December 6, 2021

Dumbflashgames

The travel folks

Startup Pitch finalists shine as WiT returns to full in-person and hybrid conference – the first in Asia Pacific

2 min read

IN a tightly-fought competition, three startups, Indie, RunGo and Thrust Carbon have won a spot in the Grand Finals of the WiT Startup Pitch 2021, held today as part of WiT Experience Singapore.

A total of
12 travel startups competed in the semi-finals today.

The three
finalists seem to meet the needs of the time.

Indie provides software that empowers tour guides to sell their products at scale, something that will be essential to any kind of recovery, when small tour hosts have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic.

The growing preference for outdoor experiences was met by RunGO, a voice guided running app that lets travellers find, follow and create great running routes in new cities.

And with sustainability top of the agenda, Thrust Carbon’s entire value proposition is built around making sustainability insights accurate and accessible to help their clients’ green transitions.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of 10 judges comprising leading
industry figures in the travel tech startup space. In what hopefully marks a
return to normalcy, all but one of the judges attended the conference in person,
with some of them flying in specially for the event.

Frederic Barou, Senior Vice President Online Travel and Commercial Operations, Asia Pacific at Amadeus, commented of the competition, “The Startup competition was very open with 30 initial contenders with very intriguing and exciting ideas. Interestingly enough, following 18 months of global crisis for travel, there is no shortage of innovation and brave entrepreneurs in the industry. It has to be noted and applauded.

“I found that there is, and this is not
new, a concentration of ideas around destination experience. Automation and
digitalisation of this part of the journey has proven challenging. Big reward
for those who crack it. Not surprising in today’s world, quite a few ventures
into health and sanitary solutions. Concern for sustainable travel has not
faded and remains top of the agenda.

“And a big call-out to the startups from
Asia representing one-third of the competitors. As always it was difficult to choose,
and we wish all of them every success.”

Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder of WiT said “The
Startup Pitch is our most anticipated event each year. After the ravages of the
pandemic on our industry, this year is particularly poignant, as we think about
the homecoming of travel. If startups are the ‘children’ of our industry, then
what is a homecoming without children?”

The WiT Startup Pitch, now in its 13th year is powered by Amadeus and held in partnership with AWS, which will provide up to USD250,000 in AWS credits and technical support through the AWS Activate program. The winner of the WiT Startup Pitch will also have the opportunity to present in person during the 5 minutes in the spotlight session at the Phocuswright Conference in Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida, November 15 – 17, 2021.

Catch the Grand Finals live tomorrow on the second day of WiT Experience Singapore.

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