Incubating Ideas and Propelling Growth

Forum for Innovation Incubation Research and Entrepreneurship (FiiRE) speaks on providing support to startups which will reshape the tourism industry while providing value to travellers and suppliers

Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, and the economies of many countries are driven by their tourism sector. It is also a wide-ranging industry, including hospitality, transportation, travel facilitation and information (e.g., tour operators, travel agents, tourist information centres), and attractions and entertainment like heritage sites and theme, national, and wildlife parks.

Many tourism businesses struggled to keep pace with changing consumer expectations post the pandemic. In particular, many tourism SMEs were not able to integrate new digital capabilities in the way that larger businesses have, mainly due to low levels of digitisation.

As tourism-related businesses reopen and recalibrate their offerings, it is equally important to innovate, with technology offerings that provide value to travellers and efficiencies to suppliers.

As an incubation centre, FiiRE (Forum for Innovation Incubation Research and Entrepreneurship) has been providing support to startups with innovations that will reshape tourism for travellers as well as the environment. FiiRE aims to contribute to the global objective of making tourism a thriving, flourishing industry once again.

“Having accelerated 14 TourismTech startups, our role is to make these startups investable in the future. One such startup, that was a part of FiiRE’s first Goa Tourism Accelerator Cohort, have, has recently raised $400,000. havLife is a fitness app which encourages the walking behaviour by counting the steps and rewarding people with gift vouchers. Currently the app is available in India and Indonesia. It encourages people to live healthy lifestyles through a gamified wellness model that includes a reward-based system, thus promoting wellness”, says Thejus Joseph, COO, FiiRE. 

FiiRE Goa has also forged new partnership deals to further strengthen the brand, widen its reach and make an impact in new markets. QuestionPro is one such collaboration. QuestionPro is a prominent supplier of online survey software that enables users to produce the insights they need to make better business decisions. QuestionPro has more than 2.5 million users in 40 countries. By bridging the gap between gathering data and reviewing information, this strategic research partnership (FiiRE-QuestionPro) would give FiiRE Goa the chance to comprehend the tourism business on a very precise basis and make strategic decisions based on the survey results.

Social Entrepreneurship Competition (S.E.C.) in tourism, where FiiRE is a competition partner. This is the first worldwide competition focusing on social innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism and hospitality. By giving social entrepreneurs from around the world access to expertise and international visibility, the competition aims to empower entrepreneurs and communities in travel destinations, accelerate their growth and give them market access.

FiiRE (Forum for Innovation Incubation Research and Entrepreneurship), has partnered up with the Social Entrepreneurship Competition in Tourism to hold the fourth edition of the competition in 2022. The competition hopes to generate innovative ideas for the worldwide travel and tourism sector.

The partnership between FiiRE and the Social Entrepreneurship Competition in Tourism aims to strengthen the objectives established to boost tourism in Goa and around the world. With many new businesses bringing cutting-edge concepts to promote sustainable tourism in their area, the primary focus of this competition will be on sustainable tourism.

“It is of prime importance for FiiRE to be visible on a global stage – thus helping us impact the tourism industry in a big way. The Social Entrepreneurship Competition in Tourism will raise FiiRE Goa’s global visibility, enticing entrepreneurs from around the world to be take advantage of the knowledge, market access, mentorship and funding opportunities under the TourismTech acceleration programs at FiiREGoa” adds Thejus Joseph.

Likewise, FiiRE has partnered with HiG Sports, a Mumbai-based B2B consultancy firm that promotes innovation in the sports, fitness, leisure, and recreation industries. The goal of HiG sports is to serve as a bridge to encourage the exchange of new ideas and methods between India and the rest of the world.

The collaboration between FiiRE and HiG Sports will support and unite recent developments for startups in the fields of sports media, fan engagement, sports infrastructure, human performance (fitness and wellness), gaming – esports, and leisure and recreation. 

As FiiRE prepares for the second State Tourism Cohort, what remains at the forefront, while selecting startups for acceleration, is their ability to revolutionise the way the world experiences tourism.

While FiiRE continues its strategic focus on TourismTech acceleration and support, they are also extensively enabling the overall startup ecosystem. As an approved incubator for disbursement of the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme, in its most recent run of disbursals, FiiRE has funded three companies: Trishulavel Eshan (Li-Circle) Pvt. Ltd., Aumnatic Systems Pvt. Ltd., and A2WedTech Pvt. Ltd. – with a total funding of `10 million.

Trishulavel Eshan (Li-Circle) Pvt. Ltd. focuses on recycling Lithium-ion batteries that have reached the end of their useful lives. Their model aims to strengthen the global advanced battery storage raw material supply chain, develop the circular economy around scrap batteries, and ultimately extract metals that can be used in the Li-ion cell manufacturing process.

Aumnatic Systems Pvt. Ltd. is focused on designing and manufacturing electronics for toys in India, in order to make India more self-reliant towards electronic toys.

A2WedTech Pvt. Ltd. on the other hand provides a platform for customers to view their favourite destinations, plan venues, set their budget and to ultimately plan their destination wedding online. All three startups, having fulfilled the eligibility criteria, received their Start Up India Seed Fund Scheme funding in June-July, 2022, setting them on a path of growth and expansion.

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