Slingshot, alongside Amadeus and Brisbane Airport Corporation, are pleased to announce the cohort for the Horizons accelerator program.
A boost for regional entrepreneurship, Horizons is the first accelerator program of a three-year engagement with the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative.
The cohort boasts some of the most experienced travel entrepreneurs in the industry, including InnaReviews cofounder Paul Lupson who was formerly a director at Expedia and RoomRanger, a StartMate alumni whose experienced team have worked on product for leading companies, like ANZ, Heinz, Wesfarmers and Nestle.
Horizons also sees Slingshot reaffirm its support of Not-For-Profit businesses, with the inclusion of Indigenous Tour Agency and Reef Restoration Foundation.
The twelve businesses participating in the program, who will be based in Brisbane or Cairns are:
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.
Pelagic Dive Travel: The Booking.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.
CEO of Slingshot, Karen Lawson said the cohort addresses some of the key pain points and opportunities for travellers and 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.”
“Tourism continues to make a huge economic impact across Queensland, contributing $25 billion to the state and employing 225,000 people last financial year.”
“By supporting the next generation of disruptive businesses, with our partners Amadeus, Brisbane Airport Corporation and Queensland Tourism Industry Council, 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 renowned Startup specialist, advisor, entrepreneur and Queensland local, Colin Kinner, who has over twenty years' experience working with high-growth technology-based companies.
Horizons participants will show the culmination of their work by pitching to stakeholders and investors at Demo Day on the 7th of February.
Slingshot is Australia’s leading corporate accelerator program, working with clients such as Qantas, Lion Group, SEEK, Hudson, HCF, ING Direct, the NSW Government, the QLD Government and UTS. The Startups and Scaleups that have gone through Slingshot-run accelerators have a combined market capitalisation of more than $227M and over 82 per cent are still active or have been acquired. The Slingshot methodology is validated and university accredited, with their STAR4000 course helping to equip the next generation of entrepreneurs.
This year Slingshot also launched a new platform, CoVentured, to connect corporate Australia to a growing community of Startups and Scaleups. Founding corporates on the platform included Westpac, Woolworths, Optus, Australia Post, Energy Australia, Lendlease and Tabcorp.