32 companies spent today presenting at the PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit. Six get to move onto the Centre Stage sessions. The six will be announced tomorrow at lunch time based on anonymous voting during today's session. Here is my pick of the six (note have to pick two each from New, Emerging and Established Companies). In no particular order
Pick 1 - Uptake.com: I have spoken about Uptake before. They have built a meta-search business for travel reviews and built a search methodology that goes well beyond the tradditional capabilities of Google, Yahoo and MSN. [Emerging]
Pick 2 - Triporati: I have long been a fan of last.fm and Pandora. Both are music companies that have approached (respectively) a compunity and a genomic approach to helping people to discover new music (rather than search for known music). Triporati is doing the same for travel. Focusing on discovery rather than search through breaking down travel into 62 "DNA" elements and matching those against 1,200 destinations. [New]
Pick 3 - Dealbase.com: The test of innovation is an idea that no-one else thought of that has been executed well. The idea for deal base is a qualified lead generation business for OTAs and hotels. This is a new idea for the travel industry and the execution looks good. [New]
Pick 4 - Rezgo: A supplier and vendor matching system combined with long tail distribution management system. No other product in the 32 like it. [Emerging]
Pick 5 - Worldmate: The best of the mobile solutions I saw (but just). Very close competition with TripChill (see this post for more on mobile). Have given my vote to Worldmate (after a close debate with myself) due to its distribution deal with Nokia. Distribution is the hardest part for a mobile app. [Established]
Pick 6 - Fogglight: Home & Away have built a component based trip planning site builder. Enables travel companies such as hotels and tour operators to set up a whitelable sales operation of complementary product providers (ie a hotel building a web and packaging site using Expedia's white label solution). With acceess to content, a contact management system and more. [Established]
I will let you know what the vote is tomorrow.