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The second annual E20X pitch competition is bigger and better than before

AUSTIN, TX USA (May 24, 2016)Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is pleased to announce the selected start-ups and judges that will be participating in the second annual Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) pitch competition taking place at the 2016 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITECSM) in New Orleans, La. USA next month. The action-packed E20X session is scheduled for Monday, June 20, 2016 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in the Rivergate Room. All HITEC badges are welcome to attend and encouraged to visit the E20X pavilion to visit startup’s kiosks and vote for their favorite.

The innovative start-ups will pitch cutting-edge ideas to a room with a capacity for 500 people and a panel of 10 expert judges including hospitality CIO’s, angel investors, serial entrepreneurs and industry insiders. New this year, seasoned hospitality technology veterans will be available to the 17 unfunded entrepreneurs for a half-day of mentoring the morning of the cut-throat, three-hour competition. Each participant will pitch for three minutes, followed by a few minutes of judge feedback and tough questions.

“Entrepreneur 20X is back and will be better than ever before,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. “Due to the overflowing crowd and popularity the competition brought last year, we have scheduled this year’s E20X session in a much larger room. Looking forward to seeing what the competitors will bring this year.”

Also new this year, there will be two E20X awards to be won. First, the E20X judges’ panel will deliberate and select a winner that will receive a $5,000 USD cash prize, a coveted Tech Talk speaking opportunity as well as an opportunity to be funded by the E20X seed fund. The judges’ winner will be announced at the general session immediately following the competition. Second, there will be an E20X People’s Startup Award that will be a popular vote determined by HITEC attendees who visit the E20X pavilion, during exhibit hours, and scan their badges to vote for their favorite startup. The crowd favorite will be presented with a trophy on Thursday, June 23 at the closing keynote session.

“A majority of the startups competing this year have been in business less than two and a half years—some only five or six months,” said HFTP Global Vice President Lyle Worthington, CHTP. “After the pitches conclude, during judge deliberation, attendees are invited to a meet-and-greet with the entrepreneurs to get to know the pitching companies’ better before they vote for their favorite.”

The 2016 E20X judges include: Christina Cornwell, Senior Director of Technology APAC at Hilton Worldwide; David Berkus, President at Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC; Dmitry Koltunov, CTO at ALICE; Edward St. Onge, President of Global Sales & Marketing at Flip.To; Gregg Hopkins, President at Gregg Hopkins & Associates; Jing Zhu, Chairperson at China Hospitality Technology Alliance (CHTA); Martin Thell, CIO at Scandic Hotels; Michael Schubach, CHAE, CHTP, Hospitality Systems Consultant; Mike Dickersbach, CHTP, MCP, NICE, CTO at Highgate Hotels; Prakash Shukla, Managing Partner at Solarex.

The 2016 E20X pitching companies include: Maidbot, TraknProtect, Proxce, Daylighted, RoboMQ, Hello Scout Inc., Concilio Labs Inc., Offerly Technologies Inc., Carterro, HelloShift, Hotels Unlimited.Tech, BookAShuttle, Sonica, Gallivnt, PurpleCloud Technologies, Beewake and TripTuner. The 2015 pitch competition winner, Whistle, will be in attendance to give an update on how winning the first-ever Entrepreneur 20X competition impacted the startup.

HITEC 2016 is June 20–23 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La. USA. For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC BytesFacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. For more information about HITEC, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org, +1 (512) 249-5333. Read more about Entrepreneur 20X on HFTP Connect.

About HITEC

HITEC is the world's largest hospitality technology exposition and conference. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technology from over 375 companies to one place. HITEC 2016 will take place June 20-23 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La. USA. The unparalleled expo offers 5,500 + attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.

About HFTP

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is a global nonprofit hospitality association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, that uniquely understands the industry’s problems. HFTP has over 5,200 members and several thousand stakeholders across the globe. HFTP assists its members in finding solutions to industry problems more efficiently than any organization via its expert networks, research, conferences such as HITECSM and certification programs. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segment of the hospitality. For more information about HFTP, e-mail membership@hftp.org.

Contact: Jessica Blankenship

Jessica.Blankenship@hftp.org / 512-220-4038

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