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Veteran travel entrepreneurs launch travel Startups Incubator to invest $500,000 in 10 travel technology startups

Veteran travel entrepreneurs and startup advisors Matt and Nicole Zito, launched Travel Startups Incubator.

Veteran travel entrepreneurs and startup advisors Matt and Nicole Zito, launched Travel Startups Incubator on August 18th, a new travel technology incubator from Florida, USA dedicated to investing in the world’s most talented travel entrepreneurs and early seed stage travel technology ideas.

Managing Partner and lead advisor Matt Zito says, “We received over 40 applications to the incubator in the first 14-days. We will focus on mobile travel, segments within the travel industry to include in-destination services, hotels, tours and activities, distribution, B2B, advertising, business travel, booking technology and the Internet of Things for travel. Mobile is the future for the travel industry. The best travel investments in the next 5 years will be bets made in mobile travel startups. Will we look at other travel investment opportunities sure but mobile will be our core focus.”

“We have three startups we are really interested in. A Silicon Valley entrepreneur has created patentable technology that can open hotel room doors with smartphone’s enabling travelers to check into their hotel room without waiting in line at the front desk. A local Central Florida company has launched a subscription based travel service for the millennial generation, 18-30 year olds and a startup founder from Austin, TX is building a mobile travel-advertising platform.”

“Nicole and I built two successful travel companies in our 20’s and early 30’s; an online travel agency (OTA) for college students and the Yellow Breeches House, a boutique lodging property for fly-fishermen. Advising and consulting in the travel industry was the next evolution for us as entrepreneurs after we sold both businesses.”

In 2012 the Zito’s launched the Travel Business Academy a 5-module online startup course that teaches entrepreneurs how to start a travel business. Over 150 global entrepreneurs have taken the course since inception with a dozen graduates successfully launching their startups.

In March 2013 the Zito’s launched a blog to help inspire founders to build great travel companies. Authentic stories and valuable insight into the business of travel helped the blog became popular, which lead to startup founders asking Matt to advise their companies. “We provided an affordable advisory service for $695 a month that we knew startups could pay, giving founders and their team, one-on-one access to us to help them build their travel startup. We have advised over 25 travel startups in the last 16 months.”

“We have amazing resources for founders at The Travel Startup Founders Series are short inspirational interviews with the world’s leading travel CEO’s and startup founders including Steve Kaufer the Founder & CEO of TripAdvisor and Sam Shank the Founder of Hotel Tonight. The Travel Startup Founders Network recently launched with 30 members and is a private networking group where founders support one another and share insider dealings about the travel industry. Digital business tools like our Founders Dashboard, the Travel Business Academy and a hotel contracting video course are resources we use with our portfolio companies for the incubator.”

“In conjunction with the Travel Startups Incubator, we are launching the Travel Startups Investment List, a monthly list of travel startups that are raising capital. The list will be sent to investors that have invested in and or are looking to invest in travel startups.”

Travel Startups Incubator is launching initially as a virtual incubator. We have office space available in Dubai, UAE and London, UK. We are currently looking to partner with a Central Florida college or university so we can bring the incubator on-campus to provide the physical presence. We have the funding, advisors and mentors, which most college incubators have difficulty in providing.

“We believe Travel Startups Incubator can have a huge impact in Central Florida helping to bring high-paying jobs from the travel startups that launch their companies. The travel industry is a $5 trillion market, the largest and fastest growing in the world. Florida as a destination is the #2 destination in the world behind France for the number of travelers that visit. Orlando, Florida is the #1 ranked destination in the U.S. Everything aligns perfectly for us to succeed here in Central Florida. If you’re going to launch a travel technology incubator we believe this is the best place in the world to do it.

Travel Startups Incubator has no application deadlines. You can submit your application when you are ready. We review applications on a rolling basis. We believe our unique methodology and approach to sourcing; funding, advising and raising capital for our startups will bring us superb investment returns. Our goal is to return 20% IRR over 5 years for our investors.

Each startup we incubate will receive up to $25,000 in cash and $25,000 in advisement services within 4-months to help you build your travel startup and to acquire the next round of capital. Each startup will be assigned one mentor to work with. We have two of the leading travel CEO’s in the U.S. as advisors already on our team.

We built one of the largest networks in the travel industry to assist startups with business development deals and we have the funding available to do a follow-on investment up to $250,000 per startup.

We are currently looking for 2-3 corporate travel partners to help our portfolio companies gain immediate traction by providing access to their customers.”

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.