What to See at HFTP’s Inaugural HITEC Amsterdam Conference — Spotlight on Entrepreneur 20X

Who does not enjoy a little friendly, but very competitive, competition? Whether you are a budding hospitality technology entrepreneur or just interested in the startup world, it is thrilling to watch bold entrepreneurs compete. Making its debut in Europe this month, HITEC Amsterdam attendees should start with the action-packed Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) competition on March 28, 2017. Viewers will feel the suspense, and remain on the edge of their seats, as representatives from the competing startups present their technologies.

Explore ways in which technology can be leveraged to transform hospitality, and become inspired by innovative ideas from the creative masterminds that are contributing to a better, more successful industry. Business entrepreneur’s competing in E20X Amsterdam receive the chance to win a cash prize, recognition from an all-encompassing range of industry icons, as well as a global network of hospitality technology professionals. But wait – there is more!

Fast-Tracking Startups Toward Hyper-Growth

HFTP has found a like-minded partner for supporting the important start-up sector in HoReCa.digital. Serving as the exclusive E20X sponsor, HoReCa.digital is a newly-established business unit of METRO Accelerator that focuses on improving businesses’ digital opportunities in the hospitality sector via innovative digital tools and solutions. Representatives travel to various destinations and workspaces to meet up-and-coming startups, as the company invests in businesses who are market champions in pioneering new grounds with their unique digital solutions.

HoReCa.digital features METRO Accelerator’s highly selective mentorship program for technology-first startups across the entire value chain of hospitality and retail. Benefits to this program include: monetary investment, access to industry experts, venture capitalists, experienced entrepreneurs and mentorship from key hospitality executives and leaders – including HFTP Global President Lyle Worthington, CHTP and HFTP Global Secretary Michael Levie, CHTP.

A benefit of the exclusive sponsorship with HFTP is that a promising group of eight companies from METRO Accelerator’s mentorship program will have the opportunity to compete at E20X Amsterdam. Follow HoReCa.digital on Facebook, Twitter (@HoReCa_digital) and Instagram (@horeca.digital).

Introducing the E20X Amsterdam Competitors

1. Apparier (Venue 10)
– Pitcher: CEO Damian Hall
– Based in London

Apparier provides restaurants with pre-payment solutions – including the ability for desk managers and reservation team members to upsell designated experiences and packages within the restaurant, as well as transact the complete cost in advance of the customer visit to secure the booking. Apparier provides restaurants with smart pricing recommendations based on the characteristics of the request, date, time, guest numbers, and other factors such as occupancy percentage and external factors including: seasonal celebrations, special occasions/events. On identification of an upsell due to the personal preferences of the customer request, the software supports and manages the correspondence process to payment to instant full payment.

2. askPaul
– Pitcher: CEO Marc Stratmann
– Based in Cologne, Germany

Paul helps restaurant owners save time and money and enables them to focus on their core task: taking care of their customers. His abilities currently include: employee management, interactive shift management, absence and holiday management and payroll accounting as well as time tracking. Long story short – there is only one answer to every question, task or problem regarding human resource management: AskPaul!

3. Cheerfy
– Pitcher: Co-founder Adrian Maseda
– Based in United Kingdom

Cheerfy brings the beauty of online personalization to the physical world. Cheerfy boosts the hospitality operator’s knowledge of their customers, and thus enables them to communicate with personalized, automatic messages on arrival or departure from the venue. This helps drive customer loyalty and increase revenues. By integrating to a property’s existing Wi-Fi network and existing customer database (CRM/PoS), Cheerfy identifies customers in real-time as they walk into their premises. Cheerfy enables the business to automatically send personalized messages on customer arrival (e.g.: prompt app download, product recommendations, birthday greetings) or departure (thank you note, feedback, bring customers back). Cheerfy notifies employees of VIP customer arrival so that they can make them feel special. Key advantages include: no user application required by customer; no manual check-in required by customers (they will be automatically detected); no additional hardware required in store (will reuse a property’s existing Wi-Fi hardware).

4. Event Intelligence
– Pitcher: CEO & Founder Peter Gal 
– Based in United Kingdom and Budapest 

Event Intelligence provides forward looking event data for the hotel industry, to help them maximize revenues in event periods. There is an estimated €8bn in revenue left on the table by hotels globally, and we want to solve this problem. Event Intelligence collects, standardizes and enriches forward looking event data, which it distributes to hotels through its own interface and through an API. Event Intelligence has 58 hotels as paying clients, including Highgate Hotels (the largest hotel operator in Manhattan) and hotels from brands such as InterContinental, Hilton, Hyatt and Kempinski, among others.

5. Flowtify
– Pitcher: CEO Daniel Vollmer
– Based in Cologne, Germany

Flowtify develops a web application and mobile tool for hygiene and quality management in the food service industry. Within the European Union, all companies working with food products must provide their own complete and traceable hygiene documentation (HACCP). Flowtify enables them to shift from pen and paper documentation to a cloud-based mobile system. At the same time, Flowtify improves security – due to instant feedback – by implementing audio/visual documentation aids. Flowtify’s competitive advantage is it can be used by an employee within five minutes – no training required. Additionally, Flowtify is starting to implement sensors for typical routines (temperature, monitoring the quality and freshness of food products, etc.). Currently Flowtify’s biggest challenge is to lower sales cycles; with corporate customers such as supermarkets, hotel chains, amusement parks and franchise businesses the typically sales cycle is between six to 18 months.

6. GuestSense
– Pitcher: Founder & CEO Rishi Randhawa 
– Based in Singapore

GuestSense is a data intelligence and experience system for hotels. GuestSense believes that all data can be utilized, but in order for it to be truly effective it needs to be wrapped with the right context, be insightful and accessible at the right time in order to make a difference. GuestSense’s system has multiple data acquisition functions that enable us to gather an unprecedented amount of data from social, review, flight, hotel and guest data sources. This information is crunched and analyzed at a lightning quick pace through our artificially intelligent predictive analysis system which profiles guests and helps hotels automatically tailor operations and communications. This allows a hotel to view geographic insights about the make-up of guests in their hotel, detailed information about each guest such as job and career information, social interests, hotel likes and dislikes and more.

7. HotelFlex
– Pitcher: CEO Max Shepherd-Cross
– Based in London

HotelFlex is an innovative inventory management tool for hotels that uses intelligent targeting of a hotel’s existing guests to extend their stay through early check ins and late check outs. Thereby increasing occupancy and driving accretive revenue for the hotel and providing a more personalized service for the guest.

8. Hyre.Inc
– Pitcher: CEO Eropa Stein
– Based in Toronto and Ottawa, Canada

Hyre seeks to effectively eliminate the need for an event staffing agency by putting the power back in the hands of those involved – event staff and event organizers. Hyre is an online marketplace that operates by connecting event organizers directly with independently contracted event staff – improving their staff management and overall experience level to their customers. Event staff can create their own profiles, post their availability and specify their desired hourly rate. Event organizers have control over their budget, staffs’ skills and rate staffs’ performance after the event. Hyre charges event staff a 20 percent fee on the hourly wages they earn; its online marketplace allows event staff to earn higher wages while greatly reducing the costs for event organizers.

9. Pantreeco, Inc.
– Pitcher: CEO Leigh Sherman
– Based in Australia

Pantreeco is improving the digital standard for B2B commerce across SMB in hospitality. Pantreeco removes the friction between the way a buyer wants to communicate and the tools a supplier has to process this communication. Pantreeco has done R&D for two years, shipped prototypes to the market and facilitated over $15 million in orders to design a new model for digitization across hospitality that is different to the traditional ‘ordering app’. Pantreeco graduated from METRO Techstars in December 2016 and is launching its beta publicly in April. Pantreeco’s competitive advantage is that its model complements other tools and platforms which gives it a unique distribution model. Pantreeco’s strategy plays into a future where global ecosystems are starting to mature across digital communication, logistics, fintech and retail.

10. Reputize
– Pitcher: Business Development Director Alexander Krustev
– Based in London

Reputize helps hotels capture in-stay customer reviews so that managers can react to guest feedback in real time. This enables them to address any issues experienced during a customer’s visit, rather than when it appears as a negative review online. As well as increasing a hotel’s customer satisfaction rate, in-stay guest feedback can be published on major review portals. These reviews contribute to higher online visibility and rankings for the hotel, ensuring more recurring direct bookings. Reputize’s products are specifically targeted at hotels, hostels and serviced apartments.

11. Roomatic
– Pitcher: Founder & CEO Andreas van de Castel
– Based in Berlin, Germany

Built for the hospitality industry, ROOMATIC provides real-time guest feedback for hotels. By flagging discontent guests before check-out, ROOMATIC allows hotels to respond appropriately and therefore avoid negative guest reviews on portals like booking.com, TripAdvisor or Expedia.

12. Stay Delightful
– Pitcher: Founder & CEO Jonathan Lee
– Based in Denver, Colorado USA

Stay Delightful empowers hotels – independents and boutiques in particular – to delight their guests. Stay Delightful helps them receive great reviews and earn ancillary revenue by enabling them to easily communicate with their guests. The data-driven web dashboard enables hoteliers to address guest requests and recommend relevant products or services over text, email, voice, hotel app and other chat apps that guests are already using. The hotelier can analyze guest and conversation data to deliver a delightful experience – before, during and after the guest’s stay – that results in increased bookings and additional revenues.

13. Trakbar
– Pitcher: CEO Igor Svehla
– Based in Europe

Trakbar brings business intelligence insights to SME bar and restaurant owners. With the help of machine learning, Trakbar is doing big data insights, analytics and predictions that will enable SMEs in hospitality to optimize their business and help with decision-making, budget planning, inventory management and staff performance. Trakbar can work with almost any POS system, no hardware of software change necessary.

14. UpMail – Email Smarter. Convert Faster.
– Pitcher: Founder Antoine Asselin
– Based in London

Launched in 2014 in London, with commercial offices now open in France and the United States, UpMail quickly became the sales acceleration leader of the hotel industry in Europe with more than 1,000 hotel sales professionals across 14 countries. UpMail’s email sales acceleration platform (SAAS) is designed for sales teams in the hospitality industry to streamline communications, improve productivity and increase conversion. Easily accessible via email plugins (like Outlook, Gmail, Salesforce), UpMail’s powerful recommendation engine generates suggestions for salespeople. It suggests what to write and which content to share (brochures, images, videos, etc.) at each stages of their sales funnel.

Jessica Blankenship is the HFTP Public Relations Manager. Contact Jessica at Jessica.Blankenship@hftp.org or +1 (512) 220-4038.

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