Wayra, Telefónica’s innovation hub, and Hotelbeds have partnered to create TravelTech Lab. The companies – leaders in their respective fields of TravelTech and innovation – will work together over the next 15 months supporting startups to explore innovative technology-based solutions that change the way travelers move, connect and explore.
In the last year, Hotelbeds has undergone a transformation from a bedbank to a leading B2B TravelTech company. Their philosophy of reshaping the travel ecosystem has driven its partnership with Wayra.
Coinciding with the launch of the TravelTech Lab, Hotelbeds and Wayra have also launched their first startup challenge. Their goal is to receive proposals from entrepreneurs with business plans to connect them to stakeholders in the global travel ecosystem and create a seamless experience for the traveler.
Startups selected to join the hub will be able to benefit from investment, including funding of up to €40,000 from Hotelbeds to bring their ideas to life, as well as expert advice and guidance, support, and business development opportunities from the leaders of both companies. They will also be able to work with other like-minded innovators in Wayra’s headquarters in downtown Madrid and Hotelbeds’ headquarters in Palma de Mallorca.
Nicolas Huss, Hotelbeds’ CEO, said: “Hotelbeds and Wayra are two like-minded companies, both focused on finding the next big technology revolution that will reshape the global travel landscape. We have seen the ecosystem change recently and have been actively working to reduce friction across the travel spectrum. Now, joining forces with Wayra is an exciting opportunity to accelerate these plans and cement our position as global leaders in TravelTech, while supporting the next generation of tech startups looking to create innovative products, promote them, and scale their businesses.”
Irene Gómez Luque, Director of Telefónica Open Innovation, added: “Collaborating in the creation of TravelTech Lab by Hotelbeds is an exciting project to which we are delighted to contribute with all our experience in the international entrepreneurial ecosystem. Together we will navigate the search for the most innovative startups in the travel and tourism sectors that can have a real impact on the business and help in its digital transformation.”
Entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit the traveltechlab.net website for more information and to submit their applications. The deadline for submissions is March 28th and winners will be announced in May 2023. Entrepreneurs whose projects fit the challenge will also be able to meet with representatives from both companies at Wayra’s booth at 4YFN – part of the Mobile World Congress – in Barcelona on March 1st, 2023, and learn more about the challenge.