A new startup accelerator programme has begun accepting applications from entrepreneurs looking to promote environmentally sustainable tourism around the world.
The Booster accelerator, launched by holiday planner Booking.com, will provide mentoring and funding between €100-€500,000 for startups that are “seeking to have an innovative, positive impact on the global tourism industry”.
The three-week programme, based in Amsterdam, is available to startups registered as for-profit with no more than €1.5m in annual turnover.
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Gillian Tans, Booking.com CEO, said: “Through Booking.com Booster, we want to help ventures in sustainable tourism accelerate their growth in order to maximise the impact they can have globally.”
While applicants must be driven by sustainable tourism, startups should also be able to demonstrate a business model that can successfully scale up.
Booking.com has outlined three points to its acceptance criteria:
- A proven business model with demonstrable local impact
- A desire to turn tourism into a force for good
- A willingness to learn from and share experiences with other startups
“By identifying and funding these outstanding startups, sharing our expertise and working together, we can explore and learn how best to protect the future of the destinations we love so much,” Tan added.
Applications will need to be submitted to Booking.com by 1 March 2017, when a judging panel will create a shortlist and conduct follow-up phone interviews.
Aside from the financial support offered through startup accelerators, Business Advice has met several entrepreneurs who have equally benefitted from the mentoring and support networks provided by programmes such as Entrepreneurial Spark.
Helena Hills, one half of the husband and wife duo behind innovative caffeine startup TrueStart Coffee, told Business Advice in 2015 that the mentorship and sounding board from Entrepreneurial Spark enabled the founders to “focus and cut out the noise”.
Last year, the founder of training agency and Entrepreneurial Spark success story Always Possible, Richard Freeman, said: “Having all that access and exposure is priceless when you consider the alternative to be sitting at a desk trying to figure out where your business fits in the world. It’s a hugely different and rewarding environment where the focus is on the entrepreneur, not the business.”
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