A company producing an app linking business travellers to charities has won the Sabre Corporation’s travel hackathon in London.
Some 150 participants from 18 countries took part in a 24-hour challenge of intense hacking and creative thinking, with a goal to create new technology and apps for global travel.
The round-the-clock coding contest resulted in a variety of new applications all with the potential to change the way people travel.
There were 12 awards and a grand prize of £10,000 went to Travita, a corporate social responsibility online platform that connects business travellers that have spare baggage capacity with small charities in need around the world.
Via their accounts, travellers are able to view items needed by charities in the destinations they’re travelling to. They can then opt to take these items with them on their travels, leaving them at a pick-up point for charities at the airport. The app also links with Air Miles.
Travita was created by a team of four including three 19-year-old first year students from Queen Mary University, London.
The team comprised Sameen Islam, Kristina Semenyuk and Jaykumar Pradeep Rawal. They joined up with 35-year-old Katie Rushton, who has a background working for start-ups.
The team said: “There is a real gap for a service like this in the market”.
“We chose Travita as our overall winner because it displayed the most unique use of technology that can provide a new way for frequent travellers to give back to the community,” said Greg Webb, one of five judges and president at Sabre Travel Network.
“It’s something we’ve never seen before and something we believe will go a long way.”
“This Hackathon was eye-opening as it clearly showed how much we still have left to accomplish in travel technology and how the APIs (application program interface) from Sabre and its partners allow innovation, from even small teams of entrepreneurs, to become reality so much faster than ever before,” added fellow judge, Karl Peterson, senior partner at TPG.
Destination Hack’s People’s Choice £1,000 award went to Safe Destination, which alerts travellers on the safety of destinations based on real-time information from social media, while the Best Wearable Hack, also a £1,000 prize award, went to Further, an app that lets users book travel experiences based on advice from locals.