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Innovative pitch competition for hospitality technology startups 

Back by popular demand, international nonprofit Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is proud to host its innovation pitch competition, Entrepreneur 20X (E20X), at the world's largest hospitality technology exposition in 2018. HFTP is currently accepting applications online from hospitality startups who wish to compete in E20X at HITEC® Houston this June. Past applicants and winners are welcome to re-apply as long as they are still considered Series A or a startup.

E20X came to be at HITEC Austin in 2015, and since has expanded internationally at HITEC Amsterdam. HITEC Houston E20X participants will compete for a grand prize of $5,000.00 USD, and guaranteed the opportunity to be promoted as the winner to the industry. The selected entrepreneurs will present their breakthrough business concepts to an expert judge's panel as well as a room of industry experts including: hospitality CIOs, angel investors, serial entrepreneurs, industry insiders and more. All HITEC Houston registrants are invited to attend the competition, and are encouraged to vote for their favorite startup following the competition – these votes will determine the E20X People's Startup Award winner.

"Budding hospitality entrepreneurs will have a chance to make their dreams come true," said Frank Wolfe, CEO at HFTP – the producers of HITEC. "Last year's HITEC Toronto featured the largest conference attendance to date, with numbers growing as the conference gains popularity each year. E20X is a great platform for startups to get industry exposure, and showcase their products and/or services to a network of global professionals."

Previous E20X award recipients include: Whistle Inc. (Judge's Winner 2015); Triptease (Best Pitch 2015); Loop & Tie (Best Investment 2015); Hello Scout Inc. (Judge's Winner 2016); Daylighted (People's Winner 2016); Hyre (Judge's and People's Winner 2017); Stay Wanderful (Judge's Winner 2017); Arrivedo (People's Winner 2017). YouTube videos of previous E20X pitches and competitions are available. Exclusive interviews from former E20X winners are available on the HFTP Connect blog as well as PineappleSearch.com®.

"Whistle as a business has evolved tremendously since HITEC," said Christopher Hovanessian, co-founder and president of Whistle – E20X Judge's Award winner at E20X 2015. "Whistle was able to make some great connections at HITEC, including great new clients, partners and key industry specialists. [E20X] is a great opportunity to gain tons of exposure and reassure that your start-up is headed in the right direction."

HFTP will produce three HITEC events in 2018. HITEC Amsterdam will take place from April 11-13 at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands – applications are also open for E20X Amsterdam. The largest HITEC Houston will take place from June 18-21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas USA. HITEC Dubai will return in the fall of 2018. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other international activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec.

About HITEC

Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC®) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers 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.

Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout the United States, HFTP decided to break tradition in 2017 by hosting three HITEC events all taking place outside of U.S. borders– in Toronto, Amsterdam and Dubai. This was the first time the global association's largest HITEC event – featuring thousands of hospitality professionals from around the world –took place outside of the United States. 

About HFTP

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherland and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com®.

For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or visit the media center. Follow HFTP/HITEC on HFTP Connect, Facebook (@HFTPGlobal; @HITECconference), LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube for the latest news. Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes and HFTP Finance Bytes.

Contact: Jessica Blankenship

jessica.blankenship@hftp.org

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