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Incubating Innovation

CWT Takes Founding Member Role In Welcome City Lab


Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has become one of the founding members of Welcome City Lab. Created in 2013 by Paris&co with the support of the City of Paris, BpiFrance and the Tourist and Congresses Bureau of Paris, Welcome City Lab is the world’s first incubator dedicated to travel.

CWT joins other founding members ADP, Air France, Amadeus, Galeries Lafayette, Skyboard, Sodexo Prestige and Viparis. CWT is the only travel management company in the founding members’ line up of the Welcome City Lab’s strategic board.

The Welcome City Lab receives around 200 applications annually, and to-date has helped incubate around 30 start-ups dedicated to the travel sector. The aim of Welcome City Lab is to assist and promote an ecosystem of innovative young companies, which can collaborate with established travel brands to develop industry-enhancing technology and services.

Through CWT’s status as founding member, the company’s corporate innovation team will mentor, support and help pilot new start-ups as well as suggesting potential research and studies which start-ups and founding members can collaborate on.

CWT president & CEO Douglas Anderson said of the collaboration: “We are delighted to be one of the founding members of Welcome City Lab. This collaboration aligns with our ongoing commitment to innovation in our sector. CWT has always been a leader in its industry and this collaboration enables us to associate with new players and find groundbreaking ideas and technologies that could benefit our clients in the future.”

Laurent Queige, general manager of Welcome City Lab added: “We are very pleased that CWT joins us. CWT is a major actor in the travel management industry, and helps us complete our board of founding members. It opens up new opportunities of new collaboration for our start-ups.”

Vincent Lebunetel, vice president, Corporate Innovation, CWT, concluded: “By its nature, the travel industry keeps moving and changing. Incubators such as Welcome City Lab are crucial for innovation and our industry, and this collaboration allows us to foster innovations and work with fresh minds and new businesses.”

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