Innovation Series Competition: metaplanner, Waygo, Local Measure

Imagine your next business trip: you’re in a foreign city with little or no understanding of the native language. You simply want to grab a bite to eat so you head to a restaurant, only to realize that you can’t understand the menu. You take your phone out, point your camera at the menu, and an augmented reality-based app instantly translates it into English. That’s the idea behind Waygo, a company competing in a series of webinars entitled the Innovation Series.

The series enables innovators to present their pitch for a chance to exhibit on the all-new Innovation Row at GBTA Convention 2017. On May 2, metaplanner, Waygo and Local Measure were in the running during the second webinar in the series. 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.

Now instead imagine your digital calendar plans your next trip. That’s what metaplanner, an all-in-one tool integrating with Outlook, aims to do. CEO Stefan Wagner walked through the add-on, which enables users to search and book hotels, flights, and ground transportation through their preferred OBTs directly within Outlook. The tool even connects to expense management tools, allowing business travelers to easily create expense reports. Metaplanner also lets travel managers add their travel policy and travel risk management software to monitor risks.

Waygo CEO Ryan Rogowski was next to pitch his app, which is an augmented reality platform capable of instantly translating Chinese, Japanese, and Korean images into English. Travelers who find themselves at a loss can use the app for real-time translations of street signs, menus, forms and receipts. Waygo does not require an internet connection to function.

From the moment a guest walks through the door to the moment they leave, there is an opportunity to make a difference during their stay, or so says VP Americas Ian-Michael Farkas. Local Measure helps businesses do just that by aggregating content shared publicly through social media and passing that data along to front-line teams. The platform enables hoteliers to both deliver personalized experiences and instantaneously solve problems during a guest’s stay. For example, if a hotel guest takes to social media to complain about the lack of hot water, the hotelier can use that information to amend the issue by moving the guest to a different room or apologizing in person with a gift basket.

Once all the pitches were given, participants reviewed the voting criteria and had the chance to select their favorite innovator. In this case, Waygo was the selected winner and will move on to exhibit at Innovation Row. The next webinar on May 9 will feature innovators Distribusion, Groups360 and 30K. Sign up here to select the winner in the last webinar of the series. Airmule, Waygo and the finalist of the third webinar will face off again 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.