Bootstrapping a startup is one of the most common ways to push through to profitability: reduce costs, keep it simple and use lean methodology to push out a minimum viable product for the least amount of money upfront.
Rather than taking investment, this method provides founders more flexibility and scrappiness, as there are fewer hands at the helm.
However, at some point, every startup either needs cash (revenue or investment) to translate traction into growth, or simply decides that bootstrapping is not providing sufficient resources to fully engage the concept and deliver the product – and either raises funds or joins the napalm yard in the sky.
It’s never easy, and those startups in the travel industry have industry-specific challenges: stiff competition from well-funded companies, a legacy system that doesn’t always support innovation, and a fragmented industry that spans the world’s cultures, technologies, habits and needs.
The VCs at General Catalyst are surely going to be causing a stir among the battle-weary: a $250,000 bridge loan will be offered to the travel startup with the most potential at the Travel Innovation Summit next month in Arizona, USA.
Dubbed the General Catalyst Award for Travel Innovation, the award comes in the form of a bridge loan that will be converted to equity when the winning company raises their next round.
Out of the 30 Travel Innovation Summit presenters, only companies that are under 3 years old who have raised less than $1 million and are currently seeking funding are eligible.
The bridge loan will be awarded to the company with the highest numerical score, from either the startup or emerging category.
Companies currently inÂ GeneralÂ Catalyst’s portfolio are not eligible and will be excluded from the selection process.
This award will surely be eagerly welcomed by the presenting companies, and offers a significant opportunity for one company to take a win out of the Travel Innovation Summit and ride it to the next level of growth. Should this award be carried through to next year, expect the competition for a slot at the Summit to be fiercer than ever.
NB: Buckets o’ cash image from Shutterstock