048 – Kerri Zeil of Amadeus North America – That White Glove Startup Approach

Partnering with the No. 1 travel technology partner, Amadeus, dedicated to helping travel companies launch, grow and succeed…

AmadeusKerri Zeil, Head of Amadeus for Startups, Online Travel Group, Amadeus North America, Inc. (the leading provider of IT solutions to the global tourism and travel industry — Amadeus for Startups provides technology, expertise and guidance to support travel startups throughout their journey) joins John Matson in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Zeil reveals the substantial work Amadeus does in travel and understanding what startups need and what brands like Amadeus can do to help
  • Globalizing the startup program, how Zeil is in charge of the Americas
  • How Amadeus has a lot to offer, expertise, tech, info from customers already supported, how Amadeus can grow its own business through startups
  • No specific business model is larger than the next
  • Travel tech startups offer opportunities to scale and provide value
  • Amadeus originally looked at the program narrow lens, and it has has gown enormously
  • The program has grown year after year, created a partner community to add value, each program looked at uniquely, providing value across the board
    Expertise in various areas of travel and working to harness that, and how internal partners want to help
  • Help startups launch at scale
  • High quality startups coming into the program and being able to be choosier to come in and can rise to the top, while helping virtually anyone coming in the door
  • How Amadeus doesn’t invest or take equity
  • When Amadeus cannot help some companies with APIs or tech solutions, but that company might fall into the area of venture partnerships and then introduce to that internal partnerAmadeus
  • Looking for companies even outside of core values, but can find ways to plug in that can enhance the business, that can bring value within tech stacks, exploring blockchain a bit, in-destination activity,
  • Axa as a great startup story, another is Freebird (a very unique idea) which developed into a partner with Amadeus
  • Is there a secret sauce possible at Amadeus for working with startups (think white glove approach)
  • Amadeus is located in Spain, how it interacts with the Americas
  • Pitching in front of The Dragons Den
  • Getting calls from around the world from people who want to help
  • How Amadeus created a blueprint for people for this program to work globally, leaders of company started to recognize this is happening everywhere,
  • Bankok and Singapore are big spots
  • A cultural shift
  • Commonality across startups, enthusiasm, the travel industry as a whole isn’t an industry to get into, infrastructure moves at snails pace, complicated and regulated, can be frustrating and difficult to understand, in a discovery phase for info and data to be even do diligence on Amadeus’ part, give startups some hope
  • The industry has attention on, and is engaging, startups to help dig out from technological past, recognizing the need for advancement
  • Why the travel industry is likely in for the long haul in commitment and funding, albeit cautious and focused approach, at a crossroads of the old travel industries and innovators
  • The need to not disrupt cash cow at companies while getting out of same things that keep happening – that’s the right path
  • Continuing to shape the future of travel

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