Travel tech hub to launch in CT

The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) today announced that it will be launching an innovation cluster and hub to foster and promote development in Travel Technology.

This follows the successful launch of CiTi’s FinTech Hub last year, which has attracted both entrepreneurs and multi-nationals to locate and invest in the Western Cape Financial innovation sector.airplane

We have already seen significant investment into this sector over the last few months and further structured acceleration could see that increase exponentially.

Ian Merrington, CEO of CiTi said: “We believe that Travel Technology has enormous transformative potential and that the creation of a Travel Tech cluster to stimulate development and investment will benefit not only Cape Town but the entire country. We have already seen significant investment into this sector over the last few months and further structured acceleration could see that increase exponentially. The purpose of our innovation clusters is to actively identify, support and stimulate innovation and growth in key sectors that will benefit the greater ecosystem.”

A vehicle for economic growth

Western Cape Parliamentary Whip and Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Tourism & Agriculture, Beverley Schäfer said: “The Tourism Sector is a priority job creation area for the Western Cape and also a vehicle for sustainable economic growth. A Travel Tech innovation cluster gives us the opportunity to use our regional innovation leadership and competency to further accelerate the growth of
business involved in travel and tourism. CiTi has already proved the success of this model with its FinTech cluster.”Travel Tech

Maija de Rijk Uys, Managing Director of go2africa supported this view saying: “In the Western Cape alone, there is a lot happening in the Travel Tech space and yet there seems to be a sense that it is a dispersed community, rather than an integrated and networked one. Establishing a focused Travel Tech cluster will open many additional doors, ranging from business opportunities to mentoring contacts. I am excited to be part of this.”

Establishing a focused Travel Tech cluster will open many additional doors, ranging from business opportunities to mentoring contacts.

Cape Town headquartered travel booking company Travelstart recently secured $40-million in additional VC funding.

A launch event will be held at the Bandwidth Barn on April 21 from 15:30 for 16:00 – 19:00 and will include key industry speakers, including Airbnb, an investor panel and an entrepreneurs panel. A number of exciting Travel Tech companies will be represented, including MacGuffin & Fogg, go2africa and Explore Sideways.

CiTi’s innovation Cluster’s focus is on using the physical space at the Bandwidth Barn to create linkages between developers, entrepreneurs, innovators and business. CiTi also uses its small business support and acceleration programs to stimulate start-ups and its Skills Development initiatives to ensure a steady pipeline of ICT talent.

A focus on innovation

The Travel Tech Hub is about stimulating innovation in Travel Tech in the Western Cape. It is also a physical space for start-ups, entrepreneurs, developers, based at the Barn, that will establish and support travel tech solutions commercially in the Western Cape and South Africa. Members of CiTi’s Innovation Clusters participate in a range of community and industry events, have exposure to a vibrant community of relevant industry participants, have access to talent, IP and white papers and are supported by active programme and relationship management.

Widely recognised as a partner of choice for corporates who wish to innovate in South Africa, CiTi’s holistic approach to supporting industry and entrepreneurs – by providing location, skills, job readiness, enterprise development, innovation hubs and tech events – ensures effective contribution to innovation, growth of the economy and a positive impact on society.