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VISIT FLORIDA Digital Innovation Forum Recap


On Wednesday November 30th, Travel Startups Incubator (TSI) ran a travel startup pitch session at day one of the VISIT FLORIDA Digital Innovation Forum. TSI brought in 11 travel tech startups to present to 125 travel executives from around Florida. Expedia presented at the closing of the day. The event sold out and was a great success.

Each startup presented for 5-minutes, then received 3-minutes of Q&A from a panel of veteran travel executives:

  • Danielle Hollander – CMO Visit Orlando
  • Sharon Siskie – SVP, Sales Disney Destinations
  • Terry Prather – Former President of SeaWorld and Executive Director of the Florida Council of Tourism Leaders

Day two of the conference featured presentations from Facebook and Google.


The day capped off with a reception in the evening where each startup received a table to run demos and meet in-person with all of the attendees. The reception area was packed and the startups raved about the engagement and interest they received from the travel executives.

A special thanks to Paul Phipps, Chief Marketing Officer VISIT FLORIDA, Becca Smith Digital Strategy Manager VISIT FLORIDA, and David Atkins, interim Chief Digital Officer VISIT FLORIDA for having us and helping organize a fantastic event. Also in attendance were Kerri Zeil, Dir. Amadeus for Startups a TSI advisor and mentor and strategic partner, and Mike Spotswood, Nicole Zito’s father who helped us videotape the conference.

“It was a pleasure working with Travel Startups Incubator, and even more wonderful that they are a Florida based company. They brought eleven innovative technology companies who presented in a rapid-fire format which was the perfect fit for our inaugural Digital Innovation Forum. We look forward to working with them again for future events.” -Becca Smith, Digital Strategy Manager, VISIT FLORIDA
Matt, Nicole and Mike, the team at Travel Startups Incubator, did an amazing job orchestrating Neirbi’s experience at the VISIT FLORIDA Digital Innovation Forum. The event ran very smoothly and provided my company with excellent exposure and feedback in a friendly “shark tank” style presentation. The event concluded with a cocktail reception where we were provided table space to engage with and run demos for attendees that had follow-up questions. The whole experience was a very productive and efficient way for me to engage travel industry executives who have a high likelihood of being interested in Neirbi. – Ryan Duques, Co-Founder Neirbi
“Presenting at the Visit Florida Digital Innovation forum was a highly valuable opportunity for Alpaca Maps. It provided us with great brand exposure, and the ability to get in front of the decision makers in a range of companies and tourism organisations. The presentation and question format also provided worthwhile feedback on our messaging and product offering. Overall, the Travel Startup Incubator team did a fantastic job of facilitating a great event, and I wouldn’t hesitate being part of an event like this again.” -Zoe Manderson, Co-Founder Alpaca Maps

Below are some of the presentations (click to download PDF) from the companies as well as a collage of pictures from the conference and evening reception.

ALICE (Platform connecting every department of a hotel with their guests)

Alpaca (Mapping/storytelling tools for DMOs, hotels, activity providers and more)

Bandwango (Destination marketing and experience platform)

Flightsayer (Flight cancellation predictions)

Flip.to (Hotel advocacy platform)

FlitWays (Ground transportation aggregator)

Hitlist (Flight deal alerts and marketing platform)

iResponze (Guest feedback management service)

Neirbi (Predictive demand for hotels)

Tagible (Automated rich media content aggregation)

TraknProtect (Inventory tracking and analytics platform for hotels)

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