The 2017 Start-up & Innovation in Travel Awards

Where top industry investors and innovators meet

Prove how good you are, receive real advice from people that make travel companies work, and gain valuable exposure to 400 of the brightest brains in travel customer experience, marketing and distribution.

Click here to see the judges

Stage 1:

All entries cost £495+VAT per person. This includes

  • Analysis of your innovation or start up. The top 12 entries will be selected to pitch their ideas on the May 3. 2 will be able to pitch in front of 400 heads of marketing, mobile, pricing and customer experience from Europe's biggest airlines, hotels, tour operators and intermediaries on the 20th of April.
  • Subsidised entrance into Day 1 of the Eyefortravel Europe Summit
  • Entrance to the Innovation accelerator, 5 top investors in travel, entrepreneurs, VCs and travel company innovation experts tell you what they are looking for.
  • Networking coffees, lunch and drinks reception with 25 investors in the travel industry
  • A brief synopsis of your innovation and company logo added to our event site.

Both Start ups and established companies launching innovative products and services to drive serious growth are invited to pitch their innovations in front of a panel of distinguished judges and an audience of investors.

Both will be judged on their financial potential…. ie if you could invest in this... you would. This puts the start-ups and the innovators from larger companies on a level playing field.

Entrance to 2 days of the show costs £995+VAT

2 person entrance is £1495+VAT

Stage 2:

15-20 April EyeforTravel screens applicants to create of shortlist of the strongest entrants. These will be invited to pitch before our panel of judges and audience of investors.

Stage 3:

May 3 - 10:30 Serial entrpreneurs and investors in travel explain where type of opportunity they are looking to invest in and what they look for from a potential investment company.

  • Timothy Hentschel, co-founder and CEO,
  • Brian Harniman, MD, Brand New Matter

Stage 4:

May 3 Start-ups and innovators pitch their products to judging panel (judges and criteria to be announced).

The Judges are:

  • Timothy Hentschel co-founder and CEO,
  • Christopher Persson, General Partner, Recapex
  • Dick Porter, Portfolio Chairman and Investor (founder and former CEO, STA Travel)
  • Brian Harniman, Managing Director, Brand New Matter Inc
  • Tim Gunstone, Managing Director, Eyefortravel Ltd

More judges to be confirmed soon.

Stage 5:

May 4 The 2 strongest entrants are selected by the judging panel to face the audience and battle for the title of Top Travel Start-Up/Innovator. The final stage of the awards takes place on the second morning of the show. Each finalist will have 5 minutes to pitch to the audience in the main conference room. The winner will be decided though audience voting via the event mobile app.


The Judges for 2016 included:

Timothy Hentschel co-founder and CEO,

He’s the CEO of the world's largest provider of online group hotel bookings and event management services. Always keen to advise start-ups and entrepreneurs to succeed. Tim also sits on the Cornell University Board for Entrepreneurship and will chair the finals on the 3rd of May.

Clive Jacobs, Chairman, Travel Weekly Group

Clive is the Chairman of the Travel Weekly Group, (Travel Weekly, The Caterer, Travolution, The British Travel and Hospitality Industry Hall of Fame) He is also an investor in and chairman of the Tully Luxury Travel. Clive also founded and was the Chairman and CEO of Holiday Autos Group, the world’s largest leisure car rental broker. Clive built Holiday Autos into a sector leading business, which was acquired by plc in March 2003 for £43 million.

Charlie Woolnough, Hedgefund professional, Quorum

After 15 years working in the hedge fund industry, Charlie now sits on the boards of some of Europe's largest and most high profile hedge funds. He also has investments in FinTech and the property sector.

Christopher Persson, General Partner, Recapex

Christopher is a serial entrepreneur. He has started many companies and led them to high growth through rapid internationalisation throughout Europe and the US. One of the companies that Chris co-founded, Bookatable, Europes largest restaurant marketing network, was late in 2015 sold to Michelin.

Brian Harniman, Managing Director, Brand New Matter Inc

Managing Director at BrandNewMatter, a strategic advisory firm based in NYC. Building an OTA for the small unmanaged corporate traveler at With over 18 years in online commerce Brian has expertise in building relationships that drive traffic and transactions to websites. He has strong experience in online advertising, building online brands, and site acquisition. During his years at Priceline, he engineered the purchase of,, and

Dick Porter, Portfolio Chairman and Investor

Dick founded STA Travel and was its CEO for 31 years, driving it’s growth and creating a multi-million and multi-national travel company. He is presently the chairman of Hetras, CTI, Australian Business, The Australia Day Foundation and Honorary President of the British Educational Travel Association

If you would like to join the judging panel and can prove your investment heritage please drop an email to

Still not convinced?:

Here what last years finalists said about the event:

"EyeforTravel exceeded all expectations in helping us meet key decision makers from some of the biggest travel organisations globally. We’ve attended events both in the EU and US and the connections made and insights gleaned have been invaluable. We’d definitely recommend anyone looking to drive commercial exposure to get involved with Eye for Travel. It's really helped us progress business development forwards and we really enjoyed attending the well-organised and informative events."

Andy Peck, CEO and Founder, Trustedhousesitters.

If you’re interested in participating in the conference, please get in touch:

Leo Langford

Leo Langford

Global Conference Producer
+1800 814 3459 x7158 (US)
+44 (0) 207 375 7158 (Global)

Tim Gunstone

Tim Gunstone

Managing Director
+44 (0) 207 375 7557 (Global)
+1800 814 3459 x7557 (US)

Sinead Rodgers

Sinead Rodgers

Head of Sales &
Business Development
+44 (0) 207 375 7228 (Global)
+1800 814 3459 x7228 (US)

2017 Sponsor & Exhibitors


  • Amadeus
  • App Annie
  • bokun
  • cartrawler
  • Couchbase
  • Fornova
  • GTA
  • ixonos
  • Jumio
  • intent media
  • Fornova
  • travelaer


  • CodeGen
  • hotel-tech-platform-windsurfer
  • LOLA
  • Omniscien
  • SparkCentral
  • Waynaut
  • Worldline

Supported by

  • BHA
  • Presswire
  • EPS
  • Hotel
  • HotelMarketing
  • HotelSpeak
  • tnooz
  • Travel-Massive
  • TTI