March 2, 2023

Explore the travel industry of tomorrow at ITB’s start-up incubator

Jasmine Mortimer, community manager at Smart City Event Incubator and speaker on the ITB Convention MICE Track, explains how the company’s latest innovative solutions can inspire the events industry

Discover the Smart City Event Incubator at ITB Berlin 2023 – the first of its kind in Europe, focusing specifically on MICE with case studies from participating start-ups.

What is the idea behind the Smart City Event Incubator programme ?
The idea for a start-up incubator for the events industry is to provide a professional framework for new business models. The Smart City Event Incubator is the only one in Europe that specifically focuses on ideas for the events industry. We help entrepreneurs develop business ideas, solutions, and models that include social inclusion, accessibility, environmental sustainability, as well as new technologies.

Potential entrepreneurs can receive a scholarship, resources, training, mentorship and access to crucial networks. This helps turn a creative business idea or solution to a sound and sustainable business model. The ultimate goal of the programme is to make Berlin a better and more liveable city for both residents and visitors.

What are the benefits of incubation for both start-ups and established companies?
For start-ups, incubators can provide office space, access to funding, training, coaching and mentoring, as well as networking. Very important is also the possibility for start-ups to test and get feedback of their products and services, helping them to improve their ideas before entering a market. 

For established companies, incubation programmes offer access to new ideas and innovations that can potentially help them in their business. Such as improving the customer experience, offering recycling solutions or AI support to reduce contractual event risks.

What are the available resources for potential founders looking to enter the incubation process?
To enter the incubation process, we always recommend that potential founders head out and grow their networks, talk to other start-ups and really try to learn about their ecosystem. The Incubators themselves are a great start to it.

There are many government programmes available, particularly in Berlin. They offer funding, training, mentorship and consultancy services. Founders should do their research to identify the ones that best fit their needs and goals. Our Smart City Event Incubator is part of the Berlin Start-up Stipendium and funded by the Berlin Senate and European Social Funds. As we are related to the MICE industry, we network with VDVO, the German Convention Büro, Berlin Convention Office and Women in Events D.A.CH.

How can we make events more sustainable and improve the customer experience?
Sustainability and the customer experience can work together in events. Sustainability brings a value that event participants want to see and experience. Looking at this sustainability challenge, it is important to consider the unique features and developments of event destinations. In the context of smart cities, events have the potential to shape the perception of a city, facilitate connections, and enhance locals’ quality of life. During that process, it is essential to consider resource efficiency and minimize carbon emissions. By considering all of these factors, events can be both sustainable and enjoyable for all participants.

Keynote: How Startup Incubators
can help Shape and Transform the Future
of the Industry
Thursday, 9 March 2023
> 11:45 – 12:15 pm 
Location: Hall 3.1 Green Stage