November 17th, 2008

Travel Innovation Summit: Nov 2008

I have notes on all 32 companies from the Innovation Summit since I sat through the whole day of presentations. I was putting together my blog(s) content from the Phocuswright 2008 Conference and was gonna highlight all of them. Then I remembered that I suck at that…covering events in a play by play manner. I’d rather talk/blog about the events/companies that I loved, not just because they were there… So, here are my thoughts and opinions of companies that I thought had something interesting going on from the Travel Innovation Summit.

TripIt logoYeah – they won Techcrunch’s competition from 1.5 years ago…but Co-Founder Scott Hintz talked about what they do and demo’ed the product. I found it super unique. TripIt organizes all your travel – no matter where you booked after you booked it. You simply forward email confirmations to – it does all of it for you from there. Many folks already knew about it, but I didn’t and they did say they will be launching an API in the near future. I’d love to get my hands on that for BootsnAll. Well done TripIt. logoI was able to meet-up with Co-Founder of RezGo the night before the summit, so his explanation RezGo over a beer definitely helped me understand their unique value proposition. Stephen Joyce, Co-Founder and CEO of RezGo presented. It is a B to B – tour and activity product management software as a service. It costs nothing for the vendors, and RezGo helps with distribution.

The example that made sense for me was a woman who rents bicycles in Hawaii – she is using RezGo to manage about $250,000 a year in sales – and it costs her nothing to use it. Very handy software to help her manage her software and take bookings on her website in an integrated manner.

RezGo is launching a distribution network so that folks like that Hawaii woman, can display their product on sites like BootsnAll and fill-up her unsold inventory. Very cool.

Innovata LLC logoI love the concept that Innovata has of facilitating the booking of RTW and Multi-stop International Air Tickets. We have been selling RTW tickets for almost 9 years now and never thought that it could be automated like this. They have figured out a way todo this with OneWorld Code Share partners as I understood it. I went to speak with Innovata and Petra Meery, Business Manager of OneWorld to further explore how this works since I missed part of their presentation. So the fact that they are onto booking these complex itineraries in an automated way is pretty exciting. We would love to be able to provide this service to our customers as well.

Since I heard it so many times from so many consolidators that it couldn’t be done, I was happy to see it done. To be fair, consolidators and OneWorld are 2 totally different animals. Congrats to Innovata and OneWorld.

WorldMate logoThese folks are heavy into mobile applications for travel. I was surprised that they did not make it to the 2nd round vs. iM@ considering their demo was 10x smoother and it looks like they actually have a lot of the functionality that iM@ is striving for….but what do I know. Check out WorldMate’s videos for a looksy into one of there products. Nadav Guy, CEO of WorldMate gave the demo. I want to get my hands on this software. Looks like fun. The linked to video will explain it better than I can. šŸ™‚

Other Links for the Travel Innovation Summit
List of All 32 Companies

The 6 Finalists

The winner was iM@

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