We’re creating a more connected travel industry, underpinned by sustainability and long-term investor relations.
In the startup world, it’s hard to survive - much less thrive - without great partners. As a company made up of startups, this is even more important for us at Voyager HQ. Having a corporate partner like Amadeus is invaluable in helping to drive innovation in the industry by joining forces with the great minds and talent of today's startups.
Voyager HQ began simply as a way to give back to the travel industry by someone with a great deal of experience in it. Sam S. Jain, Founder and CEO of Fareportal (the holding company behind CheapOair and OneTravel), hoped to invest back into the community that helped him create such an influential travel company himself. With this in mind, Sam helped found Voyager HQ, an innovation platform for startup founders in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry.
We tend to look at innovation in a very broad way that’s inclusive of the full landscape - but we are invested in creating better experiences in travel, tourism, and hospitality specifically. As a company, we’re also set up in the same way that our members would typically work; we’re a small team with only six people and are really bootstrappers, just like a lot of startups. As an example, our biggest investment when we were setting up our New York clubhouse back in 2016 were some plants we bought and carried down from 28th Street to liven up the place. We’ve done most of the decorating ourselves!
I’m proud of a lot of things that Voyager HQ has accomplished in a little over two years since we launched, but specifically I’m proudest of our inaugural Travel Disruption Summit that we held last May. Amadeus was an essential partner in making this event happen. Our day-long Summit featured motivational and inspirational talks by leaders in the travel industry, from heads of distribution at major air carriers to OTAs. We structured the round-table conversations at the event sort of like a wedding to encourage conversations focused on the traveler’s perspective and specific phases of the experience. We took the time to match attendees in a way that would really inspire these conversations and create the most impact. Amadeus’ support and the keynote by Rashesh Jethi, Head of Airline Innovation at Amadeus, were huge catalysts in making the entire event a success. This year, we have expanded the event and are very excited to again team up with Amadeus to make it a success. More information can be found here .
Our partnership with Amadeus just passed the two-year mark and we have worked together since the beginning as a way to bring value to the founders and the travel startup community. Amadeus and the Live Travel Space help provide an educational component to the travel industry, as well as help startups navigate complex commercial contracts. And Kerri Zeil, Head of Amadeus for Startups, has done a phenomenal job bringing the same type of energy that these startup founders need from a corporate partner.
Our co-working and events space is in New York, but we represent more than 1,500 founders in over 70 countries around the world. Voyager HQ and Amadeus collaborate deeply to engage these founders on a consistent basis. In our Voyager HQ clubhouse, we started off doing events every week and we still do at least one to two a week.
We’re excited now to be looking to engage travel founders in other communities, like San Francisco, Austin, Boston, and beyond. Starting in these three cities this quarter, we’ll be presenting monthly events, running pitch nights, hosting breakfasts, and providing the same type of in-person and offline benefits that Voyager HQ members receive in New York. With the help of Amadeus, we’re looking to expand our mission that way and continue to give back to the travel space.