13 E20X Pitches and One Home Run

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Written By: Jennifer Jones

As a native to Baltimore, Maryland USA, I was excited to see that the Orioles are in town this week playing the Blue Jays. Now that I reside out west, I do not get to see them much anymore. Granted with a full schedule of meetings, sessions and receptions, sneaking out of HITEC Toronto to catch a few innings just was not possible. However, I made a better decision with my schedule and decided to attend the Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) hospitality technology pitch competition. This was my first time watching the event, and I encourage everyone to make sure that they make E20X a vital part of their HITEC ritual every year.

The 13 participants took the stage for four minutes each to pitch their company, and why their product or service will be the next best thing. One lucky winner would be awarded a $5,000.00 USD grand prize, also known as the E20X Judge’s Award, and complimentary spots at the next HITEC. I strapped in and got ready for three hours of “Shark Tank,” sans Mark Cuban.

E20X at HITEC Toronto on Monday, June 26, 2017.

For those of you who missed the event, I have captured the batting list for you. Here is the rundown:

  1. Allow your guests to never lift a finger and implement Angie‘s voice-activated in-room tablet.  It’s like having your own personal assistant. She can beckon you an Uber and tell you if your flight is delayed.
  2. Provide local experiences to your guests using Arrivedo, a booking engine that integrates Neighborhood Guides to guests so you can be their local host.

  3. Take advantage of Bizly to offer your small meeting space online removing the need from a complicated, lengthy RFP process. Think Airbnb for meetings.

  4. Engage with your guests before they potentially post a bad review online by implementing Fetch, mid-stay surveys in one simple tap. It solves the problem of unhappy guests by allowing for real-time guest feedback with prompt resolution from the hotel.

  5. Looking for an integrated solution offering your guests a seamless booking experience for activities from a variety of suppliers in your area? Contact GEMTouch.

  6. Help your guests stay organized with Guestfolder. Engage with guests to book directly across your portfolio of properties and actively promote to them via their custom mobile application.  You can even offer special rates to your loyal customers.

  7. Reduce the amount of time rooms sit empty with HotelFlex. With many major cities having early flight arrivals, accommodate early check-in with this free app that can prioritize room cleaning notifications to housekeeping.

  8. Tired of navigating the slow, unorganized process with staffing agencies when hiring temporary event staff? Sign on with Hyre, and intuitive, new way to employ qualified banquet staff, offering better wages for them and not costing your operation more.

  9. Provide your guests an easier way to stop the mad race and save pool chairs for their friends and talk with iPalapa. Their iPoolside app is a simple online reservation system for cabana and chair rentals.

  10. Want to offer mobile key without having to spend a ton of money installing brand new guestroom locks? LockUp provides a way to upgrade your existing locks, allowing you to offer mobile key access for your guests in addition to the traditional RFID and magstipe key functionality.

  11. Notify your guests of opportunities to enhance their stay using OnceThere, and provide a seamless activity booking experience with offerings from local activity partners.

  12. Have a problem with shuttle service? Want to ensure your guests are getting picked up on time and not having to call the front desk wondering where the airport shuttle us? Try a 90-day free trial of ShuttleQ.

  13. Incentivize your guests to book direct with Stay Wanderful. Utilizing a “smart recommendation” engine, this application offers your guests discounts and coupons for recognized merchants while maintaining a much lower commissions structure than those from the OTA “Duopoly”.

E20X Toronto Judge’s Winner: Stay Wanderful.

Congratulations to all 13 participants, and to Jennifer Wong from Stay Wanderful, the E20X Judge’s Award winner of this year’s Toronto competition.

Jennifer Jones is president at J2 Hospitality Solutions, a technology consulting firm, and is an official guest blogger for HITEC Toronto. She is an active member in the HFTP Rocky Mountain chapter, and she has spent her entire career in the hospitality technology space on both vendor and property sides of the spectrum. Jones is a 1997 graduate of Penn State University’s School of Hospitality Management. Contact her at jj@j2hospitalitysolutions.com

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