PhoCusWright 2011 Recap, Awards, and Video

Before Thanksgiving, a few of us from the Hipmunk team attended the 2011 PhoCusWright Travel Conference in Hollywood, FL at which co-founders Steve and Adam represented Hipmunk as one of the chosen few in the Travel Innovation Summit. 

For those of you not in the travel industry, the PhoCusWright conference is kind of a big deal. It’s one of the largest US travel conferences bringing together big wigs from global travel, tourism, and hospitality companies. From industry veterans to entrepreneurs trying to disrupt established companies and industry norms, the conference is always a fantastic mix of people, a meeting (and clashing) of the minds, and of course, a bit of a social event.

The Travel Innovation Summit features 30 companies the PhoCusWright analysts have preselected from a pool of applicants. Each company is given the opportunity to present their breakthrough technology to a panel of esteemed judges from some of the most well-known and most successful travel companies and VCs. 

We presented in the Innovation Summit last year and were honored to be back again this year to fight for the title. 

Check out this video of Adam and Steve presenting on the main stage at PhoCusWright this year. I bet you can guess who’s in the Hipmunk suit too.

And here are some pics of the guys on stage:

We made it through as one of two finalists in the Startup category along with TripLingo, a very cool app, which helps travelers understand and speak the local lingo of a destination.

After Adam and Steve went through a grueling private Q&A session with the judges, it was announced live and on-stage the next day that we were the winners of The Gust Award for Travel Innovation by a Startup.

Oh man, I can’t even express how nervous I was or how much my heart was racing while I was sitting in that audience waiting for the announcement. It was all a haze after they announced Hipmunk as the winner, but I guarantee I did a tiny fist pump.

There was an amazing list of companies in the Innovation Summit, and every one of them deserves a sincere congratulations. It was an honor to be in such great company. You can see a full list of the winners and runner’s up here, but some of our favorites were Liftopia, Groundlink, Gtrot, Truphone, and Mapquest’s MQ Vibe.

And here’s Adam back in SF with the hardware!

We look forward to next year’s PhoCusWright conference, and would like to thank all of the conference organizers for putting on a great show year after year!


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