We help inspire, fund, advise and connect travel startups.

Now is the time to launch your travel technology startup

The old guard in the travel industry is embracing the startup ecosystem and new entrants are entering to assist travel startups. There is more pre-seed money and organizations catering to travel tech startups than at any time I can remember.

When we launched Travel Startups Incubator (TSI) in August 2014, RunUpLabs and TSI were literally the only two investors investing $25,000-$50,000 exclusively in pre-seed travel technology startups. There are now over a dozen travel, tourism, and hospitality focused accelerators/incubators investing in pre-seed travel technology. Additionally, there are a dozen travel innovation hubs providing startup services, a few travel focused co-working spaces, and a dozen VC & corporate venture arms funding later stage travel tech from seed-to-series A.

Not all organizations are investing cash. The majority are helping startups through knowledge sharing, data & technology access and facilitating business development connections with corporate travel companies. These companies push new capital into the ecosystem by launching a new incubator, accelerator or a venture fund. In addition to investment in startups, the larger travel companies are creating innovation departments and R&D Labs focusing on easing the ability for new technology to enter their corporate systems and processes. This movement to opening up their organizations to new innovations will facilitate new products and services being developed for the travel industry.

The corporate innovation strategy is far from easy and will take time to develop. Here at TSI, we’re seeing many of our corporate partners opening up their arms and embracing new technology through pilots, testing, and commercialization of new technologies. There are a few “smoke and mirror” projects and you can easily spot these initiatives as they are clearly corporate marketing efforts to stay relevant in the public eye, but genuinely a large effort is being driven and is underway within the travel industry.

TSI continues to monitor the travel tech investment ecosystem we helped build, advising funded startups and working with our portfolio companies leveraging our corporate and investor network. Below we have highlighted some of the organizations in our network that are making an impact on the travel startup ecosystem. If we are missing an organization that is investing in the travel tech ecosystem, please email us, matt@travelstartups.co and we will add you to the list.

Pre-seed Investors – cash investment + incubation and accelerator services.
Travelport Labs Accelerator
Plug & Play Travel & Hospitality
Intelak Aviation & Travel Incubator (Emirates)
Cockpit Innovation Hub (El AL)
Founders Factory (easyJet)
H-Farm Travel & Leisure Accelerator
BizLab (Airbus)
Booster (Booking.com)
Hangar 51 (IAG)
British Airways (IAG 2nd accelerator w/ Cink Emprende)
Telluride Venture Accelerator
AVRO Accelerator (Qantas)
METRO Accelerator Hospitality
Starburst

Incubators/Accelerators/Innovation Hubs/Challenges – no cash investment, expertise, knowledge, mentors/advisors, technology, API access, networking, co-working space, cash rewards.
Amadeus for Startups
Amadeus NEXT
Virtuoso Incubator
Marriott TestBed
Welcome City Lab (Paris)
Travel Experience Incubator Challenge (Marriott, Accenture, 1776)
Digital Tourism Think Tank
Discoveries Travel & Tourism Startup Accelerator
Propeller Shannon (IASC, Boeing, Datalex)
Lufthansa Innovation Hub
MIST.asia
Accenture Aviation Experience Accelerator
Tune Labs
MT Labs

Co-Working Space – providing working space, networking, business development services, access to investors.
TravelTech Lab (London)
Voyager HQ (NYC)

VC and Corporate Venture Investors – Seed, Series A, Series B+
Amadeus Ventures
Thayer Ventures
Travel Capitalist Ventures
JetBlue Ventures
Concur Perfect Trip Fund
HorizonX (Boeing)
Little Argas (Flight Centre Group)
Brand New Matter
American Express Ventures (some travel)
Priceline Ventures
Expedia

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