Travelport hatches incubation program to accelerate travel start-ups

Travelport, a leading Travel Commerce Platform providing distribution, technology, payment and other solutions for the $8 trillion global travel and tourism industry, has announced the development of a seed stage investment and mentorship program to accelerate the growth of innovative startup companies focused on travel commerce.

The program, which will be run in four month cycles and will accept up to four startups per cycle, will be handled completely in-house by dedicated Travelport experts, most of whom already have startup experience and were chosen for their mentorship background.  At the end of each program, each team then has the opportunity to participate in a demo day to pitch their travel commerce innovations to senior Travelport executives, investors and other potential business development partners from across the travel industry.  

Startups accepted to the Incubation program will also have access to Travelport’s team of experienced product managers, designers, developers and coaches as well as a wide range of other experts from across the company’s 3,400 employees globally.  Additionally, participants will have access to Travelport’s APIs, software development kits (SDKs) and data feeds, as well as invaluable feedback from Travelport’s customers including travel agencies and travel content providers such as airlines, hotels and car hire companies.   As part of its hosting program Travelport, will also provide practical support such as office space and other support services.  

“We’re serious about redefining travel commerce and we know there are some highly talented developers and travel startups out there who are also looking to have a positive impact on the travel commerce landscape,” said Jason Nash, Travelport’s Head of Marketing and Product Incubation. “This incubator allows us to join forces with these exciting companies of the future in a mutually beneficial way.  Our program is different because we’re running it completely in-house with dedicated experts which really demonstrates how involved we want to get and our level of commitment to taking the most successful ventures forward.  The startups will benefit from exceptional support and we’re really looking forward to partnering with them to work on some seriously exciting ideas and innovations focused on the unmet needs of our customers.”  

The first Incubator session is planned to begin in late summer and follows a similar, incubation program that has been running internally for Travelport employees.  

“We’ve already tested our approach with our internal teams and figured out how to run a program like this and maximize the adoption of lean and agile marketing methodology.  This has also successfully helped us identify some budding internal entrepreneurs, many of whom were in unrelated roles, and we now want to replicate that success and support innovation in the external incubator program,” added Nash.

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