The 2018 Start Up Awards

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Why do we have EyeforTravel’s Start-Up Awards alongside the North America Summit?

The Awards were first established in 2008, given the ever-growing interest in the event from entrepreneurs, investors and start-ups.

The North America 2018 Summit covers all areas of online travel, including marketing, social and mobile - all of which are key topics sparking innovation within the travel sector.

Due to the enormous number of enquiries we get from start-ups wishing to be involved with the event, we have a dedicated start-up program, complete with networking and a start-up competition!

Click here to learn more about the main summit


The 2018 short list includes:

  • Group-Desk
  • BlueWander
  • Instio Experiences
  • AirDB
  • Clinch
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EyeforTravel North America Start Up Awards 2018 Agenda

Thursday 18th October:

8:30 Registration and Morning Coffee
9:00 Start of EyeforTravel North America Summit (for those who would like to attend the keynote sessions)
10:20 Morning Networking Coffee Break
10:45 Start of EyeforTravel Start Up Awards 2018
  • Opening from Matt Zito, Managing Partner, Travel Startups Incubator
  • Brief explanation of the scorecard sheet & process
  • Running through the agenda for the day including the feedback process at the end   
10:55 Investor + Advisor Panel Discussion
  • In this panel discussion, participants get a chance to hear from those who have succeeded in the cut throat online travel space. What are some of the use cases and strategies? What has worked, and what do budding start-ups need to look out for?


Xenia Hospitality Advisors Gregoire Poirier President Xenia Hospitality Advisors

Petsky Prunier Seth Rosenfield Managing Director Petsky Prunier

George Rabian CEO Steelhead Ventures

Pitch Competition Starts!
11:20 Kiva Solutions


11:35 Group Desk

Group Desk

11:50 BlueWander


12:05 Networking Lunch + Free Time
Pitch Competition Resumes!
1:30 müvTravel


1:45 Air DB

Air DB


2:00 ZingTrip



2:15 RoomSage


2:30 Clinch


2:45 Afternoon networking coffee break
3:15 Judges Collaboration
3:30 Feedback to Start Ups
4:00 Close of EyeforTravel Start-Up Awards 2018!

* The 2 Finalists to be announced at the Networking Drinks at 5:30pm.
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EyeforTravel's Start-up Awards consists of a morning bootcamp featuring insightful conferences sessions with top travel entrepreneurs followed by an afternoon Start-up Awards competition (Thursday 18th October) during which 12 lucky travel start-ups will deliver a pitch to the judges, investors and audience present at the event.

For those simply wishing to learn more about what it takes to succeed as an online travel start-up, the day consists of some fantastic learning and networking opportunities.


The start-up village will take place at the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, as part of EyeforTravel's North America 2018 Summit.

It's a great opportunity to meet entrepreneurs, investors and judges comprised of experts from all walks of travel - all of whom are keen to examine which start-up has what it takes to make it in the cut throat travel industry.


To enter EyeforTravel's Startup Awards, all companies must fulfil the following general criteria for entry:

  • Have started to trade no earlier than 2013.
  • Have a product/service which relates to the travel & tourism industry


Stage 1:
Entry Deadline: date TBC

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Stage 1: Those wishing to enter the start-up awards must enter by the date tbc to be selected to participate at the event.

Stage 2: Selection

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Stage 2: Entrants will be notified if they have been selected to pitch at the event. These companies will be invited to pitch before our panel of judges and audience of investors.

Stage 3 & 4: Industry insight, pitching and networking: Thursday October 18th

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Stage 3: Edit to read: The start-up pitches will take place on October 18th 2018 from 9am - 1pm. All participating in the start-up awards including attendees are welcome to join the main summit after lunch. The afternoon will wrap up at approx. 5.30pm where networking drinks will be held in the exhibition hall.

Stage 4: The lucky 2 finalists will get to pitch on the main stage on Friday October 20th, followed by a live audience poll to determine the winner of the EyeforTravel 2018 Start-Up Awards.

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The Start-Up Pass ($1095) includes:

  • Opportunity to pitch your start-up to industry experts and a team of judges
  • Access to all conference sessions over 2 days
  • Access to all lunch and networking coffee breaks
  • Access to our exclusive networking party
  • Access to the conference networking app to pre-book meetings

NB: What happens if you enter EyeforTravel's Start-up Awards and are not successful in reaching the awards final?

We will notify you in writing during the week of September 25th. You will not be charged the $1095 entry as only successful entrants will pay this fee, if you would like to attend you can attend both days for $995 or just the start-up awards for $595

What does the Awards Winner Get?

The awards winner will receive:

  • An exclusive interview on as well as continued featured contributions
  • The opportunity to present and speak at the North America 2019 Summit
  • Access to EyeforTravel's content library which includes access to thousands of travel brand cutting edge case studies, videos and reports
  • EyeforTravel has 80,000 contacts worldwide in the global online travel industry and will work to support the winner through their growth and development
  • Heavily discounted passes to future EyeforTravel events worldwide
  • We don't promise investment; however, we have gathered together the right people at the event (including investors) to help your brand succeed.
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What will you learn?

Packed full of insights from online travel entrepreneurs and investors, the Start-up Awards is the ideal place to meet, network and learn from those who have succeeded in the cut throat online travel industry. The full programme will soon become available.

Can I still get involved if I do not wish to pitch at the start-up awards?

Absolutely! There are two ways you can get involved:


Gold Pass ($995)
  • Two-day pass: Access to the start-up sessions, awards and the EyeforTravel North America Summit that is at the same venue 18-19 October)
  • Access to networking and coffee breaks with the main summit - giving you access to meet & network with over 400 travel experts
Silver Start-up Attendee Pass ($595)
  • One day pass: (18th October) Access to only attend the start-up sessions and awards
  • Access to networking and coffee breaks with the main summit - giving you access to meet & network with over 400 travel experts
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The judges for the 2018 Start Up Awards include:

  • Gregoire Poirier, President, Xenia Hospitality Advisors
  • Amir Amidi, Managing Partner, Plug and Play Tech Center
  • Utpal Kaul, Head of Innovation and Strategy, Carlson Wagonlit Travel
  • Seth Rosenfield, Managing Director, Petsky Prunier
  • George Rabian, CEO, Steelhead Ventures
  • Matt Zito, Managing Partner, Travel Start Ups Incubator
Nominate Now!


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

Renu Kannu

Renu Kannu

Project Director
+44 747 118 7217 (Global)

Ana Salom-Boira

Ana Salom-Boira

Global Conference Producer
+44 (0) 207 375 7150 (Global)

Meredith Pistulka

Meredith Pistulka

Head of Marketing
+44 (0) 207 375 7228 (Global)

Amber Geggus

Amber Geggus

Head of Sales
and Sponsorship
+44 (0) 207 375 7501 (Global)

2018 Sponsors & Exhibitors

Platinum Sponsors

  • Bond Brand Loyalty
  • Conversant
  • Multiplica
  • Sitel Group

Gold Sponsors

  • Custora
  • Hylink Travel
  • IMI
  • jeenie
  • mindtree
  • SAP
  • Teleperformance
  • Ultimate Data

Silver Sponsors

  • Avvio
  • claritas
  • HotelPlanner
  • Marchex
  • Nagarro
  • Partnerize
  • Pocketalk
  • Step
  • TMG
  • TrapDoor
  • Traveltek