Marriott Hotels is running an accelerator for African startups


The global Marriott Hotels chain has launched its TestBed programme in the Middle East and Africa, aiming to identify cutting-edge technologies to improve its guests’ experiences.

First launched across Europe in 2016, the 10-week accelerator programme gives startups the opportunity to test their products within an operating Marriott Hotel in a major city.

Seed and early stage startups with products or services that are ready to pilot in a live hotel environment are invited to apply for the chance to gain feedback from guests and associates to help further develop and perfect their products.

Selected startups will be offered mentoring and global exposure. While startups are not required to relocate for the duration of the programme, they may need to travel since the majority of the period will be spent in action within a Marriott Hotel.

“It’s an exciting chance for us to revolutionise the hotel experience in the region, all while supporting startups that are ready to spark game-changing innovation. There is a wealth of talent out there, and we’re looking forward to learning from each other as Marriott continues to lead the way in shaping the future of travel with technology,” said Sandra Schulze-Potgieter, vice president of Premium and Select Brands, Middle East and Africa at Marriott International.

“Travel enriches our mindset and inspires new ways of thinking, and we know that today’s traveller seeks more from a hotel experience than just a great place to stay. Through these forward-thinking programmes, we aim to take their experience to the next level by offering them an innovative, thought-provoking, and inspiring environment within the comfort and luxury that they trust.”


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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