The Travel and Meetings Society today has launched its incubator program application for early to mid-stage travel and travel-adjacent startups, about a month earlier than initially anticipated, TAMS told BTN. 

The organization in early March announced the incubator program and planned to open applications in May to kick off the first six-month-cycle in July, but demand accelerated that schedule. 

The incubator program is designed to help entrepreneurs further their business model and ready them for large-scale investments. Participants also will connect with subject matter experts through a mentoring program. In tandem with the incubator program, TAMS plans to launch an advisory fellows program that aims to help aspiring investors learn basic investment strategies. 

“We were overwhelmed with excitement by the initial response,” said incubator program co-founder and co-leader Hansini Sharma, also corporate travel practice lead at Acquis Consulting Group in an email. “We received interest from over 30 startups and several others to be involved as mentors and advisors. Because of this, we want to make sure we have enough time to evaluate, interview and select the inaugural cohort to participate in the incubator. We moved up our timeline to make sure that companies have enough time to complete their application and give us enough time to review and invite the right companies into the program.”

As of March, the committee had plans to accept five or six companies for the first round, and Sharma said that initial goals haven’t changed. “The structure of the program remains unchanged, and we are tweaking the mentorship and fellows program as we develop it to more strongly align to the overall goal of the incubator,” she said.

RELATED: TAMS to Launch Startup Incubator Program