ISTANBUL, Turkey – As being an anchor member of Plug and Play’s Travel & Hospitality Acceleration Program, Turkish Airlines will help select the most promising startups working on the next generation of travel & hospitality products and services.
Plug and Play is nurturing innovation in a wide range of industries, while Turkish Airlines has a deeper focus on innovations in travel sector. Travel & Hospitality Program aims to discover, support, and scale technologies that are defining the future of travel and hospitality. In parallel with Turkish Airlines’ goals for open innovation, Plug and Play will accept 20-30 startups in each of its two Travel & Hospitality classes of 2016. Startups accepted into the three-month program will receive mentor opportunities with leaders in the travel & hospitality space across all verticals including hotels, airlines, online travel agencies, cruise lines, and global distribution systems.
Ali Serdar Yakut, Turkish Airlines’ Chief Corporate Development and IT Officer said; “As a response to the increasing complexity and number of emerging technologies, every sector need to monitor for adoption. We have recently established Digital Innovation unit to execute new ideas that create business value with the use of new technologies. This unit focuses on very high-impact, strategic opportunities that need proving out before an investment decision can be made.”
He continued; “We investigate, evaluate, experiment and build disruptive technologies in customer experience. Open innovation and collaboration is the main tool for us to succeed; we build, develop and manage relationships with the players in the ecosystem. This partnership with Plug and Play is one of our strategic attempts to act, think, build like and with startups.”
Amir Amidi, Managing Partner at Plug and Play’s Travel Program commented; “We are very pleased to have Turkish Airlines join our travel platform. I’ve had the pleasure to flying with them on several occasions and it has always been a pleasant experience. In 2016, we will work closely with the Turkish Airlines Innovation Team to collaborate with leading startups in the IoT, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Robotics, and Augmented/Virtual Reality technologies as they relate Turkish Airlines’ technology roadmap.”
Plug and Play is bridging the gap between industry leaders such as Turkish Airlines and startups.
The Travel & Hospitality Accelerator is a three-month program designed for early and growth stage startups. Qualified companies are developing solutions in various stages of travel, including choosing, planning a trip, booking, en-route and post-trip activities. Participating startups receive mentoring opportunities, as well as exposure to investors and potential pilot opportunities with corporate partners.