Plug and Play Launches Global Travel & Hospitality Platform of Innovation

Plug and Play to disrupt travel and hospitality by connecting startups to industry leaders to spawn new innovation.

SUNNYVALE, CA, October 12, 2015 – Plug and Play announced today its newest Innovation Platform focused on Travel & Hospitality. This announcement follows the success of Plug and Play’s Innovation Platforms in Brand and Retail, FinTech, and IoT.

Industry leaders that have supported these platforms include companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Panasonic, Target, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, and Mercedes Benz. The aim of these Platforms of Innovation is to bridge the gap between industry leaders and disruptors.

An example of Plug and Play’s ecosystem success is the collaboration between Panasonic and Locbit. This industry leader and startup recently collaborated to help the Laurus Corporation, owner of the Doubletree in San Diego, drive down energy costs using breakthrough smart technologies. They set a goal of 15 percent reduction in energy usage, but Locbit far surpassed this with an impressive 50 percent reduction, far above expectations.* Locbit’s success has sparked interest from other leading management companies like Evolution Hospitality and Azul who are interested in implementing smart solutions at their properties.

“IoT is unleashing technologies and capabilities never thought possible. Buildings and human behavior are highly inefficient, but by interconnecting IoT devices though automations, we can help reduce energy use,” says Boian Spassov, Founder and CEO of Locbit. “Business as we know it will fundamentally change through this interconnectivity of everything. We have been lucky in joining forces with Panasonic in making this reality.”

“We engaged in a conversation with Locbit to provide a flexible integration partner for them to promote and initialize a new business opportunity for hospitality customers. We have successfully conducted the trial and we are now moving forward with a contract with Locbit,” says Norihiro Kondo, Director of the Business Acceleration Group for Panasonic. “Panasonic has many sensor devices that allow Locbit to use new hardware solutions in addition to their software. Partners like Hilton will be able to reduce energy costs and detect incidents as soon as possible to ensure a better experience for hotel customers.”

The 12-week, U.S.-based program will accept 20-30 startups in each of the two classes in 2015/2016. They are seeking applications from startups focused on various stages of travel (choosing a trip, booking, en-route and post-trip activities). The program offers startups mentor opportunities with leaders in the Travel & Hospitality space across all verticals including hotels, airlines, online travel agencies, cruise lines, and global distribution systems.

“Our mission is to identify, support and scale disruptive technologies that have the potential to positively impact the way we all travel in the future,” says Amir Amidi, Managing Partner of Plug and Play Travel and Hospitality. “There is room for innovation that can improve both the operating efficiencies of companies offering travel-related services as well as the traveler experience during various stages of a trip.”

Plug and Play’s network includes 400 startups, 180+ investors, 150+ corporate partners, and a community of leading universities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

The Travel and Hospitality Platform is scheduled to kick-off December 9, 2015 when 20 startups get the opportunity to present and network with a group of hoteliers, airlines, OTAs, and VCs.

About Plug and Play Tech Center
Plug and Play Tech Center is the world’s largest global technology accelerator and venture fund. Since inception in 2006, our program has expanded worldwide to include entrepreneurs from 24 countries, providing necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley. With over 350 startups and 300 corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem. Plug and Play provides active investments with 180 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and more than 365 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $3.5 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk. For more information about Plug and Play, visit http://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com.

Media Contact:
Allison Romero
Phone: 408-524-1457
Email: allison@plugandplaytechcenter.com

Program Contact:
Amir Amidi
Phone: 408-524-1407
Email: amir@plugandplaytechcenter.com

* Footnote: The test was conducted in a controlled environment for technology demonstration under maximalist usage control group.


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