We're so happy to announce Cockpit Innovations as a proud sponsor of Travel Tech Con 2017! Cockpit Innovation Hub is a platform for entrepreneurs specializing in high-tech innovation in the areas of travel and aviation. They work with both early-stage start-ups and advanced companies with a focus on disruptive technologies.
Cockpit Innovation will be a part one of our judges for Travel Tech Con Pitch Competition so we sat down with the CEO @ Cockpit Innovation, Henry Chen Weinstein to talk about what startups are on his radar, what makes a good pitch and what he's excited about Travel Tech Con 2017.
What do you think will be the defining development(s) in travel tech in 2017?
Recently i’ve seen many startups that consider themselves as a part of the Travel Tech niche, and they are, but I think that what I am considering as the future of Travel Tech is not exactly how they grasp it. I think that a lot of startup focus on developments that are very oriented towards pure travel and tourism, but travel tech is so much more. I believe that the defining developments in travel tech in 2017 will be those who will know to connect other verticals such as AI, Cyber Security, IoT and such, with the many challenges the travel industry (Travel, Aviation and Aerospace) are facing.
Are there any travel apps, or start-ups, you feel could be the story of the next year?
We at Cockpit Innovation just recently concluded the Navigator class. Navigator is our Industry program which we launched late in 2016 together with JetBlue Technology Ventures. The first ever batch started at November 2016 and ended just recently in March 2017. Before we started the program many startups applied but we picked 3 companies that we feel could be the story of the next year:
Beside the Navigator program, Cockpit also has a Fund where we invest in more mature startups. During the last year and a half we invested in some very promising startups that we are now and in this coming year are expecting to see their influence on the travel tech industry.
- Bidflyer is a real-time auctions platform for airlines. Their platform increases the airline’s load factor and revenues by auctioning its unsold inventory on the airline’s website and mobile app.
- Routier provides new channels of communication for hotels, airlines,and cruises so that they can effectively and efficiently connect, communicate, and share information with their customers in real-time without any download by the customer.
- Quicklizard is doing dynamic pricing for Revenue Management that is bringing real-time price recommendation with internal and external parameters for airlines.
- AeroCRS provides reservations, operations and BI systems for small and medium airlines at the push of a button. This diverse group is doing amazing things and their progress in 2016 was above our expectations, their influence on our industry was felt from day 1. It would be interesting to see where they go next year and the impact they will have by the end of 2017.
What are the exciting things Cockpit is up to?
Cockpit Innovation is a venture arm with the mission to invest in inspiring entrepreneurs with groundbreaking technologies. As part of the EL AL Group, Cockpit recognizes exceptional technologies and teams and helps the take meaningful steps towards revolutionizing the worlds of aviation, travel, and aerospace. This upcoming year is going to be very exciting as more industry leaders are joining Cockpit Innovation to redefine the Air Travel industry and create a better future as we extend our eco-system to other areas of the world.
What do you most look for in a startup pitch?
Whenever I hear a startup pitch, I ask myself simple questions:
Will this company build something many people will love? Will this have a high impact on the industry?
Are these founders a “force of nature”? Will they make vision into reality??
- Is this startup mission important? Will it change minds and hearts?
When a startup is pitching I am also looking for their passion for our industry, for the team to be creative, and open-minded for feedback and guidance as we like getting our hands dirty and supporting our entrepreneurs.
What are you most looking forward to about Travel Tech Con?
I think it will be very interesting to see what kind of new developments TTC 2017 participants have in store for us. Meeting entrepreneurs, hearing and learning about their approach is what I look forward to about Travel Tech Con. In the next few months we will open our applications for the Navigator class #2 and TTC is a great opportunity to meet potential candidates. Our Cockpit Fund is also constantly active, so if you are a young, early stage startup, or a more mature startups with a grand mission to reinvent air travel, do not hesitate to approach me during TTC 2017.
Henry Chen Weinstein is focused on breaking innovation barriers, both locally and globally. As part of this mission he has founded platforms for entrepreneurship such as Vertical Engine, TLV STARTUP Challenge and Phorme Workshop. As an experienced product manager for almost a decade (private and public sectors) he helped define, scope, develop and implement products in various industries, driving growth and product success. Henry is passionate about catalyzing high impact entrepreneurship by supporting startups at all stages. He also holds an LLB. from Tel Aviv University.
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