Airmule, Mezi and GlobeChat recently went head-to-head in the first round of the Innovation Series, a series of webinars in which each innovator presents their pitch for a chance to exhibit on the all-new Innovation Row at GBTA Convention 2017. 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.
Airmule CEO & Co-Founder Rory Felton kicked things off by providing a brief overview of the company’s services. He says Airmule is all about one thing for travelers: low or no-cost flights. The company enables travelers to sell their unused luggage space to TSA-certified shipping companies in exchange for monetization. By taking advantage of this unused asset, travelers can save or earn up to $600 every time they fly. Airmule also enables travelers to book a flight through their website for a substantially reduced price, granted the traveler is willing to give up their unused luggage space.
Next up, CEO & Co-Founder Swapnil Shinde provided a detailed and thorough look into Mezi, a full-service travel assistant powered by artificial intelligence. Swapnil describes Mezi as a personal travel assistant capable of planning and booking travel over a simple messaging platform that is accessible 24/7. In addition to taking care of the booking experience, Mezi can handle the post-booking experience, including rescheduling and cancellations, dining reservations, and concert, museum or event ticket bookings. When the chatbot is unable to handle the request, it seamlessly transfers to a human expert who can further assist the user.
Last to present was GlobeChat Founder & CEO Kevin Strom. Fueled by his passion for travel, Kevin was determined to develop a unified communications network capable of connecting individuals around the world. The GlobeChat platform enables users to communicate with multiple people around the world simultaneously, regardless of which language they speak. Users have the ability to send a message in one language to multiple people, each of which receive the message in their own language instantly. Kevin described the app as a combination of Skype, WhatsApp, Google Maps and Google Translate.
At the end of the webinar, participants had the chance to vote for their favorite company based on the following criteria:
- Technical innovation/differentiation
- Ability of innovator to sell the concept/company
- Business model innovation/differentiation
- Quality of the management team
- Potential business value (market size and impact)
- Audience interest/likelihood to use product
During a heated live voting session, participants chose Airmule as the winner, who will move on to exhibit at Innovation Row at Convention. The next webinar on May 2 will feature innovators Waygo, metaplanner and Localmeasure. Sign up here to decide who gets to move on to the next round. The finalists of each webinar will square off again in an exclusive Innovation Series education session.
GBTA members may view the webinar in full through the Hub. These sessions are just around the corner:
- GBTA & Phocuswright Innovation Series Competition (2 of 3) (Tuesday, May 2 – 2:00 PM ET)
- Successful Strategies of GBTA Convention Exhibitors Revealed (Wednesday, May 3 – 11:00 AM ET)
- GBTA & Phocuswright Innovation Series Competition (3 of 3) (Tuesday, May 9 – 2:00 PM ET)
The full schedule of webinars is available here.