Singapore startup Backstreet Academy took home the first prize, a US$450,000 grant, after completing Booking.com’s accelerator. Booking.com Booster is a three-week workshop and mentorship program to support promising startups in sustainable tourism.
Backstreet Academy, among the first batch of the program, lets you book unique activities hosted by locals, like fishing with Indonesian fishermen or going on a street food tour in Hanoi. Its aim is to connect locals to the tourism industry so that they receive direct economic benefits.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, global travel aggregator Booking.com is part of NASDAQ-listed Priceline Group. It launched Booking.com Booster earlier this year, as part of a corporate social responsibility program called Booking.com Cares.
It says it received nearly 700 applications for its first batch. Backstreet Academy beat nine other finalists.
Six other participants were awarded grants:
- Seabin (Australia & Spain) for US$390,000
- Local Alike (Thailand) for US$335,000
- Good Hotel (Guatemala and the UK) for US$335,000
- Awake (Colombia) for US$335,000
- Authenticook (India) for US$225,000
- Desolenator (UK and the Netherlands) for US$165,000
All participants will receive ongoing mentorship and support from Booking.com, the company said in today’s release.
We’ve reached out to Backstreet Academy for more details on its business model.
Converted from Euro and rounded. Rate: US$1 = 0.89 Euro.
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