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TravelDaily Lab


With the growing penetration of the Internet and smart phone, increasingly sophisticated means of payment and continuously improved online user experience, China's online travel business has witnessed tremendous growth potential. According to PhoCusWright, China's online travel market is projected to grow at 20% or more in the coming three years. The market size in 2014 is expected to reach 165 billion CNY.

China's online travel market has attracted the attention of investors at home and abroad. Investment reached unprecedented heights in 2013 as China’s outbound travel segment has experienced phenomenal growth. Meanwhile the traditional Internet giants such as Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu were stepping into the online travel market. On the other hand, as backed by significant venture capital investments, startups focusing on mobile applications, social-sharing, trip planning and user-generated content are emerging to challenge the established players. Startups with innovative solutions and products have brought great vitality to China's online travel industry.

But at the same time, competition in certain areas is already very fierce, especially in the air, hotel and theme park tickets online booking business, targeted by thousands of national and local competitors. Unsurprisingly, this homogeneous competition continues to lead to vicious price wars and declining profit margins.

Looking to the future of China's online travel market, the only way for a company to differentiate itself from the competition is to foster a culture of constant innovation.


TLab Pitch is one of the most exciting parts of the event. Six pre-selected innovators from startup companies that have been in business for less than three years, or companies getting ready to launch new products, will demonstrate their innovative solutions before the seasonal investors and explain how they will impact travel planning and purchasing. The winner voted by the audience will receive the China Travel Innovation Award.


Innovative Companies

What we are looking for

Companies of all sizes and sectors may apply. Applications to demonstrate are welcome from:

  • Startup: companies less than 18 months old.
  • Emerging: companies in early growth phase, 18-36 months old.
  • Established: companies 3 years or older launching new, innovative solutions.

Note: Spinoffs inherit the startup date of their parent company.

The applicant pool is vetted by TravelDaily analysts based on the uniqueness of the underlying technical innovation, not on the age of the company applying or the novelty of the niche.

What you will need to commit to do

  • Pitch to 6 top travel industry veterans in front of an audience of investors and industry decision-makers to compete for the China Travel Innovation Award.
  • Buy a tabletop display stand to promote your company to investors (US$2,000).

What you will get

  • Chance to pitch to highly successful backers in your area of business.
  • Two complimentary passes for the entire event, including conference sessions, demonstrations and exhibits, as well as all meals and social functions.
  • Receive valuable and constructive feedback direct from industry gurus, serial investors who know what it takes to build, run and grow a successful business.
  • Extensive media coverage from TravelDaily and our media partners.
  • For startups, access to sources of seed funding to launch your business.
  • For existing businesses, access to sources of growth capital to take your company to the next level.
  • Chance to compete for the China Travel Innovation Award and receive national acclaim.

Apply to pitch

In order to choose the competitors we need a document which contains:

  • Name
  • Company
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Postal address
  • URL
  • Business plan
  • Product description
  • Growth estimates
  • Funding sought
  • Experience of the team
  • Investment potential

If you want to be considered, please email Charlie Li at charlie.li@traveldaily.cn with "TravelDaily Lab Pitch" in the subject line.



What we are looking for

You must have considerable investment expertise and success in your chosen industry vertical. You must be well-known in your industry and be actively looking to make more investments in the travel sector.

What you will need to commit to do

  • Listen to 2 hours of short pitches for funding by entrepreneurs.
  • Be able to ask the questions that will identify which entrepreneur has the best investment potential.

What you will get

  • Complimentary registration for the entire event.
  • Chance to listen to other gurus, travel's most successful investors, and discover where the leaders in your field are investing and why.
  • Save your valuable time. It would take you months of work to meet and assess this many investment opportunities. Here you will do it all in 4 hard but profitable hours.

Apply to be a Guru

All gurus will be selected by invitation. If you want to be considered email Charlie Li at charlie.li@traveldaily.cn with "Industry Guru" in the subject line.


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