Virdee took home the top prize in the AAHOA Tech Pitch Competition, copowered by HFTP.
A panel of five judges with expertise in technology and hospitality chose Virdee’s guest experience technology platform from a field of eight finalists. Virdee Virtual Reception Software is aimed at helping properties become more efficient.
The competition is designed to help identify and elevate companies with innovative ideas and products that will help the hospitality industry as hoteliers continue to face challenges, like labor shortages, from the pandemic.
“It’s super-exciting when you start a company and you start selling the product, and the first thing you want to do is get market fit and start building your client base,” said Branigan Mulcahy, cofounder, Virdee. “And then any sort of recognition like this is a huge honor for us. There’s a lot of great things we learned from the other companies that presented. There are things that help housekeeping be more efficient; hiring and tipping; and all of these other technologies that come into the flow.”
Select companies pitched to seasoned professional judges with expertise in technology and hospitality. The winner received a complimentary booth at AAHOACON24 and more.
“There were a ton of amazing ideas brought to the competition, and we know it was hard to choose just one winner,” said incoming AAHOA Chairman Bharat Patel. “Virdee makes their software user-friendly, so any hotelier, regardless of their technology background, can utilize this platform, leave the hard work to the experts and be up and running within a few days.”
The panel of judges was composed of:
- RP Rama, AAHOA lifetime member (Emcee)
- Neil Foster, HFTP’s global president 2022-2023
- Glenn Haussman, hospitality speaker/podcaster/writer
- Anthony Melchiorri, hospitality expert/TV personality
- Mukesh Mowji, AAHOA past chairman (2006-2007)
- Frank Wolfe, CEO, HFTP
“It was just amazing to be invited,” added Mulcahy. “There are a lot of amazing companies that presented as part of the tech pitch competition. I learned a lot about some of these other platforms, and it was great for us to be able to get our message out. We’ve been attending AAHOACON since we started the company, since the very first year back from the pandemic. So, we’ve met a lot of people here and established a lot of great relationships, and some of our investors are AAHOA members and former chairs, so it’s good to be part of this organization, and we love the community here.”