Expedia Group has launched Open World Accelerator — an initiative that builds on its Open World vision to power partners of all sizes with the technology and supply needed to thrive in the travel market.
The new initiative is designed to advance innovation in the travel industry, by supporting startups and small and medium sized business (SMBs) to fast-track their growth and innovate on Expedia’s purpose-built technology platform.
Aimed at entrepreneurs globally, the first program – launched Sept 28 — focuses on empowering start-ups and SMBs working to increase access for underserved travellers, tying into Expedia Group’s Open World social impact and sustainability strategy and focus on democratizing the travel economy.
Next year, Open World Accelerator initiative will launch an additional program focused on co-developing new capabilities.
Archana Arunkumar, Senior Vice President of Platform, observed that: “Travel is an economic driver for many communities around the world, but it’s a complex industry to enter and to innovate scalable products that address specific traveller needs. This is why our Open World vision is so critical to our desire to put the traveller first.”
Arunkumar continued: “Expedia Group’s mission is to power travel for everyone, everywhere. Open World Accelerator is specifically designed to drive innovation in the industry, remove barriers to travel, and enable start-ups and SMBs to build capabilities on Expedia’s Open World™ technology platform that significantly improve the experience for every traveller.”
The first Open World Accelerator program focuses on start-ups and SMBs working on making the travel industry more open and accessible. Each program will include a six-month curriculum for selected companies, providing them with a wide range of resources to speed up their growth.
This includes business and technology development support, access to Expedia Group and wider travel industry experts for mentorship and coaching, participation in industry networking events, access to Expedia Group platform and products, and a non-equity grant.
Start-ups, and SMBs globally are welcome to apply online to join the first Open World Accelerator program from today until 21st October if they meet the following criteria:
- Working to make the travel industry more open and accessible
- Currently have at least a minimum viable product (MVP)
- Were founded less than 10 years ago
A judging panel from across Expedia Group will review the applications to select the participating companies, who will then join the program kick starting in January 2023.
Go to www.expediagroup.com/open-world-accelerator for more.