Innovation Series Competition: 30K, Groups360, Distribusion

Nine innovators recently competed for a spot on the Expo Floor at GBTA Convention 2017 during the multi-faceted Innovation Series. The interactive program enabled innovators to present their pitch to a panel of judges and participants who, at the end of the webinar, selected a winner to move on and exhibit on the all-new Innovation Row. During the last webinar of the series on May 9, 30K, Groups360 and Distribusion went head-to-head.

The Innovation Series and Innovation Row are sponsored by Travel Leaders Group, as they share GBTA and Phocuswright’s desire to highlight innovation and startup technologies shaping the business travel space.

CEO and Co-Founder Alex Jawad jumped right into things by explaining how 30K personalizes the flight search experience. Traditionally, flights are compared based on commonalities like price, number of stops, and duration, but 30K aims to change that. He explained how users can connect their frequent flier profile with online booking tools for personalized search results that incorporate redeemed miles and loyalty benefits. Users are then able to compare flights not only based on price and duration, but also redeemable miles and benefits like airport lounge access or priority check-in. Alex says that by listing the underlying value of each flight, you can ensure that the traveler is truly getting the best deal.

Next up, Groups360 CEO Kemp Gallineau walked through a step-by-step process of GroupSync, a tool that aggregates supplier data to provide meeting planners with an objective and transparent view during the sourcing process. With GroupSync, planners can search for meeting space by entering physical attributes like rooms needed, preferred destinations, and minimum meeting space required. The tool then immediately filters out hotels and destinations that don’t meet the criteria, thus cutting out lead time and any associated workload. It also gives market scorecards based on how well a property fits a planner’s needs. Meeting planners can quickly compare properties to one another and directly send RFPs within the platform.

Lastly, Head of Marketing Pierre Becher described how B2B aggregator Distribusion connects intercity bus operators to travel sellers. Although buses are one of the main modes of transportation in many countries, Pierre says major platforms still refrain from selling intercity bus products due to a fragmented market. Distribusion identified this hole in the market and set out to connect bus operators with various travel sellers, including GDS, tour operators, and online travel agencies. Intercity bus operators can then increase sales by distributing their products to thousands of sellers, and sellers can rejoice in offering customers additional ground transportation options.

At the end of the webinar, participants had the chance to select their favorite innovator in a live polling session. The audience selected 30K as the winner, who will move on to exhibit at Innovation Row at Convention. In addition to exhibiting, the winners of each webinar (Airmule, Waygo, and 30K) will face off in an exclusive education session at Convention.

GBTA members may view the webinar in full through the Hub. These sessions are just around the corner:

The full schedule of webinars is available here.