Two Expedia Inc. brands — Hotels.com and Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN) — have launched a mentorship-driven accelerator program in London for early to mid-stage lodging startups in Europe.
Called Hotel Jumpstart, the effort gives qualified entrepreneurs workspace, tools and expert mentorship at Traveltech Lab, a London-based incubator next to city hall that is supported by the London mayor’s official promotional company for the city and by The Trampery, a co-working space operator.
Unlike some other industry efforts, Hotel Jumpstart does not include strategic investment. The overall winner will receive $10,000 of Hotels.com travel vouchers. Entrepreneurs instead get access to otherwise-hard-or-costly-to-use live data from Expedia Inc. APIs (application programming interfaces, or methods for retrieving data) and monthly access to decision makers at Hotels.com and EAN who can give guidance to entrepreneurs on how to work with bureaucratic public companies and how to adopt some of the development and marketing best practices of one of the world’s most successful technology companies.