Ten semi-finalists have been judged and selected for a final pitch and showdown at the upcoming WiT Japan & North Asia event in Tokyo this July.
Amadeus is supporting the startup pitch event which attracted close to 30 entries from 11 countries.
The WiT Startup Pitch is an annual event, open to all travel-related startups, up to five years old. WiT seeks to highlight ground-breaking new ideas and clever, entrepreneurial minds that are pushing the boundaries in travel technology. The WiT Startup Pitch, now in its 11th year, received strong interest, drawing entries from around the world, serving different segments of the industry.
“The bar will be high for all competitors this year with a very diverse set of business opportunities to tackle, from leveraging new technology to exploiting niche markets.
“Over the past couple of years, we have seen a clear trend towards destination services which continues in 2019, with several startups focusing on local tours and activities, as well as restaurants. This long tail travel content is a great opportunity for local players to leverage a complex cultural environment and specific niche opportunities,” said Sebastien Gibergues, vice president, Online Travel Asia Pacific at Amadeus IT Group and one of the judges for the competition.
The 10 shortlisted ventures for the WiT Japan & North Asia Startup Pitch 2019 are:
- Adventoro Travel
- Amuse Travel
- In the Hood
- Sea going Green
- SilentLog Analytics
The 10 semifinalists will be joined by Red Table, winner of the WiT Seoul Startup Pitch 2019.
“This year, we see more focus on niche markets and entries are showing efficiency improvements. In terms of the investment environment, there is still keenness but only in really good startups that have models that make sense. Valuations are more reasonable now as well,” said Margaret Yue Feng, Ctrip’s head of innovation and a judge.
Added Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder and managing director of WiT, “Through the years, we have seen maturation in the quality of entries we receive for our startup pitch events. In Japan & North Asia, the entrepreneurial mindset is changing and increasing. Today’s young workforce are more interested in this environment and are more willing to take risks – all positive signs for the startup economy in this region. We look forward to picking out potential winners and watching them succeed as many of our alumni have.”
Last year’s WiT Japan & North Asia Startup Pitch was won by ShootMyTravel. It joined an illustrious list of past winners that include Klook, MyRealTrip and Relux among others.
The judges have some words of advice to the semi-finalists preparing for the finals.
“My advice to the startups participating in the competition is simple: pitch what makes you unique, and demonstrate business scalability,” said Gibergues.
Feng’s advice is to be “fully prepared and to make good use of presentations – be focused and clear”.
All shortlisted ventures will make their live pitch to an international panel of mentors at the WiT Japan & North Asia Innovation Stage in Tokyo July 4. Three finalists will then move on to the Grand Finals to make their presentation at the WiT Japan & North Asia Main Stage conference at The Westin Tokyo on July 5.
Click here for tickets to the WiT Japan & North Asia 2019 event.
Featured image: Last year’s winner ShootMyTravel at the final pitch of WiT Japan & North Asia 2018.