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45 participants attended the successful innovation challenge run by Hotusa Ventures in Madrid

participants at Hotusa Ventures in Madrid
A total of 45 young professionals and entrepreneurs from different sectors took part in the second Hotusa Challenge, the successful innovation meeting run by Hotusa Ventures, the corporate capital fund run by Grupo Hotusa and Sonar Ventures, the first startup builder in Spain.

For over 48 hours at the Eurostars Madrid Tower 5-star, the participants of the Hotusa Challenge carried out intense sessions for team building and developing proposals and products that would provide solutions to the different problems affecting the travel and hospitality sector. The president of Grupo Hotusa, Amancio López Seijas, spoke to the participants during the first day and said that "in order to carry out any project, whether personal or professional, a strong dose of enthusiasm and ambition is required. If you add talent and commitment to the project, then the possibility of it being a success are much higher."

The best project from the proposals by the nine participating groups in the second edition of the challenge, according to the jury, was an augmented reality mobile app with stories based on cities. This means tourists visiting the cities could find out more about them in a unique and different way. Using the concept of gamification, the user has to visit the main attractions along the route, obtaining tourist information while finding treasure, discovering mysteries and solving puzzles.

The jury judged the projects according to originality, how they were developed, and their hypothetical viability in the real world. Other projects featured in the second edition of the challenge were an automatic messaging service that allows guests to ask any questions they have regarding their stay autonomously, without calling reception; a platform that brings together people visiting a given destination at the same time; a platform that collects lost objects and allows hotels to return them to the owner in the event that they are claimed, or sell them on second-hand portals; a service that picks up luggage at hotels and transfers them to the airport or station so that tourists can enjoy the last day of their holiday without having to return to the hotel to pick up their left luggage.

The Hotusa Challenge got started on Friday with training sessions organised by different mentors, in which group activities were carried out so that the participants could get to know each other better and make up different work teams. On Saturday, the teams worked on developing solutions, designing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and validating the first project hypotheses, which were presented to the jury on Sunday.

The participants of the Hotusa Challenge were carefully chosen from over 150 potential candidates on the basis of their skills and abilities, and they were placed in teams specialising in different areas: development, business, design and usability, digital marketing, travel and hospitality. The coexistence and teamwork between these professionals encouraged creativity and resulted in a series of ground breaking projects, which came together in record time. During the three day event, a team of 15 mentors with professional links to the fields of innovation, investment and entrepreneurship offered advice to the groups so they could shape their projects.

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