drive is what make great ideas succeed.”
The startups chosen are:
CityStasher – a bag storage startup providing places for tourists to leave luggage for short period of time.
DayBreakHotels – an online marketing place providing hotel rooms, apartments and other services on a modular basis.
Shoot My Travel – a service connecting travellers with local professional photographers who then capture the experience for the traveller.
Live2Leave – a travel app enabling users to record travel experiences and see recommendations from a community of selected friends. It also allows travellers to save travel notes and build itineraries.
TripTech – a B2B startup aiming to improve direct marketing in travel in terms of relevance, security and scale, via its marketing engine.
The five startups will now spend six months being mentored by experts from EAN and Hotels.com on everything from product development and machine learning to strategy, sales and marketing.
Hotels.com and EAN are working on Hotel Jumpstart with incubator London-basedTraveltech Lab which will provide workspace for the finalists during the programme.
Artem Kubatkin of Triptech says the company decided to apply because of the people it would be able to engage with.
“At Triptech we see this programme as an opportunity to spend time and learn from top industry professionals from across Europe. Expedia is known as one of the strongest teams in the industry, and, combined with all the startups and founders we get to meet in the Traveltech Lab, that’s the best environment you can wish for to build a travel tech company.”
EAN’s Gorin adds:
“We can learn so many things from startups. Creativity comes in many forms and through Hotel Jumpstart, we can see how the next generation of technology entrepreneurs think about and try to solve challenges we face.”