Authors: Ricardo de Tomás, Álvaro Alonso y Fabrice Scherer (IE University)Venture Network Tourism

Last week’s IE Venture Network event hosted in Area 31, presenting three startups on the travel and tourism industry, not only successfully continued with the remarkably high standards of the previous sessions but set a new level of performance from the very beginning. Such was the difference from previous pitches that it was needed to use a room thrice the size of the normally used in order to fit the audience.

Despite the formality it would be expected from an event of this kind –suited men crowded the room-, the ambient was by far relax and informal, maybe thanks to the Heineken Stand providing free beer bottles at one of the ends of the room.

In this context of excitement, Hotetec, MyTwinPlace and Oviceversa showcased their proposals briefly to the public, showing their professionalism and neatness of ideas. Moreover, they answered really though questions of the panel of experts specifically chosen for the slam formed by Katherine Grass, Head of Amadeus Ventures, Antonio Lopez de Avila, SEGITTUR President, Joe Haslam, Chairman of Hot Hotels and IE Venture Lab Network and Liz Fleming, Deputy Director of IE Venture Lab; questions for instance about mobile disposal or scalability of the project enthusiastically and efficiently, consequently reassuring their huge potential and future.

Talking about 5 million Euros traffic for a website’s first two years, or about hundreds of thousands of euros of investment couldn’t but add to that feeling to thrill and emotion generally spread in the room. Even for a neutral bystander, hearing about the expansion plan of MyTwinPlace aiming to reach 4,6 million online users created a sense of nervousness.

Far from being start-ups, the companies pitching at the event moved thousands of euros per month already, and had contracts with/competed for market share with well-known worldwide companies such as AXA in the case of MyTwinPlace worldwide insurance agreement, or Rumbo, TripAdvisor or Booking.com as competitors in the case of Oviceversa.

Overall, there was a feeling of understanding in the air: entrepreneurs presenting outstanding projects in front of other entrepreneurs, enabling directing direct messages, to the point to the audience; and ultimately an obvious feeling of eagerness for the next week’s pitch slam about the cyber-computing industry


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