New York, NY, and Palma, Spain, May 8, 2023 — Hotelbeds and the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality have launched a collaboration to explore and inspire the next generation of tech start-ups through the company’s TravelTech Lab initiative and the school’s Innovation Hub (HI Hub) Incubator Program.
The two organizations – leaders in their respective business and academic fields – will work together over the next three years to uncover disruptive ideas to propel the travel and hospitality ecosystems forward through new technologies aimed at improving customer experience.
While the NYU SPS Tisch Center has an established start-up program, which it launched in 2021, to cater to the disparate needs of the industry and companies seeking to build the next generation of travel technology products, Hotelbeds entered the space earlier this year through the launch of its TravelTech Lab in partnership with Telefonica’s innovation arm, Wayra. The initiative aims to reshape the future of travel and support start-ups to explore innovative tech-based solutions to change the way travelers move, connect and explore.
The TravelTech Lab will complement the Hospitality Innovation Hub Incubator Program, which helps NYU-affiliated start-ups plan, launch and manage their businesses by providing support and mentorship to help the owners grow their businesses. The agreement will also open new avenues for collaboration between entrepreneurs in the US and Europe.
“Hotelbeds is a progressive industry innovator whose values and commitment to evolve and reimagine the next generation of global travel technology align with our mission for the Tisch Center and our HI Hub initiative,” said Nicolas Graf, chaired professor and associate dean of the NYU SPS Tisch Center. “With the support of organizations like Hotelbeds, our HI Hub and its Incubator Program will be well-positioned to be the launching pad for companies and technologies that will impact our industry for years to come.”
As part of the new platinum sponsorship agreement, Hotelbeds will host one of the Tisch Center Incubator’s future “Pitch Your Passion & Seal the Deal” competitions at the company’s headquarters in Palma de Mallorca or its TravelTech Lab in Madrid. The competition has been a highlight of recent semesters at the Tisch Center, in which NYU-affiliated hospitality start-ups have the opportunity to develop their businesses and compete for cash prizes.
Nicolas Huss, chief executive officer at Hotelbeds, said: “Innovation has always been part of our DNA and is a key focus on our goal to reduce friction across the travel ecosystem. Bringing our two innovation hubs together is a powerful combination. We’re looking forward to seeing what initiatives the start-ups in the program develop and how we can work together to bring them to market.”
Dr. Richie Karaburun, MBA, DPS, clinical assistant professor and director of the HI Hub Incubator Program, said: “This relationship with Hotelbeds will bring significant value to our Incubator Program cohort and their start-ups. Hotelbeds’ industry experience and connections will allow our entrepreneurs to tap into expertise to help build their businesses into true industry players.”
José María Pestaña, chief innovation officer, Hotelbeds, added: “Collaborating with the NYU SPS Tisch Center of Hospitality, just two months after launching our TravelTech Lab innovation hub underscores our ambition to identify and implement disruptive ideas to redesign the travel experience. Not only does NYU’s global footprint match our goal for our Lab but this collaboration reinforces our strategy to work closely with like-minded institutions that have a wealth of expertise and knowledge in the hospitality sector to help us take innovation to the next level.
About NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality and Its HI Hub
The NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, celebrating more than 25 years of academic excellence, is a leading center for the study of hospitality, travel, and tourism. Founded in 1995, the Tisch Center was established in response to the growing need for hospitality and tourism undergraduate and graduate education. Its cutting-edge curricula attract bright, motivated students who see to become leaders in their fields.
Through its undergraduate degree in hotel and tourism management, its graduate degrees in hospitality industry studies, tourism management, and event management, a plethora of Professional Pathways continuing education programs, and its world-renowned hospitality investment conference, students gain the knowledge and the skill sets that enable them to manage change, to communicate, to thrive in complex work environments, and to advance the business of hospitality, travel, and tourism.
The Tisch Center launched the Hospitality Innovation Hub (HI Hub), which will foster entrepreneurship and creative solutions for the industries it services. The state-of-the-art facilities offer students, start-ups, and established industry partners and opportunities to learn, discover, innovate, and invest. For more information about the NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, visit sps.nyu.edu/tisch.
About Hotelbeds and the TravelTech Lab by Hotelbeds
Hotelbeds are global leaders in the TravelTech space, connecting and empowering businesses by facilitating bridges in the ever-changing and expanding travel ecosystem. Our cloud-based technology platforms offer fast and simple access to a global network of travel products, from accommodation to ancillaries and payments, while rich data and intelligence helps to generate demand. By operating exclusively in the B2B arena, we are uniquely placed to drive growth for our partners without competing for the end customer. Our teams of 3000+ experts on the ground provide local expertise and support to boost trading even further, even in the most hard-to-reach spaces. Our unique blend of technology, data and passionate people serves as a catalyst for B2B travel players aiming to unlock their full potential.
The TravelTech Lab by Hotelbeds is on a mission to re-imagine the world of travel. The Lab’s creation was driven by a passion for innovation in product development and finding new ways to use technology to help customers succeed, and to help business partners to exceed their goals.
Through the Traveltech Lab, Hotelbeds wants to create a collaboration and shared knowledge platform so that global leaders in innovation can provide answers to the challenges of people's mobility.
The Lab supports trail-blazing start-ups that are focused on collaboration and have a disruptive mindset to help Hotelbeds change the way that tomorrow’s travelers move, connect and explore. From cutting-edge technologies to payment solutions and more, the TravelTech Lab by Hotelbeds is where ideas can soar. Start-ups invited to join the initiative gain access to state-of-the-art working spaces in Palma de Mallorca and Madrid, as well as mentorship from the Hotelbeds team. The most enterprising initiatives may also receive investment to bring their ideas to life.
To find out more, visit https://www.traveltechlab.net/