Marriott lifts the covers on startup accelerator

Marriott Hotels is jumping on the accelerator bandwagon with the launch of TestBED for early-stage startups.

The group is looking for startups with products or services that further the traveller experience and are ready to go to market.

Marriott will add “support, expert advice and the perfect test bed.”

Criteria to participate in the programme include a service to help guests explore a city or region or, something that helps Marriott understand guests requirements.

Marriott’s accelerator will run as a six-week programme providing mentoring and workshops from the company as well as hotel for the startup to test their service.

A shortlist of eight startups will pitch to a panel of industry experts and executives from the hotel company at the beginning of November and from there two companies will be selected to test their product.

The accelerator is being headed up by Osama Hirzalla, Marriott International’s vice president brand marketing & ecommerce Europe.

“The most exciting thing about Marriott TestBED is the idea that entrepreneurs can learn from us and we can learn from them: combining their agility and creativity with our tools and hospitality expertise could be a powerful force in enhancing the guest experience.”

Three years ago, the hotel group launched its Travel Brilliantly campaign part of which encourages guests to contribute ideas on how to improve.

The initiative comes on the heel of a similar announcement this week from British Airways-parent IAG which launched Hangar 51.

Other travel companies already running accelerator programmes include Travelport with its Labs initiative and JetBlue Technology Ventures.

The Marriott initiative is seeking startups across Europe with microsites set up for France and Germany.


JetBlue’s and El Al’s venture arms open a travel startup accelerator

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About the Writer :: Linda Fox

Linda worked at tnooz from September 2011 to June 2018 in roles including senior reporter, deputy editor and managing editor.



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