Over the course of the evening, around 100 spectators joined our five start-up finalists and the jury for a night of pitching and networking. Here is a short recap interview with Lisa Hübner Moreno from our organizing partner Travel Massive. Lisa will fill us in on how the event took place and who won the Travel Tech Tournament!
Lisa, would you tell us a little bit about you?
I grew up in Germany but left after my first year of college to finish my degree in Tourism Management at London South Bank University. During my studies, I was able to gain valuable hands-on experience in tour operation, marketing and PR, which I applied to my next jobs after moving to New York in 2010. There, I managed travel PR accounts for a boutique agency, ran online media campaigns for a travel media company and finally was Head of PR at the German National Tourism Office. After relocating to Berlin in 2017, I started my own travel marketing and PR company and joined Travel Massive as co-lead for Europe and the Berlin chapter.
Tell us a bit more about the TTT, how did the event originate?
travel audience approached us about organizing a start-up competition together and we immediately said yes! It's been great to combine their knowledge, being a travel focused start-up themselves, with our deep involvement in Berlin's travel community and to support promising, young companies in the industry.
How did the tournament work? What was the format?
Each start-up was able to present their company and product for 10 minutes, highlighting their positioning, early successes, funding secured, but also challenges. The jury then had the opportunity to ask additional questions and give initial feedback from their personal experience. And the jury was definitely not taking it too easy on the finalists. They really got down to the nitty gritty parts and asked very thorough questions.
After all start-ups had pitched, the jury took time to deliberate and pick the winner. I sure would not have traded places with them, as they were debating long and hard.
What were some of the most interesting aspects of the start-up presentations in your opinion?
I loved hearing about all the different ideas and products that can be part of the travel industry - from VR tours, to emoji-based review apps, to language travel, to a social trip-planning platform, to green travel. All five start-ups had interesting stories to share - personally, I find hearing about challenges and how they were solved (for example, assumptions that turned out not to be valid) one of the most fascinating aspects of start-up presentations.
And last but not least, who won and why?
This year's winner was bookitgreen! They convinced the jury with their focus on an important topic (eco travel and green accommodations), a solid strategy and good answers addressing the jury's questions and concerns about their product. Moritz, their CEO, gave an interesting and insightful presentation about their journey so far, some facts and figures about the industry and their plans for the future - Congratulations!