The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels announces winners of its exclusive luxury hospitality tech start-up programme
World’s first bespoke luxury hospitality ignition programme developed in collaboration with SRI International (Stanford Research Institute)
Six start-up finalists aim to deliver transformational innovation in luxury hospitality
Pitches at The Peninsula Hong Kong’s iconic rooftop restaurant saw AirLuna and Neoma take home top prize
Hong Kong, 24 January, 2019 – The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (HSH) has named AirLuna and Neoma as the winners of the Kaleidoscope Lab ignition programme, following an intense pitch at the iconic Felix rooftop restaurant at The Peninsula Hong Kong.
A part of HSH’s ongoing investment into hospitality research and technology, the ignition programme is its mentorship-driven programme curated in collaboration with Silicon Valley’s SRI International Centre for Innovation Leadership, and with support from partners including Samsung and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park Corporation.
The programme, which is the first of its kind in the world and the first collaboration for SRI International in Hong Kong, aims to discover, nurture and accelerate new innovation for the luxury hospitality market.
Launched in summer 2018, the programme attracted over 70 start-up applicants. Six shortlisted finalists pitched their ideas in front of a panel of HSH executives, industry experts and VIPs at an exclusive event on 22nd January. Following the pitch, AirLuna and Neoma were announced as winners.
AirLuna: The lamp that breathes – an air purification lamp technology, that can be embedded and used within existing lighting designs. The air purification solution detects indoor air quality and eliminates harmful pollutants using Ozone Catalytic Oxidation (OCO) technology.
Neoma: An Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform in the form of an assistant dedicated to offering a more human touch through technology, making guests feel special and helping hotel staff deliver a memorable stay. Fully GDPR compliant, with guest privacy as a top priority, it will send instant operational recommendations and information to hotel staff based on guest preferences, language and needs, allowing the hotel to highly personalise the guest experience.
Clement Kwok, Chief Executive Officer of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, said, “With over 150 years of heritage, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels is the owner and operator of one of the best luxury hospitality brands in the world. We recognise that we need to continue to innovate and offer seamless technology and services which will set the standard for luxury hospitality, today and tomorrow. The winning start-ups and the Kaleidoscope Lab programme are a testament to that, and we are excited to see such a diverse range of applicants.”
Both winners will undergo a unique 12-week mentorship programme where they will receive hands-on mentorship from HSH’s executive team, SRI International, Samsung’s dedicated enterprise and hospitality teams, as well as handpicked mentors that are tailored to each start-up’s idea, experience and business.
During this period, the winners will relocate to HSH’s dedicated research and technology (R&T) center in Wong Chuk Hang on Hong Kong island. HSH is one of the few hospitality groups in the world to have a R&T dedicated facility and is equipped with some of the latest technology. The start-ups will be able to leverage these resources and testing facilities to bring their innovation to life.
The start-ups will also be connected with venture capitalists, industry experts and legal advisors, to ensure they have everything they need to build and commercialise their product. At the end of the programme, the start-ups can then pitch their product to HSH for an opportunity to secure a pilot or commercial deal with the group.
Sally Osborne, Director of Innovation and Kaleidoscope Lab of The Hongkong Shanghai Hotels, Limited, added, “We are truly thrilled by the calibre of applicants and selecting the winners was a difficult decision to make. In luxury hospitality, technology should complement guest behaviour and effortlessly enhance their experience. All finalists showed significant promise and commercial potential, but AirLuna and Neoma were selected as they were strongest across both categories. We are thrilled to welcome these worthy winners into our programme and look forward to collaborating with them to turn their ideas into reality.”