Vispero and Revolve Win Top Honors at TravelAbility’s
Barrier-Breaking Adaptive Product PitchFest
TravelAbility’s LaunchPad, celebrating technology and products that make travel easier for people with disabilities, was held virtually on April 1st and featured 15 finalists who were selected following a review and vetting process that began back in June of 2020.
“We are thrilled that our attendees were
surrounded by cutting edge technology
and innovative products that help people
with disabilities experience more travel.”
TravelAbility Founder, Jake Steinman.
Each company made a 3-minute pitch to a panel of judges from the travel industry, the disability community as well as prominent impact investors.
“I attended TravelAbility’s Launchpad and was really blown away. It was an incredible experience watching so many talented, intelligent and passionate people sharing their ideas to improve the world of accessible travel.” wrote Kate Farbo, Visit Lancaster.
1st Place: Vispero JAWS Kiosk – a text to speech software that enables people who are blind or low vision to use self-service kiosks in airports, hotels and visitor centers. Presenter: Laura Miller, Corporate Business Development Manager
2nd Place: Mobi-Mat – a slip-free rollout mat for beaches and uneven surfaces as well as floating wheelchairs for beach and pool use. Presented by Sandrine Carpenter-Bernard, CEO and Greg Scull, Area Sales Manager
3rd Place: SATS – Service Animal Travel Solutions – A one-stop central database for service animal verification, recently launched with Alaska Airlines as their first airline partner. Presenter: Gina Emrich, Co-Founder
Matt Ater, Vice President of Business Development, Vispero commented: “This recognition of the JAWS Kiosk screen reader as the TravelAbility LaunchPad Judge’s Choice is a great sign of how the travel industry is embracing this tool for making their kiosks accessible for users with disabilities. We look forward to seeing more of the many accessible solutions featured in the LaunchPad event.”
The PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS in which attendees were polled about their favorite presentations, was a new feature of this year’s event.
1st Place: Revolve Air Wheelchair – A high-tech wheelchair that folds up to fit as a carry-on. Andrea Mocellin, Founder
2nd Place: Alinker – A non-motorized “walking-bike” designed for people with mobility challenges that has evolved into a wellness ecosystem that includes Alinker yoga classes, nutrition programs and is supplemented by a produce farm in Kentucky that employs disabled workers. Presenter: BE ALink, Founder
3rd Place: Omeo Technologies – A hands-free electric wheelchair that uses Active Seat Control technology. Core muscles are used to control movement. Presenter: Spring Adamo, North American Representative
Andrea Mocellini, Founder, Revolve: “Winning the people’s choice award gives me the incentive to keep working with this amazing network to advance technology and user experience for active wheelchair users.”
“While the judges selected innovations based on their practical applicability for travel industry suppliers,” remarked Steinman, “attendees choices were mainly those that benefited end users. Overall, it was a reflection of the best of both worlds.”
Event judges included: Charles Hammerman, CEO of the Disability Opportunity Fund; Ron Pettit, Head of Accessibility, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines; Zach Curry, Director of Guest Experience, Marriott; Toby Willis, President of Accessibility, Expedia; Jay Cardinali, former Head of Global Accessibility, Disney Parks and Resorts; Betty Adams, Head, Investment Committee, Disability Investment Fund. Srin Madipalli, former head of Accessibility for Airbnb was the guest emcee.
Forty-five video from last TravelAbility Summit
LaunchPad is the first of four half-day virtual events for 2021 produced by TravelAbility.
The next event, “The (Rocky) Road to Recovery” is scheduled for June 24, 2021. (See all sessions HERE).
TravelAbility Summit – www.travelabilitysummit.com
TravelAbility Insider newsletter – www.travelabilityinsider.com
Contact – Jake Steinman: firstname.lastname@example.org