Travel startups are hot in 2014. The number of startups that try to tackle a pain in travel or tourism is substantial on platforms like Angellist (US). According to the Welcome City Lab (Paris) there are no less then 600 travel startups in France alone. Travel is an industry that uses technology to innovate more than most sectors. Technological innovation is transforming every aspect of how we travel and experience new places. Many startups and established companies are looking to technology to create, maintain or innovate their core value proposition.
As a startup studio in travel, tourism and real estate, we keep a close eye on startup incubators of all kinds. A trend is also emerging for travel & tourism there: the birth of specialised travel incubators. Incubators in a vertical segments are an interesting trend as they might prove to be more efficient by their focus and by creating more density in 1 industry.
At least two new incubators popped up in Europe over the last year:
Paris – Welcome City Lab
Welcome City Lab claims to the be “the first incubator in the world dedicated to the innovation in urban tourism”.
The plan is to host 40 startups and meeting space to organize conferences, demos, meetups and co-working on 1000 square metre space in Paris’ 6th arrondissement. This will be the tenth official incubator in the City of Paris. It has been created by the Paris Region Lab, the City of Paris, BpiFrance and the Tourism and Event office of Paris. Among the founding partners are Aéroports de Paris, Sodexo Prestige, Amadeus, Skyboard, les Galeries Lafayette, Viparis et Air France.
The founding partners have access to the startups in the Lab in order to monitor and pilot innovations for their own businesses. The French fund Oseo support these startups with funds and loans from Euro 30,000 to Euro 100,000.
Residing startups at this moment are creating solutions like sharing hotel bookings, hotel concierge services, support services for AirBNB hosts, …
More on Welcome City Lab:
on their website
London – TravelTech Lab
Although still starting up and only opening in January 2015, the London TravelTech Lab was announced by Mayor of London Boris Johnson in spring 2014. The TravelTech Lab plans to select 35 disruptive startups in travel, tourism, hospitality and events. Besides the location and workspace, the selected startups will be supported with privileged access to senior industry executives, investors, mentors and media through London & Partners travel and tourism network.
The Traveltech Lab is being designed and managed by The Trampery, creators of other London based innovation spaces.
More on the TravelTech Lab
Did we miss any other travel incubators that started in Europe in 2014? Add them in the comments and we are happy to add them to this list.