NYU SPS and Hotelbeds Collaborate to Explore Next-Gen Tech Startups

NEW YORK and PALMA, Spain—Hotelbeds and the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality have launched a collaboration to explore and inspire the next generation of tech startups through the company’s TravelTech Lab initiative and the school’s Innovation Hub (HI Hub) Incubator Program.

The two organizations will work together over the next three years to find ideas to propel the travel and hospitality ecosystems forward through new technologies aimed at improving customer experience.

While the NYU SPS Tisch Center has an established start-up program, which it launched in 2021, to cater to the needs of the industry and companies seeking to build the next generation of travel technology products, Hotelbeds entered the space earlier this year through the launch of its TravelTech Lab in partnership with Telefonica’s Wayra. The initiative aims to help shape the future of travel and support startups to explore tech-based solutions.

The TravelTech Lab will complement the Hospitality Innovation Hub Incubator Program, which helps NYU-affiliated startups plan, launch and manage their businesses by providing support and mentorship to help the owners grow their businesses. The agreement will also open new avenues for collaboration between entrepreneurs in the United States and Europe.


“Hotelbeds is a progressive industry innovator whose values and commitment to evolve and reimagine the next generation of global travel technology align with our mission for the Tisch Center and our HI Hub initiative,” said Nicolas Graf, chaired professor and associate dean of the NYU SPS Tisch Center. “With the support of organizations like Hotelbeds, our HI Hub and its Incubator Program will be well-positioned to be the launching pad for companies and technologies that will impact our industry for years to come.”

As part of the sponsorship agreement, Hotelbeds will host one of the Tisch Center Incubator’s future “Pitch Your Passion & Seal the Deal” competitions at the company’s headquarters in Palma de Mallorca or its TravelTech Lab in Madrid. The competition has been part of recent semesters at the Tisch Center, in which NYU-affiliated hospitality startups have the opportunity to develop their businesses and compete for cash prizes.

Nicolas Huss, CEO at Hotelbeds, said, “Innovation has always been part of our DNA and is a key focus on our goal to reduce friction across the travel ecosystem. Bringing our two innovation hubs together is a powerful combination. We’re looking forward to seeing what initiatives the start-ups in the program develop and how we can work together to bring them to market.”

Dr. Richie Karaburun, MBA, DPS, clinical assistant professor and director of the HI Hub Incubator Program, said, “This relationship with Hotelbeds will bring significant value to our Incubator Program cohort and their startups. Hotelbeds’ industry experience and connections will allow our entrepreneurs to tap into expertise to help build their businesses into true industry players.”

José María Pestaña, chief innovation officer, Hotelbeds, added, “Collaborating with the NYU SPS Tisch Center of Hospitality, just two months after launching our TravelTech Lab innovation hub underscores our ambition to identify and implement disruptive ideas to redesign the travel experience. Not only does NYU’s global footprint match our goal for our Lab but this collaboration reinforces our strategy to work closely with like-minded institutions that have a wealth of expertise and knowledge in the hospitality sector to help us take innovation to the next level.

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