Caption Reimagine Hospitality Industry in WIT 2016
Caption was selected as one out of seven startups coming from all over the world to pitch in WIT 2016 Startup Pitch. We were selected as semifinalist and having the opportunity to pitch in WIT Bootcamp in 17th October 2016: an event series of Web In Travel 2016 Conference.
The preparation building up to the pitch was intense. It took two weeks of preparation to make everything went ready into play. Apart from preparing our pitch deck and script for the pitch itself, our team also went into a major overhaul on our Caption Hospitality website to explain in clear terms the problems and service we were trying to solve within the hospitality industry.
WIT Startup Bootcamp
Caption Co-founders and our Advisor
WIT Startup Bootcamp is one of the largest travel startup events in the world. This event is a medium for startups, innovators, investors and travel industry professional to meet. It also place where travel startups stakeholders share and learn new insight as well as their experience.
The talks was quite entertaining and insightful with previous founders taking the stage to share their experience and screw ups within the space. There are also discussion on their success and what contributed to it, as well as insights of what most thought leader thinks the industry is headed towards in the near future.
During the event itself, there are also talks about current issues and new trends in travel industry. There are several interesting topics, such as: the rise of Chinese travelers and how strong mobile usage among them; service personalisation; the use of VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality); virtual payment; chat bots; as well as issues on airline industries.
One key point that was brought up is personalisation. This is something at Caption we feel greatly that will be a game changer in terms of consumer behaviors. We feel that the world has evolved and now consumers / travelers are demanding more than just price and location. Today, it is an era where travelers are looking for experience and something memorable to take back with them. We notice trends that personalisation is happening in the world. For examples such as Instagram, Facebook, customisation of product covers etc such as iPhone, smartphones. This is a gradual progression when basic are met and considered norm. We feel that this is going to be a game changer moving towards the future of hospitality.
Our Co-founder, Larry Chua during presentation on Startup Pitch Semifinal
In the Startup Pitch Semifinal, we, along with six other startups had opportunities to present our idea and solutions. Those startups are: Backstreet Academy, Cape, Hello Here, Sports Where I Am, Trazy, and Zumata. Each startup highlighted issues that they found and how their solutions could ease those issues.
We were trying to convey the message to everyone that innovation and technology has propelled business going forward. However, there are those that fall through these cracks and soon will be forgotten. Developing countries such as Indonesia are currently facing this issue.
One of the crucial issues that we found is manual pen and paper situation are still happening in hotels. This is a serious issue as most rely 80% of their bookings and reservations from online travel agent and have not clue or whatsoever to utilize technology to automate processes and stay relevant to the modern travelers. In the long term, this issue could cost hotel lot of revenue loss due to their inability to adapt with technology and modern travelers needs.
Caption aims to be an enabler within this space to help such properties to embrace technology and stay relevant and competitive. We have built our own platform to overcome the various challenges faced within the second tier and rural cities. We hope that by empowering such properties, travelers would have opportunities to discover such unique properties for their stay.
The Bottom line
Overall, it was great experience to participate and present our idea in WIT 2016. Although we did not make it through the finals, but we were glad to validate and gain recognition on the problem we are trying to solve by industry veterans and investors.
We strongly recommend startups to participate in industry event such as WIT to have their ideas / business validated. Most startup fail because of customer development and trying to build good to have businesses and not businesses that solve the needs of users. Moreover, this kind of event would be great place to get new insight of new trends and customer needs.