Travel and tourism is a very important part of Miami’s economy and generates over $25 billion annually. As Miami’s #1 industry, it brought 15.86 million visitors to Miami-Dade County and accounted for a total hotel room supply of 60,396 in 2017 alone.
With this in mind, LAB Miami Ventures decided to create the Future of Travel Technology Summit to fill a void and bring together industry leaders and some of the brightest and most innovative travel and tourism startups in the region.
The Future of Travel Tech Summit is the first event of its kind, focusing solely on technology and how it is causing rapid and unprecedented change in the tourism industry. The program has a curated agenda including panels on topics such as in destination experiences and revenue management – a startup pitch competition, and keynote speeches by leading industry disruptors.
Over the last few years there have been unbelievable advances in how younger companies are growing and attracting capital in the online travel space. The travel tech industry has become increasingly geared towards convenience and accessibility which has created unique opportunities for new emerging technologies. How has the speed of business in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector evolved over the last few years? How it is adapting to the continuous technological advancements & digital disruption? What are today’s investors excited about and where do they see the future of travel heading?
Matt Zito, Managing Partner Travel Startups Incubator, LLC
Christina Heggie, Investment Principal at Jet Blue Ventures
Suzanna Chiu, Partner at Amadeus Ventures
Amir Amidi, Managing Partner of Plug & Play
Mark Farrell, Managing Director at Thayer Ventures
By 2020 millennials will make up more then half of the business travelers, increasingly proving that travel has a positive impact on job satisfaction. Emphasizing that the ever connected digital consumer now expects a travel experience that is immediate, personal, reliable and engaging while remaining relevant and contextual. How are wearable devices, mobile payment solutions, virtual reality, augmented reality, and AI creating options that are truly tailored to business traveler needs and tastes thereby reducing the risk of non-compliance, connected luggage
Utpal Kaul, Global Head New Product Incubation at Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Today’s travelers are no longer satisfied staying in their hotel suite, or lounging by the pool bar all day. They want to explore, learn and experience something new. As travelers get more demanding and sophisticated, travel companies must learn to provide more interesting, transformative and personalized experiences to their customers.
Ian-Michael Farkas, Vice President Strategic Accounts at Local Measure
Steve Cohen, Senior Vice President, Travel Insights at MMGY Global
Vince Mota, Digital product at Royal Caribbean
Andres Barry, President at JetBlue Travel Products
Pricing effective segmentation combined with predictive analytics allows revenue managers to view industry data in new ways to accurately forecast demand, increase direct bookings, deliver precision pricing, and maximize profit opportunities that might otherwise be lost. While the face of revenue management is changing providing the right customer, with the right product, at the right time, for the right price, via the right channel is a constant.
Somnath Banerjee, CTO at LodgIQ
Seth Cassel, President EveryMundo
Mike Galyen, Vice President at HomeAway
Rob Borden, VP of Commercial at UpLift
Molly Philips, Director of Client Strategy at Roar Media
Matt Zito is a managing partner for Travel Startups Incubator (TSI) a global travel technology investment and advisory firm. TSI’s investment portfolio includes 11 active operating companies and 3 advisory clients. FlitWays a private executive black-car ground transportation company is TSI’s first exit, now trading publicly, stock symbol FTWS. Investing in private and public companies since the late 90’s, Matt is the published author of “Trade IPOs Online,” by John Wiley Sons, NY, NY, featuring Matt’s 715% IRR (Internal Rate of Return) on investments and trades.
Managing Partner Travel Startups Incubator, LLC
Kurien spearheads Highgate’s technology investments and incubation projects. Kurien transitioned into his current role from Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at Highgate. During his tenure as CRO, he built Highgate’s revenue management team and technologies. It is now a universally recognized industry leader. He has over 18 years of experience in Revenue Management & Distribution, and is regularly called upon as a featured speaker at top industry events. In addition to his CRO duties he created RevUP, Highgate’s, proprietary revenue optimization platform (now commercialized as LodgIQ), and Travel Tripper, an innovator in CRS Distribution and website technology . KJ is actively involved in the ongoing research, development and the full scale commercialization of HG Portfolio companies.
Principal Highgate Ventures
Bob is the co-founder and President of getaroom.com, which was awarded best hotel booking site by frommers.com. After receiving his law degree from Cornell where he was an editor of the Cornell Law Review, Bob practiced securities and corporate law
President at getaroom.com
Nick is a former journalist covering the businesses of travel and hospitality. Nick now helps brands blog better through brand journalism at Ghost Works.
Communications Strategist at Ghost Works
Somnath has successfully led teams for 20+ years and has a deep passion for AI and ML. He spearheads development of LodgIQ revenue management platform. He has held leadership positions at Nor1, Sourcebits, Assyst, eGain and TI.
CTO at LodgIQ
Seth Cassel is the President of EveryMundo, a world-leading provider of airline performance marketing technology. EveryMundo’s solutions increase airline direct channel growth, improve customer acquisition, and enhance user experience.
Partner at EveryMundo
Christina Heggie is an experienced travel industry professional with deep operational expertise within the travel and hospitality industry and venture capital.
Investment Principal at Jet Blue Ventures
Managing Partner of Plug & Play
Suzanna is currently the Head of Amadeus Ventures and has overall responsibility of managing deal-flow, making investments and taking care of the portfolio companies of the fund. Amadeus Ventures is the corporate venture fund of Amadeus IT Group, the leading technology provider in the travel industry globally. Suzanna has successfully expanded the program from its infancy into an integral part of the company’s business, driving strategic values both for the corporation and the portfolio companies. Previously, Suzanna was Senior Manager of Macquarie Capital Advisors and led several successful M&A transactions in the telecom and media sector. Suzanna has an MBA degree from London Business School and likes photography.
Partner at Amadeus Ventures
Experienced senior executive with global experience in hospitality, travel & tourism industry. Skilled in P&L management, Scaling start-ups,Operations Management, Sales, and E-commerce. Strong business development & technical skills with a Master’s degree focused in Travel & Hospitality from Cornell University.
Global Head New Product Incubation at Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Committed to global innovation and entrepreneurship. Through Journey Partners, he leads several international innovation and startup programs in Aviation/Travel, Sports and Health. As an experienced board director and supports startups in sport technology and eSports as an angel investor. I’m also a co-founder of Junction Therapeutics which focuses in improving treatment for neurological conditions such as traumatic brain injury.
Head of Innovation at Air Viva
Founder at Rocketrip
Ian-Michael Farkas leads the commercial team for Local Measure, a customer experience platform, managing the enterprise accounts within the hospitality and travel verticals. 20 years working on the intersection between hospitality and technology. Currently based in Miami managing key accounts including global MSAs with some of the leading and largest hotel brands.
He has over 10 years experience in the industry managing teams, connecting people with businesses, ideas, and capital. Founder of two companies, Travel tech, and a go-to-market specialist. Prior to Local Measure, Ian-Michael has consulted for companies such as Siteminder, Business Events Sydney and Leo Burnett.
Vice President Strategic Accounts at Local Measure
Professional with over 25 years of progressively responsible experience in Market Research/Insights. • Particularly skilled in telling the story derived from Market Research data. • Delivers insights that help to achieve business objectives.
Senior Vice President, Travel Insights at MMGY Global
Digital product at Royal Caribbean
Andres leads JetBlue’s Travel Products, which includes portfolio of ancillary products such as JetBlue Vacations. Prior to JetBlue, Andres was a Partner and Managing Director at BCG, a global management strategy consulting firm, where he worked in the Travel & Tourism sector, focusing on commercial growth and digital topics. Prior to BCG, Andres held several sales and operations management roles.
President at JetBlue Travel Products
I’m the Managing Director for Voyager HQ, a club connecting startup founders, corporate partners, and investors in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry. Since its inception two years ago when I started as Digital Director, Voyager HQ has grown to over 1,000 members, with a vibrant community workspace in the Flatiron/Chelsea area of Manhattan, the Voyager Clubhouse, that is home to 27 companies and over 70 members.
Managing Director at Voyager HQ
Cofounder at TripActions
Former BCG Partner
Founding CFO/COO Open English
Founding investor and Board member Proteak (IPO)
Mentor for Endeavor, Venture Hive, NXTP Labs
Investor in over two dozen start-ups
CEO & Co-Founder of LAB Ventures
Founder of Latam Founders Network
Founder of Future of Local
Producer Entrepreneur Week Brazil
Brazil market entry for MyFitnessPal, Yelp, Pinterest
Advisor to Tizkka and UVK
Investor in 4 startups
Heather Roche is the head of growth marketing at Vacasa, the nation’s
largest and fastest growing Vacation Rental Management company. Prior to
Vacasa, she spent more than 10 years as a marketing executive at Capital
One and Discover.
Head of Growth Marketing at Vacasa
As the innovator in global cruise travel, Norwegian Cruise Line has been
breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising for over 52 years. Most
notably, the cruise line revolutionized the industry by offering guests the
freedom and flexibility to de
VP of Guest Experiences & Innovation at NCL
Accomplished product and technology executive. Deep domain expertise in online marketplaces, search/match, mobile, advertising, distribution, software and eCommerce.
Vice President at HomeAway
A senior marketing, customer experience, e-commerce and business transformation professional with a significant track record of success across a number of well-regarded consumer brands, products and services. Seeking opportunities to deliver real growth and/or transform the way organizations market and operate.
VP of Commercial at UpLift
Omnichannel Marketing Director with deep digital marketing experience in social, SEM, SEO, programmatic, etc. Insistent on excellence, obsessed with data, and driven by innovation. Eight+ years working with Fortune 500 companies, household name CPG brands, fintech, travel/hospitality and consumer technology companies. Future Kellogg MBA student, class of 2021.
Director of Client Strategy at Roar Media
Peter is the Director of Innovation at EmbraerX in Silicon Valley. Before to joining EmbraerX, he was the CEO of several startups including Contact IQ, Alitora Systems and Topicmarks (which sold to The Meet Group NASDAQ: MEET in 2011). Peter has three roles within EmbraerX. First, to advise and mentor projects, most notably the all-electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL) being built in conjunction with Uber. Second, to oversee Embraer’s investment activity. Third, to work with Embraer’s existing business units to foster innovation.
Director of Innovation at EmbraerX
Over 18 years of intra and entrepreneurship leadership, managing technology companies and advertising agencies. I’m fixated on meshing digital thinking into the fabric of corporations, and I’ve helped the most renowned brands of the world to connect with their ecosystems to elevate operational and marketing results through new technologies and data.