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“The Buzz Is Palpable” but perhaps not for much longer Part 1 Innovation Summit.

November 19, 2012

VaultPad

The annual shindig that is the PhocusWright conference produced a bumper crop of new innovators vying for a spot in the sun. Interestingly the number of successful players who have graduated from TIS – Travel Innovation Summit – may not be that great. It is about par for the course of startups who succeed (not great either). However the categories are important to understand the likely success or failure. To say that Amadeus is a success is like saying Hostess is a failure. But they won in several categories over the past few years.

So what of the innovators? Go to http://www.phocuswright.com and then you can see these. But registration is required. I hope you signed up for the streams before hand. I have eliminated from review people who have been here before (e.g. Ostrovok).

So who do I think were winners?

Here are my picks and the likely exit.

I liked WeHostels (with apologies to VP for whom I initially said I didn’t like the idea). I am warming to it but not fully there yet. Exit is likely to be Priceline.

Triometric – REALLY great – a true data geek business that probably wont need to see the light of day again in public and will probably get acquired by IBM.

Tagman – I think its overrated. Organizing Tags is good but there are no standards and as long as Google keeps moving the goalposts then it will be hard. However this is a reasonable chance for success with exit being sold to Microsoft who desperately need a foot in this door.

TourWrist. I cant think why – but well Joel Cutler is investing so follow the smart money I suppose. Exist? Probably Google.

Deal Angel an OTA masquerading as a Deal site. The stuff under the covers is worth more than the site itself. Should be acquired for its technology not the consumer business. Thanks Groupon for messing up this market.

Rome2Rio – as I put in my prior post – I love maps. So where will this end up? I will go out on a limb and say that Amazon could really use this as a way to power many businesses. Alternatively if a GDS was really smart they would use this as a springboard. Nah… never happen.

And that is it. None of the others were complete enough. Some fundamental issues with each of them. Honorable mention may go to Maptia – love the idea (Maps again) but the execution as incomplete and needs a lot more work/effort. Amadeus and Concur get excluded for being too big. OpenBooking is nice but the model is based on screwing someone else’s model. Always find that hard to accept.

Anyway – enjoy it. Let me know what you think
Cheers
Timothy

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