Cockpit Innovation Hub, El Al Israel Airlines’ venture arm, and JetBlue Technology Ventures have announced the inaugural class of the Navigator program, an international accelerator for startups in the air-travel industry.
Cockpit Innovation and JetBlue Technology Ventures invited a short list of startups to Israel to meet industry experts and an investment committee as the final interview process. Following a thorough review in digital, IT, cyber, revenue-management, and financial-technology fields, the five startups chosen to participate are Cambiu, Voyjer, 30SecondsToFly, SeatAssignMate, and SWITCH.CM.
“The first Navigator class is an exciting and diverse group of startups handpicked from over 25 countries,” said Henry Chen Weinstein, CEO of Cockpit Innovation Hub. “Bridging Tel-Aviv and Silicon Valley, two of the leading startup hubs on earth, enables our partners to harness the power of innovation and stay at the forefront of the industry.”
Throughout the program, startups work to further develop their technology and business plans for three months in Israel and one month in Silicon Valley. Upon completion, the companies will present their ventures to key figures in the global aviation industry with the opportunity to continue joint ventures for an additional eight months.
“We’re thrilled by the ideas we’re seeing in this inaugural Navigator class,” said Bonny Simi, president of JetBlue Technology Ventures. “By combining a wealth of aviation and technology expertise with actual platforms and connections to incubate ideas within the airline industry, we are perfectly positioned to directly help startups shape the future of travel.”
Cockpit Innovation and JetBlue Technology Ventures are investing approximately $50,000 in each startup and will consider follow-on investments in outstanding startups participating in the Navigator program and afterwards.
Cambiu (Israel): The first marketplace for currency exchange and a solution that actively promotes deals using no banks. Many people take the market’s high rates and fees for granted; these high prices are largely due to a market failure. Cambiu was created to help fix that market failure. Doing that, their vision is to change the way people exchange currency.
Voyjer (Israel): Founded in 2015, Voyjer provides customized travel plans by trusted local experts. Travelers can go on to Voyjer.com and describe their trip: the where, who, when, what, and how much. Travelers are then matched with one of Voyjer’s local experts, who will provide a full trip plan for the duration of the stay for only a few dollars per day. Their trip will also include hotel and car information as well as train tickets, show tickets, dinner-reservation service, and more.
30SecondsToFly (U.S.): When it comes to enterprise systems, unintuitive systems are over; now employees can conversationally assign tasks to an AI assistant. Founded in 2015, 30SecondsToFly’s technology–“Claire”–allows management to oversee travel data and T&E expenses, manage travel policies, and exercise duty of care while booking and servicing business trips for the team. Claire is integrated with all major communication platforms, including Slack, Facebook Messenger, Skype, SMS, and Whatsapp.
SeatAssignMate (U.S.): Founded in 2015, SeatAssignMate changes the way that e-ticket/e-mail has worked since it was invented 30 years ago. A universal check-in e-mail with live seat map and ancillaries, SAM is an IATA NDC-enabled technology company, specializing in airline/travel commerce and distribution. SAM provides state-of-the-art ancillary upsell and e-commerce solutions with interactive eâ€‘mail technologies.
SWITCH.CM (U.K.): Switch specializes in hotel API architecture and distribution. They provide a tool for airlines to automate the process of hotel reservations and ground transportation in the event of disrupted flights (IROP). Switch is the first platform in the world on the Agoda 5.0 XML, and the first to successfully conjoin the Expedia property API & sort API.