For the second time in four years, Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has won Plug and Play’s Corporate Innovation Award which was presented this week at the global platform’s June Summit held in Silicon Valley.
The award is given to the corporate partner that best demonstrates a commitment to digital transformation through acquisitions, investments, proof of concepts, and thought leadership.
“FCTG continues to prove it’s a travel industry leader, despite the enormous pandemic-induced challenges, by making significant investments in innovation through numerous acquisitions and through key partnerships. They are being singled out again because they continue to raise the bar with respect to staying ahead of the rapidly evolving corporate travel landscape.” said Jordan Bray, VP, Plug and Play.
FCTG has taken a “technology-first” approach to address the needs of the business Traveller through the development of new ground-breaking technology offerings for both of its corporate brands.
Corporate Traveler launched Melon, its new game-changing travel management platform, and FCM debuted its new fully proprietary platform, which is a first of its kind, fully customized, end-to-end experience.
In 2021, FCTG acquired Shep, a browser-extension based communication platform for integration with the new FCM Platform.
Shep’s proprietary system provides a comprehensive, artificial intelligence powered experience designed in a flexible platform, and is a previous winner of Plug and Play’s Travel Startup Competition (2018).
This followed the acquisitions of WhereTo, a U.S.-based provider of corporate travel technology, and mobile chatbot platform Sam, in addition to an equity investment in air content aggregator TPConnects.
The company further bolstered its US offerings by entering into an industry-first corporate card partnership with Ramp to help resource limited and budget-conscious clients to control and cut back on costs.
Shep CEO Daniel Senyard attended the summit and reflected on his experience from leading a start-up to being acquired: “As a former winner from the start-up side, it’s a great honour to accept this award on behalf of Flight Centre. Having gone through Plug and Play in 2018 and being acquired by FCTG in 2020, this award really feels like we’ve come full circle, showing the fruits of start-up and enterprise collaboration.”
Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting start-ups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies.
Since its inception in 2006, Plug and Play has built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services, and in-house Venture Capital to make technological advancement progress quickly and efficiently for its 40,000 start-ups and 500 official corporate partners.
“We’re incredibly honoured to be selected by Plug and Play as the winner of the Corporate Innovation Award. Our investment in technology over the past several years has been a high priority across our corporate brands and to be recognized by the leading global innovation platform for a second time is both humbling and gratifying.” said John Morhous, chief experience officer at Flight Centre Travel Group.