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Startups take the spotlight at WTM London 2021

WTM London, Travel Forward and World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL) have joined forces to launch a start-up competition and summit for technology start-ups offering sustainable and innovative solutions to the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.

Front Runners Travel Tech Competition will shortlist 30 start-ups across three categories to be promoted among WTM’s and TF’s exhibitors and attendees as top innovators to partner with to thrive in an era where tackling sustainability are becoming imperative.

Three categories have been chosen that will boost creativity and raise awareness. These include Smart Mobility, Hospitality of the Future and Experiences Revolution.

The summit will take place on November 2, 2021 during WTM London and Travel Forward physical shows at Excel London, when nine finalists (top three per category) will be invited to pitch to an international judging panel and exclusive audience of investors, industry leaders and innovators.

The application window is now open and the call will run until August 26, 2021.

WTFL is a non-profit Swiss-based institution that brings together decision-makers from industry, government, academia, young university graduates and start-ups.

Simon Press, Event Director at WTM London and Travel Forward, said: “We’re buzzing at the prospect of bringing together WTM London’s destinations, Travel Forward’s tech audience and the WTFL’s gravitas and experience for our new start-up competition concept that aims to drive positive change and bring tangible value to the industry.

“The B2B focus creates a perfect circle of opportunity – B2B start-ups are developing the solutions and tools that the industry needs, while the industry requires solutions and tools that the start-ups are developing.”

Martin Barth, President & CEO at WTFL, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with WTM London and Travel Forward. There is a natural synergy for innovative tech start-ups with WTM London and Travel Forward’s established global audience of destination – and tourism-centric exhibitors, buyers and suppliers.

“We’re confident that Front Runners will offer an exclusive platform for early-stage start-ups to be put in the spotlight and get traction for their solutions. The sustainable focus of the competition also resonates with the end customer and the global investment community, which is currently seeing strong returns and multiples on enterprise start-up plays.”

Front-runners will be spotlighted during WTM London and Travel Forward and enter into a prestigious WTM London & Travel Forward’s start-up shortlist. They will also fly to London (flights & accommodation included) and benefit from networking and B2B meetings. Moreover, finalists will join the exclusive WTFL Dealflow Tool – a proprietary platform that connects travel start-ups with potential backers, investors and service providers.

WTM London and Travel Forward in-person shows will take place from November 1-3 at ExCeL London and will be followed by WTM & TF Virtual on November 8-9.

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