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. Whether it’s to help front-of-house staffing, provide guests with their keys, or help them pay for their stay, their goal is to free up staff in a way that allows them to deliver a true guest experience.
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 product market fit and start building your client base. And then any sort of recognition like this is a huge honor for us. So really, it’s a cool experience and a great feeling,” said the winner, Branigan Mulcahy, Co-Founder of Virdee, “There’s a lot of great things we learned from the other companies that presented. There are things that help housekeeping be more efficient, and hiring and in tipping, and all of these other technologies that come into the flow.”
“The AAHOA Tech Pitch competition gives us a small glimpse into the future,” said AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake. “I am grateful for the participants who shared their vision and original products to show us how technology is changing the way the hospitality industry does business. AAHOA remains committed to helping hospitality-focused tech companies share the next big idea on hospitality’s biggest stage at the AAHOA Convention & Trade Show.”
AAHOA is always searching for the latest and greatest technologies that are solving everyday issues for hotel owners, their team members, and their guests. Select companies pitched to seasoned professional judges with expertise in technology and hospitality. The winner received a complimentary booth at AAHOACON24, tremendous exposure to more than 7,000 attendees in Los Angeles, CA, and much more!
“Congratulations to all the contestants. 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:
Emcee: RP Rama, AAHOA Lifetime Member
Neil Foster, HFTP’s Global President 2022-2023
Glenn Haussman, Hospitality Speaker, Podcaster, Writer
Anthony Melchiorri, Hospitality Expert and TV Personality
Mukesh Mowji, AAHOA Past Chairman (2006-2007)
Frank Wolfe, CEO of HFTP
“It was just amazing to be invited. There are a lot of amazing companies that presented as part of the tech pitch competition,” added the winner, Mulcahy. “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, we’ve 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.
AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the nation, with Member-owned properties representing a significant part of the U.S. economy. AAHOA’s 20,000 members own 60% of the hotels in the United States and are responsible for 1.7% of the nation’s GDP. More than one million employees work at AAHOA member-owned hotels, earning $47 billion annually, and member-owned hotels support 4.2 million U.S. jobs across all sectors of the hospitality industry. AAHOA’s mission is to advance and protect the business interests of hotel owners through advocacy, industry leadership, professional development, member benefits, and community engagement.