As the travel industry adapts to the future, the need to come together is more prevalent than ever.
Enter The Sigmund Project – a free, open-source hub for the sharing of ideas and innovation with the goal of fostering interconnectivity and finding new solutions to the challenges facing the travel industry today.
Developed by industry expert Alan Elliott Merschen, The Sigmund Project is an online platform created for like-minded individuals to connect and collaborate.
Sigmund is open to anyone who has a great idea to advance the tourism industry; from small entrepreneurs to large multinational companies, from accommodation providers to the transportation sector, from universities to start-ups.
“Like many others in the industry, I have always tried to connect individuals and companies with potential collaborators,” Merschen said.
“Sigmund is bringing that concept to scale. Being a not-for-profit and fully funded by foundation grants, we are in the unique position to offer the platform free of charge. Our only currency is collaboration.”
Although Sigmund may lead to potential funding, Merschen said its main purpose is to connect innovators with collaborators who can offer advice, tools, partnerships and paths ahead.
“After innovators submit an idea on ‘Open Source’, our team will reach out to schedule a 14-minute call to discuss their idea in more detail,” he said.
“Together, we’ll brainstorm ways to best attract future collaborators to help take the idea to the next level.”
Current user-submitted ideas include a safety-oriented app for solo women travellers, a dynamic pricing model for museums to encourage visitation during slow periods, and the use of noise pollution data to create ‘quiet travel’ tours for those suffering from PTSD.
Merschen said ‘The Looking Forward Journal’ is a source of inspiration and education for tourism entrepreneurs, featuring thoughts and ideas from Sigmund’s global board of advisors.
The platform is also offering an Investment Grant Program for partnerships that have formed as a result of networking through the platform. Applications for the grant program will open in 2022.
Merschen said the grant comes with a carefully selected team of global advisors who will help guide the winning submissions.
“We are not micro-financing. We are not a VC incubator. We are looking for ideas that have a strong triple bottom line of people, planet and profit,” he said.
“With all investment grants, The Sigmund Project will take an interest in the company. All proceeds will then be reinvested into more ideas. That’s how we stay sustainable, paying it forward for years to come.”