On July 9, the Independent Lodging Congress (ILC) is hosting INDIE Cultivate, a networking and pitching event for anyone in the hospitality, lifestyle or travel industry. INDIE Cultivate will be a blend of young, new companies and experienced founders and hoteliers who will collaborate in laid-back networking sessions.
Tatiana Swedek, CMO of ILC, says INDIE Cultivate is for anyone interested in the convergence of tech, hospitality, travel and how companies--both young and seasoned--are naviagating the space. ILC is accepting pitch applications from Angel/Seed as well as Series A stage start-ups until May 10. The finalists who are chosen will present to a group of experienced industry professionals to declare two winning companies.
"Those who are at all interested in the future of the industry should attend, even if they are not completely immersed in the start-up space. You never know where your next investment, whether monetary or in time, can have the greatest impact," Swedek says.
INDIE Cultivate will present a panel of founders, such as CEO and co-founder of Life House Hotels, Rami Zeidan, who will discuss their journeys, failures, funding and success with their companies. Swedek says they will also address the new wave of apartment-hotel companies and the importance of investing in companies founded by minority and women owners.
Through breaks, lunch, cocktails and a VIP dinner for the speakers and sponsors, Swedek says they hope to help all INDIE Cultivate attendees make meaningful relationships in an easy-going atmopshere.
"Many industries, and specifically the hospitality industry, are far behind in terms of innovation. We believe our industry could learn a lot from what these young companies are doing and can hopefully inspire players to think in different, more forward-thinking ways," Swedek says. "We chose to feature travel and lifestyle start-ups as well because we believe we can learn a lot from what's going on in outside, yet related, industries."