Open World Accelerator

Expedia Group’s first Accelerator cohort has come to a successful close, culminating in Demo Day in May 2023. We launched this initiative to advance innovation in the travel industry by supporting startups and small and medium businesses (SMBs), with the hope of fast-tracking their growth through Expedia Group products and expertise. The first cohort focused on empowering a wide range of startups and SMBs to transform the industry by building solutions that remove barriers to travel, improve the experience of travelers with accessibility needs, and make travel safer and more inclusive overall.

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Program in Numbers

The program was a success not only in advancing our Open WorldTM global social impact and sustainability strategy of supporting accessible and inclusive travel but also in yielding strong partnership opportunities for Expedia Group.


Startups and SMBs accelerated


Of participants said they would likely recommend the program to other founders


EG staff volunteered


External partners that supported the program


Cross-participant partnerships formed


Partnership explorations


Live partnerships


Partnerships in exploration

View our Portfolio
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“This was so necessary for our team, the travel industry was a network that we didn’t have previous to the program, this network is so essential to our growth and future. There was a lot of learning and thinking outside the box creatively even through the missions of the other startups. The connections made are invaluable."

Vanessa Karel, Founder & CEO

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"Mentors were vital to our success and opening doors to the Expedia ecosystem. The program content and workshops were really useful."

Kim Callendar, Founder & CEO

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"We have found the program to be particularly beneficial to us in terms of learning from practices within Expedia Group and the technology used throughout. We've also really benefitted from being connected with various teams within Expedia Group to understand more about what we can be implementing as a small start up, as well as discussing ways in which we can potentially partner.”

Matt Pierri, Founder & CEO

Demo Day Recap

In June 2023, 12 selected companies completed the program and shared their growth and progress at Demo Day at Expedia Group's HQ in Seattle. With 1,000 attendees, the program closed with some big highlights, learnings, and potential partnerships. Expedians, startup investors, industry leaders, and Expedia Group partners came together to celebrate the progress of the Accelerator participants.


Expedia Group is currently exploring a variety of partnership pilots to improve our accessibility & inclusive servicing of travelers with needs.

Live Pilots

Greether's Tours



Greether's tours and activities are currently live and bookable on Expedia. Greether pairs local female guides with female travelers to authentically explore their destination.




Solotrvlrs global network of recommendation and reviews are currently available to Expedia's Road Warriors staff, helping them feel safe and find recommended places in their next business trip.

Partnerships in Exploration

We are excited to explore a variety of collaborations in the travel accessibility space that would significantly improve the traveler experience for this underserved segment. Through this program, we dove deep into the many pain points that travelers with accessibility needs face at every point of their journey.

Wheel the World



We are building upon our rapid API partnership with Wheel the World and exploring a collaboration to leverage their property and room accessibility data to improve Expedia lodging content and make choosing and staying at an accessible room a pain-free process.

Be My Eyes



They have solved how to support low-vision people in all aspects of their daily lives, from using technology services to navigating physical spaces. We are excited to explore how their platform can empower our customer service agents and Vrbo hosts to support travelers accessing and navigating their rental property.

Becoming rentABLE



We are collaborating with an industry leader, Becoming Rentable, to explore how to empower Vrbo hosts and managers to better support travelers with accessibility needs in the vacation rental space.

Next Accelerator program and theme will be revealed soon, stay tuned!