Uncovering hidden technology gems for a perfect pairing

Simon Akeroyd

Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Amadeus Asia Pacific

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I love a good wine pairing with my meals. As such, I am always on the lookout for new and upcoming wines in the region to add a different dimension and flavour to a meal. I recently visited Australia and of course, I made my way to the vineyards.

It was great to visit established vineyards such as Houghtons, but “Ugly Duckling Wines” – a small, family owned vineyard along the river – also caught my eye and thoroughly impressed me. This boutique vineyard and cellar door prides itself in offering premium wines, all hand-picked and locally crafted, coupled with an old-fashioned personal touch. They really understand what their customers want and need. I just had to buy a case.

The Bangkok Startup Weekend 2015: Travel Edition

Similarly, at Amadeus, while we pride our partnerships with established players, we are always on the lookout for up-and-coming, smart and innovative companies and startups. In fact, just this weekend we wrapped up a successful event: Bangkok Startup Weekend 2015: Travel Edition, powered by Amadeus, together with TechSauce, a Bangkok-based technology startup organisation.

We saw a phenomenal registration of 55 participants including developers, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts, passionate about marrying technology and travel. I was blown away by the sheer energy and passion in the room, as well as some of the fantastic and original perspectives to improve the travel experience, ideas which could ultimately revolutionise travel.

During the 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding and design, Amadeus equipped attendees with industry expertise and coaching from in-house experts as well as access to the Amadeus Travel Innovation Sandbox, a set of APIs to access Amadeus content for testing and prototyping.


Sometimes, much like how pairing the right wine with a meal enhances the outcome, our partnership with these communities lends a different perspective and drives a positive outcome for the travel ecosystem.

I’m proud to work for a company that’s not just a leader in travel IT, but also focused on helping to support new ventures and startups in the travel industry. We put our money where our mouth is and in 2014 we spent €527 million on R&D, representing almost 16% of our global revenues – and since 2004 we’ve invested around €3.5 billion in R&D.

Our participation in Bangkok Startup Weekend 2015 is just one of the initiatives from Amadeus NEXT, a programme to nurture, support and partner with travel startups in Asia Pacific. The programme leverages Amadeus’ technology, expertise, reach and funding, to evolve new and original ideas in travel. Amadeus NEXT also drives an internal culture of new idea development and lean thinking through internal hackathons and a startup academy.

We strive to shape the future of travel by working with exceptional teams who have brilliant minds and excellent business ideas and I can’t wait to see some of this weekend’s ideas come to life!


Asia Pacific, Startups, Events