The tie-up starts this week with the first of two pitch events, with the winners guaranteed “a financial contribution from Hilton to develop their proposition and an opportunity to work with Hilton’s innovation experts to roll out their winning idea.”
The five startups taking part this week are:
The tie-up with Traveltech Lab is the latest example of the current focus on innovation from Hilton, which describes itself as “a hundred-year-old company with a startup mentality.” Last week it announced the launch of “Connected Room” which is currently live in one hotel with plans in place to scale the concept across its US portfolio in 2018.
The Connected Room initiative will allow guests “to personalize and control every aspect of their stay from one central point – their mobile device”. It will be a part of the Hilton Honors app, and is intended to build on the traction generated via the existing features such as online check-in, room selection and the room-opening Digital Key.
And the hotel giant has been vocal about its digital ambitions recently and began beta testing the smart-room concept earlier this year.
And towards the end of last month, Hilton opened its Innovation Gallery next to its US headquarters.
Hilton is not the only hotel player to be tapping into innovation via startups. Marriott is in its second year of its TestBed accelerator.
It has also just unveiled its own innovation lab – M Beta – at one of its properties which will act as a live testing ground for new products and services.