9 Startups to Join our Booster Lab in Tel Aviv
We are excited to announce the 9 sustainable tourism startups that will participate in our second Booster Lab in Tel Aviv from 6 to 8 March 2018. The Booster Lab programme is designed to give these early-stage startups tools, guidance and, potentially, funding that will boost their impact and drive their success.
In this three day programme, the selected ventures will participate in hands-on workshops, attend insightful talks and keynotes, and be mentored by the best of Booking.com. Marking the end of the programme, each startup will deliver a pitch in front of an audience of industry experts and our Booking.com jury, who will evaluate their roadmaps and impact, and award grants of between €10,000 and €25,000 to the programme’s most promising ventures.
Read the profiles of the 9 selected sustainable tourism startups below. In the coming 2 weeks, we will share insightful interviews with each startup, so stay tuned for those.
“accessibleGO is the only full-service accessible travel platform providing search, reviews, and bookings of accessible hotels, cruises, transport and destinations worldwide. With timely insights, comprehensive resources, and a dynamic traveller community, accessibleGO is quickly becoming the number one travel resource for planning accessible trips. Initially, we are focused on domestic travel in the USA, while we will expand globally over the course of our roll-out plan. We are proud to be a part of the Priceline Partner Network. Our goal is to create a collaborative travel community for people with disabilities to support one another.”
- Miriam, Co-founder & CEO
“Every place has a story, and bitemojo tells it through it's best local cuisine. bitemojo is the first app to offer self-guided meaningful food experiences via smartphone only, targeting both international travelers, domestics and locals. Local cuisines are the best window to the heart and soul of destinations, helping to understand the culture, tradition and the society in the most exciting and tasty way. For travelers bitemojo offers 'biteTours' - immersive food experiences that takes travelers for 2-3 enjoyable hours, at their own time and pace, tasting 5-6 top local dishes and drinks, without being dependent on a group or a guide, and with maximum flexibility. For the local market bitemojo is offering the 'biteWallet' - a fun and exciting way to discover your own city, with a pack of bites that allows you to try dozens of outstanding new places in your city through hand-picked bites. Another key advantage of our experiences is the fact they are borderless, so travelers can start an experience in Barcelona and finish it in Rome, as all our bites are redeemable anywhere, everywhere, with a single click.”
- Michael, Co-founder
Italy, expanding to the Middle East
“Citynsider is a web community of young and curious travelers that share travel experiences and local tips on cities they have lived in. Thanks to Citynsider, you won’t waste time choosing among the overwhelming amount of options anymore. Citynsider will provide you with a few, select and tailored suggestions - exactly like when you call a friend that already knows both you and the city to have a couple of tips: quick and reliable! As travelers, we often found ourselves wasting hours walking around looking for a nice place to go. When you don't have a friend who can give personalised tips, or even better, take you to his/her favorite spots, it is extremely annoying and time consuming to find places that fit your needs and taste. Therefore, thanks to an algorithm, we can replicate that process and give tailored tips based on your characteristics and needs! Our aim is to gather the most passionate travelers to have the best and most genuine insider tips of the main cities worldwide to share with one another.”
- Emanuele, CEO
“FarmGuests is a digital platform connecting farmers to travellers, enabling them to host guests and provide rural tourism activities in addition to their eco stay and home-grown food. Focused on entertainment and leisure, our platform allows a traveller to look for rural tourism accommodations according to his/her needs, compare, and find a farm to stay, to have a lunch or where they can spend a few hours on their way. In a number of countries, rural tourism is considered a strategic direction for positively impacting the agribusiness in general. By connecting travellers to farmers and the farming lifestyle, we can increase the farms’ revenues, grow the agricultural industry, and create a positive impact.”
- Maxim, CEO
“Knowers is a human to human travel platform that connects travelers with knowledgeable locals via video voice & chat. Locals provide tips, information and on-demand services to travelers. Locals (Knowers), get to monetize their knowledge while travelers have a better, smoother, experience thanks to relevant, local information streaming when in need. We believe that everyone knows something you don't, and everyone is a local somewhere. Meaning, for the first time ever, we're creating a marketplace that everyone can take part in. We believe this will empower people, and allow them to monetize their knowledge, as they themselves are the asset.”
- Laurence, CEO
Greece, expanding to the Middle East
“We use lighthouse technology with solar tracking to focus sunlight on high-efficiency energy absorbers in order to achieve efficient collection of solar energy in the form of high-temperature thermal energy. Lighthouse Solar Collector is a simple solution with huge impact as it achieves a 60% reduction in fuel usage. It is easy to install and maintain with a payback period of fewer than five years. Globally, it is the first time that Fresnel lenses are used to collect this type of solar energy that can be installed on every building. For the first time, a practical, durable, efficient and cost-effective solution is developed and can contribute so significantly towards the need for heating and cooling of buildings.”
- Christos, R&D Manager & Managing Director
“Paratrek was founded to promote inclusion. We see the right to go out to nature and experience it with all of its power as a basic right everyone should have. Nature heals. It gives you the opportunity to meet yourself and others in very sensitive places and grow from them. At Paratrek, we offer tailor-made trips with suitable support, to provide this opportunity to people with disabilities. We create a mixed group of people with and without disabilities, then we understand what are the dreams, abilities, and disabilities of each and every one of the members, and offer the right trail for them and suitable assistive devices that will answer their needs. It can be a Trekker - a special wheelchair for difficult terrain that we designed for trekking, or a special harness for rock climbing for people who are amputees, and more. Every person should be able to go outdoors with the people he loves, if its family, friends, class or other.”
- Omer, Founder & CEO
Romania, expanding to the Middle East
“Questo is a mobile app for playful experiences around the world. We create gamified self-guided tours around cities which can be explored by going on a quest and solving certain clues, similar to a treasure hunt. Each quest has its own theme and is designed by a local, who must incorporate unique stories and authentic local businesses. At the same time, each quest can promote a local cause, such as the rehabilitation of a historical home or the financing of a local festival. For now, the tours in Questo are free to explore, but in the near future we will add some premium ones too, which will be purchased through the app.”
- Alex, Co-founder & Chief Play Officer
“49% of Americans were active in the outdoors in 2016. However, 90% of them are not defined as outdoor enthusiasts. They could not read a map, they do not feel familiar in nature and do not, yet, use digital solutions. Current solutions are great for savvy users but the non-adventurers, the largest segment, are left behind. They need a whole new approach. Less choices, better guidance, trail insights and all that packed as a Trail, not an App. Trailze is looking to create the world’s first Outdoor Content Marketplace. Content is provided by top brands and local experts as a library where each trail is awesome. Less choices but clear directions, secret places and related content, all provided in just few clicks. Premium trails will cost $5-10 to the end user and are carefully maintained and always up-to-date.
Instead of looking at a huge list or endless google results, users are encouraged to choose from a short list of high quality content. For the publishers, Trailze provides a new revenue stream for the content they already have but cannot sell in today's traditional market in any other way than books. On top, Trailze developed it's proprietary mapping and trail analysis technology (Pat, Pending in US and EU) that will allow big data collection, personalisation and a new level of planning in the near future.”
- Ronen, CEO
We can't wait for these startups to come together in less than two weeks to learn from the mentors, trainers, and each other, and grow their businesses and impact. We will keep you up to date throughout the programme, and of course, post the highlights and results of the Pitch Event on 8 March hosted in Rise Tel Aviv’s auditorium. Stay tuned for each startups’ in depth interview in the coming days.