Quick stats: Since 2008, 285
innovators have taken Phocuswright stages and collectively they have raised $2.3B
have been acquired. So we're seeing that the platform works phenomenally well for connecting startups, investors, corporates and mentors. Beyond Pricing is just one example out of so many. We just put up a great video highlighting a few more here
, and there are many more on YouTube
. I agree that Beyond Pricing story is really amazing and really hope that Travel Tech Conference Russia will bring up such great success stories too. Can you share any details on future plans and goals for platform development?
We are making a big effort to make the Phocuswright environment much more accessible to entrepreneurs. The full-price ticket for our main conference
in November is $4,199
, but for the first time we are offering entrepreneur tickets
. Also, in the U.S. now our Battleground
is a separate event from the main conference and is only $199
to attend. If anyone from your audience can make it, they may use the code «Meetup17
» to get $25
off. We think these are great steps in the right direction to make our events much more inclusive, and we'll be expanding those efforts going forward. We at Travel Tech Conference Russia also see our partnership as a step towards Phocuswright becoming more open for travel startups from all over world and really appreciate the opportunity to move together in this direction. From your own perspective what areas in travel tech space do you see having most potential today?
That's always the million-dollar question, isn't it? We study the obvious trends — artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, bitcoin, internet of things, chatbots, voice search, even robotics — but what we really want is for entrepreneurs to surprise us with ideas we haven't seen before and wouldn't have thought of. That said, these days I think the startups with the highest potential generally operate on the B2B side, and figure out how to apply cutting edge tech to travel industry problems or opportunities. For example, helping suppliers or intermediaries make more sense out of their data, giving them new ways to connect with customers or improve their customer experience, reducing costs etc. The B2C space is just so crowded and requires so much money to break through and build a brand — it's quite daunting. No matter what, given the complexities of the travel industry, for entrepreneurs it always seems to help a lot to gain working experience in the area where they want to start a company. If it was a million dollar question, then you've got billion dollar answer to it, Mike! :) Can you share few tips for startups that are going to present their ideas on stage in travel startups pitch competition at Travel Tech Conference Russia? How they could impress judges and win a spot at Phocuswright Europe Battleground?
Try to keep your message simple and clear. You might be working on many different things, but try to capture the most important part and put it into language and a visual presentation that makes it easy to understand the problem you are addressing and why your team and product are truly the right solution. Use case studies and examples wherever you can. Focus on not just the reason that what you're working on is interesting, but why it could actually become a great, profitable business. Also, do your homework and research your competitors. You wouldn't believe how many pitches we see where the founders assume they are the only ones working on a problem in a certain way, but we had seen dozens of similar pitches over many years already. Thank you so much for the answers and insights, Michael! We're looking forward to have a great event in Moscow and appreciate Phocuswright support for our initiative.
Thanks for the opportunity to talk to you. I don't think I'll be able to make it to Travel Tech Conference Russia 17, but I hope it's a huge success and I'll be looking forward to the recap!