Stories - Impact Hub

Booking.com Partners With Impact Hub on Sustainable Tourism Startup Accelerator

Written by Whitney Schaefer | Feb 6, 2017 3:46:20 AM

Travel and Tourism now generates 9.8% of our global GDP and supports 1 in every 11 jobs in the global economy (WTTC). There is a huge potential for impact in this industry, and we want to help drive the innovation needed to make it a positive one. Impact Hub is excited to announce that Booking.com has partnered with us to design and launch a startup accelerator programme aimed at turning tourism into a force for good. Booking Booster will select 8-12 ventures that use their business as a means to improve destinations around the world and award them with mentorship, training, and the chance to pitch for grants of up to 500,000.

“We believe extraordinary positive impact takes collaboration between different players focused on a common purpose” said Kamael Ann Sugrim, Impact Hub Global Managing Director. “As an entrepreneurial community of over 16,000 in many of the top travel destinations across the world, a great deal of our members are already dedicated to sustainable tourism. We are eager to contribute their talent and our 12 years of international scaling experience to this important programme. Being a part of Booking Booster allows us to act as a catalyst to accelerate the opportunities in this sector and move toward our ultimate vision of a new economy that works in service of people and planet.”

The world knows Booking.com as the biggest online accomodation platform, but its roots lie in entrepreneurship. The company began as a one-man startup in a small office space in Amsterdam and successfully grew to 187 offices in 70 countries staffed by a workforce of more than 13,000. With their exceptional experience in scaling a business globally and Impact Hub’s expertise in scaling for positive impact, we can work together to create a more sustainable future for the tourism industry through Booking Booster.

The programme seeks to empower extraordinary startups that protect the environment, preserve cultural heritage, and/or promote inclusive growth in tourism. Eligible candidates don’t need to be Impact Hub members, but they must be ready-to-scale for-profit companies with proven impact.

Selected ventures will be invited to Amsterdam to join a 3-week accelerator programme, June 5-23, 2017. Participants will hear from inspirational speakers, receive 1-to-1 coaching sessions, attend workshops, and build a strategic scaling plan. The excitement will culminate in a final pitch for grants of up to half a million euros from Booking.com’s 2 million fund, specifically created for this programme. And the support doesn’t stop there. Weekly mentorship with expert sponsors from Booking.com and Impact Hub will be available for 6-9 months after the accelerator ends.

Startups from around the world are encouraged to apply until March 1, 2017. Finalists will be announced in April. Submit your application here or share this opportunity with someone you know who would make a great candidate!

For programme details and lastest updates, visit booking.com/booster and follow #bookingcom and #bookingyeah on social media.