All ready for the Travel Investor Day organized in Milan on Thursday 31 March byStartup Tourism Association with the aim of bringing together tourism and culture startups with professional investors and innovative companies.
There are 12 startups that will have the burden and the honor of presenting their pitches to a parterre of investors who have expressed their curiosity to see – in a (finally) live event – what happened after two years in a strong sector hit by the pandemic and so far remained partially on the sidelines of large investment deals, despite representing 13% of the country’s GDP, with important employment implications throughout the Italian territory.
The startups admitted to the Travel Investor Day – the names of which will only be revealed on March 31 – were selected on the basis of scalability, team quality, business model innovation, competitive context and selling proposition. These are marketing and digital innovation business projects, technology providers, sustainability, IoT and artificial intelligence for tour operating, experience providers, digital nomadism (a growing phenomenon, the latter, which favors the work experience remotely to improve the quality of life of workers and generate a positive socio-economic impact on the Italian territory, starting from the villages at risk of abandonment, a focus of attention also for the PNRR).
The call for application of the Association was answered by numerous startups – almost a hundred – about 40% of these not yet associated also because, in some cases, born less than two years ago, “A ‘false start’ due to the pandemic crisis – says the President Karin Venneriwho comments – It was not easy to choose among many brilliant projects, but a good idea is not enough to meet the lenders of the Travel Investor Day level. We have carefully studied the pitches and will bring the most deserving business plans to the stage, with greater growth potential and which are currently in different stages of development, scale up, early stage, seed but also pre-seed and bootstrap “.
Among the newest trends, solutions dedicated to sustainable and accessible tourism have emerged, specific segments (e.g. e-bikes, boats, families, luxury, food and wine), tools for reputation marketing, finance, gaming, legal and insurance assistance, travel fashion , social entertainment.
The applications were examined by a mixed jury * between figures inside and outside the Association, all experts in the travel sector and with skills in the world of startups and innovation: Karin Venneri, Flavio Tagliabue, Edouard Du Coudray, Massimo Caravita, Maria Rita Costanza, Pietro Ferraris, Eleonora Lorenzini, Stefano Ceci, Betty Pagnin, Valentina Parenti. Business angels and investors – coordinated by the partners of the Italian Tech Alliance initiative, InnovUp, Lazio Innova and Invitalia – were specifically profiled for the travel and culture sector. These also include incubators ready to validate the best ideas and companies in the sector that want to see closely the degree of innovation available, for example, to the hospitality industry as well as venture capital companies interested in early stage and scale up startups, already protagonists of successful investments.
“Last year venture capital investments in Italy reached record figures, exceeding one billion euros for the first time, but they only touched on travel, touching, if anything, lifestyle and proptech – continues Venneri. – Companies that have subsidized finance tools available today need to innovate in order to spend the funds dedicated to them and our role is precisely to stimulate the meeting between old and new operators. We invited investors to take the pulse of innovation and ‘rethink a sector’ which is also interesting because it has a strong appeal for foreign companies in the tourism industry, which are not by chance already looking around in Italy “.