Slingshot announces a dozen startups for regional travel and tourism accelerator

Horizons Accelerator

Twelve startups have been selected to participate in Horizons, a regional travel accelerator program being run by Slingshot in partnership with travel tech company Amadeus, Brisbane Airport corporation and Queensland Tourism Industry Council.

According to Slingshot CEO, Karen Lawson, the Horizons cohort boasts some of the most experienced travel entrepreneurs in the industry, including Paul Lupson (Co-founder, InnovaReviews and former director at Expedia and StartMate alumni RoomRanger) and will address key pain points for travellers and travel operators.

“The ways in which cutting edge technology can be applied to product and services in the tourism industry is infinite and the Horizons cohort is testament to the type of innovation we can expect to see in this space,” she said.

“Tourism continues to make a huge economic impact across Queensland, contributing $25 billion to the state and employing 225,000 people last financial year[1].”

“By supporting the next generation of disruptive businesses… we can supercharge the industry to drive commercial outcomes across the state.”

Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Amadeus Asia Pacific, Simon Akeroyd, said it was exciting to see a number of businesses addressing the need for greater personalisation in the travel industry.

“There’s no one size fits all approach for travel services and we’re thrilled to be a part of a program that celebrates the need for tailored travel experiences”.

“With more than 60 partners and 30 Startups on board Amadeus Next, we’re always looking to support the next generation of disruptive business and grow our Startup community.”

Julieanne Alroe, CEO and Managing Brisbane Airport Corporation, said with the rapid expansion of Brisbane Airport, harnessing new and innovative technologies is a key focus for the business.

“The mindset of a start-up business knows no limits and we’re excited to be a part of this partnership, supporting enthusiast and creative thinking that could one day make a significant and positive change to the travel and tourism industry.”

The 12-week program will be led by startup specialist, advisor, entrepreneur and Queensland local, Colin Kinner, who spoke to Dynamic Business, last week, about spending more than twenty years to shaping the nation’s startup ecosystem.

Horizons participants will show the culmination of their work by pitching to stakeholders and investors at Demo Day on the 8th of February.

The twelve businesses participating in the program, which are split between Brisbane and Cairns, are:

Brisbane Cohort

  • Rewildin: Airbnb for private camping, glamping, ecolodges and nature workshops.
  • Tripshare: A collaborative holiday planner allowing friends and family to plan their holidays together.
  • JESI: Journey management software creating a safer connected world for travelers.
  • RoomRanger: A complete hotel management platform that enables independent and boutique hotels to boost revenue by delivering personalised guest experiences.
  • InnovaReviews: Booking system that harnesses the power of guest reviews.
  • EventDuck: Uber for Travel agents increasing the efficiency and convenience of booking.
  • Transfer Buddy: An app to assist travellers transition through airports.
  • Wifi Palm: A Pocket wi-fi rental service that provides customers with internet connectivity when travelling overseas.

Cairns Cohort:

  • Pelagic Dive Travel: The com for scuba diving.
  • Reef Restoration Foundation: Accelerating the recovery of damaged tourism reefs using offshore coral nurseries.
  • Indigenous Tour Agency: Australia’s leading online seller of traditional Indigenous tours and activities.
  • Local Tourism Network: Complete online marketing solution for tourism businesses driving direct customers.

[1] https://teq.queensland.com/news-and-media/latest-news/new-data-reveals-value-of-tourism-to-the-queensland-economy