SEATTLE, Washington—Expedia Group launched Open World Accelerator, an initiative that builds on its Open World vision to give partners of all sizes the technology and supply needed in today’s travel market. This new initiative is designed to advance innovation in the travel industry by supporting startups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to grow on Expedia’s technology platform.
Aimed at entrepreneurs globally, the first program focuses on empowering startups and SMBs working to increase access for underserved travelers, tying into Expedia Group’s Open World social impact and sustainability strategy and focusing on democratizing the travel economy. Next year, the Open World Accelerator initiative will launch an additional program focused on co-developing new capabilities.
“Travel is an economic driver for many communities around the world, but it’s a complex industry to enter and to innovate scalable products that address specific traveler needs. This is why our Open World vision is so critical to our desire to put the traveler first,” said Archana Arunkumar, senior vice president of Platform. “Expedia Group’s mission is to power travel for everyone, everywhere. Open World Accelerator is specifically designed to drive innovation in the industry, remove barriers to travel, and enable startups and SMBs to build capabilities on Expedia’s Open World technology platform that significantly improve the experience for every traveler.”
The first Open World Accelerator program focuses on startups and SMBs working on making the travel industry more open and accessible. Each program will include a six-month curriculum for selected companies, providing them with resources to speed up their growth. This includes business and technology development support, access to Expedia Group and wider travel industry experts for mentorship and coaching, participation in industry networking events, access to Expedia Group platform and products, and a non-equity grant.