Shep Among Business Travel Innovators to Compete at Innovate

By |2018-08-07T03:05:52+00:00August 2nd, 2018|News|

Business Travel Innovators to Compete at Innovate

NEW YORK, NY — The BTN Group, publishers of Business Travel News, Travel Procurement and The Beat, has selected twelve companies to compete for the Business Travel Innovator Awards at the 5th Annual Innovate, the conference for the advancement of business travel, at the New York Hilton Midtown on October 29-30, 2018. Innovate combines cutting-edge education, innovation and industry networking for pre-qualified corporate travel managers and travel procurement professionals with a minimum $5 million annual T&E budget.
Each Business Travel Innovator Lab presenter has seven minutes of uninterrupted speaking time followed by four minutes of questions from a panel of expert judges and two minutes of audience Q&A. Presentations will take place on Monday, October 29th. Two winners, one selected by the judges and one selected by the audience, will be announced on October 30th.
“We have seen tremendous interest this year with more than 30 applications and we are excited for our 500 attendees to have an opportunity to hear from the twelve companies chosen by our selection committee,” said David Meyer, Executive Director, Conference Content & Strategy for The BTN Group.

2018 Business Travel Innovator Lab Presenters:

  • Amtrav — The travel management company’s new a2b online booking platform that features expanded content aggregation and distribution capabilities.
    • Presenter: President and Co-founder Craig Fichtelberg
  • FlightGlobal — Flight Waiver Services that enable proactive disruption management, corporate travel program savings and reduced average agent time.
    • Presenter: VP Traveler Services Robyn Grassanovits
  • HRS Global Hotel Solutions — The company’s new Rate Filtering service, which combined with its Rate Protector AI-based audit service that checks for correct hotel rates and amenities, can eliminate squatter rates.
    • Presenter: VP Martin Biermann
  • Obex Solutions — A mobile app and TMC/corporate mobility platform that employs AI and mobile chat and delivers risk management support and reporting.
    • Presenter: CTO Sridhar Balaji
  • RoomIt by CWT — The travel management company’s new venture is offering a customized hotel loyalty bonus program it calls Loyalty Booster designed to boost hotel attachment rates and compliance.
    • Presenter: Chief Growth Officer & Founder Scott Brennan
  • Serko — Zeno, a Level 3 NDC-certified travel and expense solution that employs AI and a chat bot booking engine.
    • Presenter: Senior Vice President NORAM Tony D’Astolfo
  • Shep — An open booking-enabling business travel booking policy and expense capture tool. 
  • Trappit — A global re-shopping, post-ticketing airline solution for corporations and travel agencies.
    • Presenter: CEO-GM Trappit US Angel Maroto
  • TravelBank — A travel and expense platform that uses a proprietary algorithm to predict travel costs and build budgets and that features an app for camera-first expense tracking, special corporate rates and an auto-rewards program for incentivizing behavior.
    • Presenter: Co-founder and CEO Duke Chung
  • TripStreak — The B2B travel technology company’s TripScore algorithm personalizes air and hotel search results while staying within corporate policy.
    • Presenter: CEO Charles Ralston
  • Troovo — TA robotics automation solution for travel and payment transaction processing.
    • Presenter: CEO Kurt Knackstedt
  • Urbandoor — A one-stop digital marketplace connecting buyers with the furnished apartment property providers.
    • Presenter: CEO Erik Eccles

2018 Business Travel Innovator Lab Judges:

  • Becca Rabinowitz, Strategic Initiatives Manager, SpotHero for Business (2017 Business Travel Innovator Award Winner – Judge’s Choice)
  • Steve Clagg, Travel Technology Manager, Microsoft
  • Norm Rose, President, Travel Tech Consulting
  • Cathy Sharpe, Director Global Travel & Expense Management, ITW

2018 Innovate Exhibitors and Sponsors include:

Amadeus, American Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel, American Express Global Commercial Payments, Avis Budget Group, BCD Travel, Best Western Hotels & Resorts,, Choice Hotels, Chrome River, Citi, CSI Travel, Cvent, Delta Air Lines, Dots & Lines Consulting, EmpireCLS, Enterprise, Festive Road, Hertz, HRS Global Hotel Solutions, Lufthansa, Lumo, Marriott International, Mastercard, New York Hilton Midtown, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Hotel Group, Roadmap, Rocketrip, RoomIt by CWT, Sabre, Serko, Southwest Airlines, Tramada, Travel and Transport, Travel Leaders Corporate, Traxo, Tripbam, United Airlines, and Yapta.
To learn about exhibiting or sponsorship opportunities at Innovate, please contact BTN Group Publisher Anthony Carnevale at
Corporate/procurement travel buyers who would like to attend the conference can register at
Contact: David Meyer, Executive Director, Conference Content & Strategy, The BTN Group;

The BTN Group is the leading source of business travel and meeting information and intelligence. The BTN Group has an unrivaled reach of more than 65,000 business travel/meeting professionals with its leading global brands: Business Travel News, Travel Procurement and The Beat. Our expert staff delivers the highest-quality business-to-business news, information, data and research for corporate executives who are responsible for setting travel policy and managing and buying business travel and meetings on behalf of their companies. The BTN Group produces more than 30 annual conferences and events that create the ideal environment for business travel/meeting buyers and suppliers to connect through education and networking.

Northstar Travel Group is the global leader of business intelligence, information, data, research, digital marketing services and events for senior-level professionals in the travel, meetings and hospitality industries. The Northstar portfolio includes; Travel Weekly, Travel Weekly China, Travel Weekly Asia, TravelAge West, Business Travel News, The Beat, Travel Procurement, Web in Travel, Phocuswright, Burba Hotel Network, Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, Meetings & Conventions China, Incentive, Association News, Sports Travel and 75 annual events in 13 countries including leading events such as Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP), Phocuswright, TEAMS, Web in Travel, and Mountain Travel Symposium. Northstar is also the majority shareholder in Inntopia, the leading SaaS e-commerce software, CRM database marketing and predictive analytics business serving the mountain destination, activities and specialty destination travel markets. Northstar Travel Group is owned by EagleTree Capital and is based in Secaucus, NJ, with offices in New York, NY; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; Winston-Salem, NC; Stowe, VT; Edwards, CO; Glen Ellyn, IL; and Costa Mesa, CA, as well as global offices in Singapore, Beijing, and Shanghai.

EagleTree Capital (formerly Wasserstein Partners) is a mid-market private equity and investment company focused on the media and communications, consumer products and water and industrial sectors. The firm manages capital on behalf of institutional and individual investors and is currently investing EagleTree Partners IV. EagleTree Capital is located in New York. For more information, visit
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