Travelport is ending its Accelerator program for travel startups, just short of three years since its launch in the U.S.
After five intakes of startups through the scheme, Travelport says it is to "take a pause" in 2018.
The travel technology giant says it will, instead, focus on "innovation opportunities that have been presented by our relationships with our key strategic technology partners like TCS, Microsoft and IBM".
In a statement, a Travelport official says:
"In 2018, we will, as we always have, continue to evaluate and review all the activities which support innovation across our global business, how the company best creates and delivers new value to our customers, and how Travelport Labs and the Accelerator plays a part in this in the future."
Subscribe to our newsletter below
The program was one of a number of projects kicked off in the industry (such as JetBlue Ventures, Booking.com's Booster, Lufthansa's Innovation Hub, Plug N Play, and International Airlines Group's Hangar 51) in a bid to identify and nurture new business entering the industry.
The Travelport Labs Accelerator program was based in Denver, U.S., with a mission to mentor each startup through a series of projects, including introducing them to technology services (including its own APIs) and partners that would assist in their development.
Some of the startups that went through the project received a seed round of $30,000 but Travelport did not take equity stakes in the businesses.
The State of Travel Startups 2017
The launch followed a scheme that had been run internally within the 3,000-strong workforce around the world to support product ideas from employees.
Rival tech brand Amadeus has its own startup-focused project - Amadeus For Startups - but does not invest (unlike the Amadeus Ventures division) or provide any other financial support to the startups in the program.
Travelport says new opportunities from working with existing tech providers and those that have previously come through the program will include artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data.
It says it will continue to work with the likes of Tagible Travel, Asemblr, Livingua, Neibbor, PicThrive, Hulah, Book My Sawari, Easa and Trip Hero - all of which have come through the Accelerator program and received investment.
The official adds:
"It’s been an amazing three years for our teams and our entrepreneurs running this program, and our teams in Travelport are eager to focus on making these, and new opportunities through our technology partners, a reality."
* Watch one of our PundIT Shows from The Phocuswright Conference featuring Nathan Bobbin, Travelport's senior director for product innovation who oversaw the Accelerator program.
The PhocusWire PundIT Show #4 - Simon Lenoir, Nathan Bobbin, Fraser Ellacott