When it comes to technology, one thing you can count on is its constant evolution. Technology answers all the demands of today’s society, and the vacation rental industry is no different. Property managers around the world are always on the lookout for new specialised software and tech to streamline their operations, marketing, distribution, guest communication and other processes.

Time and time again the best products and software out there are from startup companies. In its fourth consecutive year, the VrTech Startup Competition aims to bring the most innovative young startups in the vacation rental industry into “the limelight they deserve”. It celebrates both the creativity and bright minds that the vacation industry has attracted in recent years. 

The last three winners include Piotr Kubiczek, CEO of Hello Here, VrTech Award Winner 2017; Jacob Wedderburn-Day, CEO and Co-Founder of Stasher, VrTech Award Winner 2018 and Michael Driedger, CEO of Operto, VrTech Award Winner 2019. 

“The VrTech Award allows for amazing industry recognition and many new partners and friendships.”

Michael Driedger, CEO of Operto, VrTech Award Winner 2019

Who can participate in the award?

The VrTech Startup Competition 2020 is open to all young tech companies that are creating innovative solutions for the vacation rental industry.

To participate in the competition your company must be: 

  1. Founded after 1st of January 2017.
  2. Your product or service is required to be a technology exclusively aimed at vacation rental professionals or owners. 
  3.  Property management or listing sites companies cannot apply

The three chosen finalists will present their business idea for 10 minutes in front of industry professionals at the Vacation Rental World Summit in Annecy, France, 10th-11th of Oct 2020. There they’ll pitch their business to a crowd of property managers and owners that will decide on the award winner.

“The VrTech Startup Competition was a fantastic platform for us to springboard into the travel tech space which allowed us increased visibility to gain new clients as well as develop crucial partnerships”

Piotr Kubiczek, CEO of Hello Here, Vrtech Award Winner 2017

How to Enter the competition

Participants of the VrTech Competition 2020 can still apply up until the 7th of May and must submit their deck before the 15th of May. Applications will be graded based on the solution proposed, their team, marketing initiatives and professionalism.

“We applied for the Vrtech Awards because we wanted to meet a lot of people in the sector. And to be honest, it couldn’t get much better for us! Great experience, fantastic networking opportunities, we’ve taken several fruitful partnerships away!”

Jacob Wedderburn-Day, CEO and Co-Founder of Stasher, Vrtech Award Winner 2018 


A sample of the contenders who have already signed up!

1 . Komodore 

Founded: 2018

Registered Location: Spain 

Category of Service: check-in-app, Smart lock

Komodore is a guest management platform that eliminates repetitive check-in tasks, automates guest communication and lets you register guests with the authorities in a simple and easy way. It’s an all-in-one solution that comes with a welcome app and smart locks. Save time and improve the guest experience at the same time.

2. Yada

Founded: 2019

Registered Location: United Kingdom 

Category of Service: Voice assistant

chatbot and voice concierge Yada is an intelligent chatbot that automates guest messaging for vacation rentals and hotels. Their AI-powered solution lets you drive growth and boost guest satisfaction at each stage of the guest journey by automating conversations related to booking, in-rental/room support, and post-stay brand building.

3. Stay Share

Founded: 2019

Registered Location: United States 

Category of Service: Property Management Software 

Stay Share is a property management system (PMS) to help professional property managers future-proof their business and scale with confidence. The platform’s features include branded websites, distribution marketing, payment processing, trust accounting, owner management, tax reporting, a booking engine and more in a single platform. It also has full 2-way integrations with Rentals United, HomeAway/VRBO, AirBnB and Booking.com.

4. SUPERHOG

Founded: 2019

Registered Location: United Kingdom 

Category of Service: Verification and membership platform

SUPERHOG is a Trust Membership Platform, combining ID verification and property certification with insurance to ensure hosts and homes are checked and safe, and ultimately protected if something goes wrong. They provide a £1 million guarantee, damage and liability protection for hosts, and a relocation allowance for guests just in case the home fails during a booking.

5. Virtual Concierge Service

Founded: 2017

Registered Location: United States

Category of Service: Voice assistant

Virtual Concierge Service helps you deliver a unique virtual concierge experience to your guests. It enables your voice assistant device – Alexa or Google Assistant – to give your guests expert tips on local sights and activities in an interactive conversation. Besides insider information, you can feed it any customised content you wish – for example, remind your guests of their check-out responsibilities. The voice concierge can also be accessed directly from your guests’ phones.

6. Lula.Cleaning

Founded: 2018

Registered location: Poland 

Category of Service: Housekeeping management service 

Lula.Cleaning solves the problem of manual task scheduling and communication between housekeeping team members. A solution for individual hosts, property managers and cleaning companies, it helps you assign tasks and automate communication with cleaning crews. The app also integrates with Airbnb and Booking.com, as well as several Channel Managers.

7. Autohost

Founded: 2019

Registered Location: Canada  

Category of Service: Security software 

Autohost is a security solution that scans, ranks and analyses every reservation, pinpointing risks and giving you actionable recommendations. From enquiry to check-in, they continually assess changes and give you suggestions on how to respond to specific situations. Avoid parties, fraud, chargebacks, crime and potential damage to your property.

8. Domo

Founded: 2018

Registered location: France

Category of Service: Guest experience and operations optimisation

Domo is revolutionising in-room/house guest experience by offering an innovative digital approach to entertainment and concierge services upselling. With the help of cutting-edge technology on TV and tablets, guests can book a chauffeur, order food or watch TV channels and streaming services. Domo also provides keyless entry with a unique check-in code for each guest and controls all compatible smart home devices.

9. ConciergeBot

Founded: 2017

Registered Location: United States

Category of Service: Virtual concierge

ConciergeBot is a white-label, artificially intelligent virtual concierge platform for vacation rentals, boutique hotels and mid-sized conferences or events. Offer your guests 24/7 support, arrange a late check-out and save time by letting ConciergeBot take over your guest communication. 

10. StayFi

Founded: 2018

Registered Location: United States 

Category of Service: WiFi marketing solution

StayFi helps short-term rental managers take back control over their data and become less dependent on OTAs. Their platform lets you collect guest data through branded captive WiFi pages. This way, you can collect emails from every guest – not just the booker. They also help you automate your marketing to get more repeat bookings.

11. Mi Casa Es Tu Casa

Founded: 2018

Registered Location: France

Category of Service: Referral network

Mi Casa Es Tu Casa is a community built on trust that enables property owners to rent their vacation rental with confidence. The co-optation system lets you connect directly with the members of the community, from your friends to your friends’ friends and sometimes even your friends’ friends’ friends or families. With their freemium offer, owners can promote their rentals with different visibility options. No commissions or agency fees.

12. Check-in Scan

Founded: 2017

Registered Location: Spain 

Category of Service: Check-in-app

Check-in Scan is an app that lets property managers quickly scan in their guests’ photo IDs and send them to the police for security checks. It’s a fast and easy way to automate your check-in process and meet all legal requirements.

13. Vrolio 

Founded: 2018

Registered Location: United States

Category of Service: Investment technology, data solutions

Vrolio is aiming to offer short-term rental investors a single place to buy and sell investment properties by providing an all-in-one platform with investment information and data analytics. Their sophisticated search function helps investors eliminate the guesswork involved in looking for properties for sale by owner and broker.

14. Modosmart

Founded: 2018

Registered Location: Spain

Category of services: Home automation

Modosmart is a plug-and-play solution for intelligent control of air conditioning in vacation rental properties. It saves money, time and problems for property managers and owners, and it helps the environment.

Think your company could be a finalist in the VrTech Startup Competition?