See Which Innovative Technologies Commanded the Stage during E20X 2023

A total of 16 hospitality technology startups pitched their innovative visions at HFTP’s Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) 2023 competitions in Dubai and Toronto. All the participants shared their business concepts with passion and enthusiasm, generating valuable exposure among audiences of HITEC attendees and industry leaders, investors and entrepreneurs. Yet, there were five who secured the highest votes from the expert judges’ panel or audience to receive the top prizes of the event. Keep reading to learn more about these award-winning startups in 2023 – starting with the E20X Toronto competition that took place during HITEC Toronto on June 28.

Meet PassiveBolt, the E20X Toronto Judges’ Choice Award Recipient

PassiveBolt pioneered a decentralized identity platform called KeyShare to automate guest interaction workflows including identify verification, remote check-in and service requests. The platform offers enhanced cybersecurity by removing the need to store and control personal identifiable information (PII) and streamlines operational efficiency.

When asked about their E20X experience, PassiveBolt had this to say: “One of the key takeaways from the event was the growing importance of user-centric and privacy-focused technologies in the hospitality sector. The extensive conversations and debates around these concepts reinforced our commitment to promoting self-sovereign identity, decentralized data handling, and secure spaces.

“Another invaluable insight we gathered was about the increasing appetite for innovative, secure, and customer-centric solutions among industry stakeholders. This feedback and demand have motivated us to persist in our mission and continuously adapt our products to the evolving needs of the hospitality industry.

“Participating in E20X Toronto 2023 has reinforced our belief in the transformative power of technology for the hospitality industry. The recognition we received as the top innovation of the year has boosted our morale and inspired us to strive for even higher standards of excellence and innovation.”

Meet, the E20X Toronto People’s Choice Award Recipient is an AI-based revenue management service that works with hotel general managers, revenue managers, third-party hotel management companies and hotel ownership groups to provide a sophisticated, AI-driven approach to hotel room pricing. offers two services – the Fully Autonomous Pricing Service, and the Second Opinion Pricing Service. The first is ideal for hotel owners/operators with no revenue manager or existing investment in a revenue management system. This service connects to the hotel PMS every four hours and updates pricing for all room types over the next 365 days (no human intervention required).

For hotel owners and operators with a revenue manager and potentially an existing investment in a revenue management system, the Second Opinion Pricing Service will connect to the hotel PMS in the middle of the night and email a detailed report that highlights opportunities to adjust room pricing for the coming 90 days to maximize revenue potential. had three big takeaways from their E20X experience to help the company moving forward:

  1. New business development leads. “We had more than 200 HITEC attendees come by our booth to learn more about, and many of those conversations have turned into post-HITEC new business leads. We are actively working to convert those leads into pilots and plan to have at least 10 new hotel customers live within 45 days from the end of HITEC.”
  2. The networking. “We enjoyed getting to know the E20X mentors, sponsors, organizers and supporters. We also met four potential investors and several journalists.”
  3. The awareness and recognition [that comes from] “the opportunity to pitch our business in front of hundreds of HITEC attendees, and the recognition that comes with winning an E20X award.”

Meet the Award-winning Startups of E20X Dubai

E20X Dubai was held in May 2023 at the Dubai World Trade Center, where three participating startups were selected to receive top awards.

Xenios Academy won the Judges’ Choice Award with their gamified hospitality training app for frontline employees. The technology works to improve staff skills and increase overall efficiency for hospitality businesses with an app that combines engaging game mechanics with comprehensive training content to provide an effective (and enjoyable) learning experience.

Buk Technology scored the Judge’s Semi-finalist Award with a tokenized distribution platform that provides hotels control over pricing and distribution, as well as access to a new generation of crypto-savvy travelers. This startup tokens hotel rooms, making them a tradable, resalable asset class with transparent secondary markets and creating a new revenue stream for properties.

Finally, Youverse won over the audience and was voted People’s Choice with their decentralized reusable identity solution. This technology is designed to provide fast, secure processes for onboarding or authentication in hospitality. With Youverse, customers use their face as their sole token to quickly verify identity without disclosing information to protect privacy. No cards, no passwords – just you.

Meet all the startups who participated in E20X 2023

Five other startups pitched at E20X Toronto: Aphy; Buk Technology (who won the Judges’ Semi-finalist Award at E20X Dubai 2023); eTip (who won the Judges’ Choice Award at HITEC Dubai 2022); Laasie; and WrkSpot. Six other startups pitched at E20X Dubai: INNREV; nywhr; Tibble; Turpal (who won the People’s Choice Award at E20X Dubai 2022); XAAN; and Quoality.

You can learn more about the startups who participated in E20X Toronto and E20X Dubai on the E20X website. All hospitality technology startups who are interested in pitching at E20X next year should continue checking the website for details and applications to be posted in early 2024.

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About the Author: Briana Gilmore