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Enterpreneur 20X

From start-up to stardom: Get to know E20X, HFTP's wildly popular hospitality technology startup pitch competition.

From Start-up to Stardom

About Entrepreneur 20X (E20X)

Produced by HFTP, E20X features ambitious start-ups presenting their innovative hospitality technology concepts to a room full of HITEC attendees and a panel of expert judges including hospitality CIOs, angel investors, serial entrepreneurs and industry insiders. Participants compete for the chance to be recognized as one of the top startup business concepts, voted on by the panel of expert judges (Judge's Choice Award) and the audience (People's Choice Award).


E20X in 2024

February 20, 2024

E20X Europe

Palau de Congressos de Palma
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
June 4, 2024

E20X Dubai

Dubai World Trade Center
Dubai, UAE
June 26, 2024

E20X North America

Charlotte Convention Center
Charlotte, N.C. USA

Discover the Future: E20X Innovation Pitch Competition

Join us for the E20X Innovation Pitch Competition where groundbreaking startups will take the stage, presenting their innovations to a panel of esteemed judges and a captivated audience. Here's a glimpse of what to expect:

Selection Process

Pitchers will be meticulously chosen by the Selection Committee from a pool of diverse and innovative applicants.

Pitch Format

Each startup will have four minutes to pitch to a packed session room, showcasing their ideas (pitch decks allowed, but no props). Following the pitch, a four-minute Q&A session with the judges will provide an opportunity for in-depth exploration.

Showcasing on HITEC Floor

Every startup secures a spot in the E20X Innovation Lab on the HITEC show floor, equipped with electricity, a table, signage, and a digital presence on the HITEC floorplan and mobile app.

Conference Registrations and Promotion

Each participating startup will receive two full conference exhibitor registrations and extensive promotion by HFTP, ensuring a spotlight on their innovative ventures.

Awards and Recognition

Startups will vie for the grand prize, the E20X Judge’s Choice Award. Additionally, the People’s Choice Award, determined by HITEC attendees via the HITEC App, will add an exciting layer of crowd participation.

Eligibility Requirement

Note that pitching companies must be newly established startups, adding an element of freshness and novelty to the competition.


From Start-up to Stardom


For any E20X-related questions or to indicate your interest in participating in a future competition, please reach out to [email protected].

Contact us

The History of E20X


HFTP introduced its hospitality technology start-up pitch competition Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) on June 15, 2015 at HITEC Austin. The inaugural event gathered nine competitors to showcase their products in four-minute presentations to a panel of expert judges with backgrounds in hospitality, technology and entrepreneurship. After the event, the judges determined which technology was the most disruptive and game-changing to the industry to award the top prize: the Judges' Choice Award. In addition to the competition, the participating companies were given a space in the E20X Pavilion in the HITEC Exhibit Hall. This allowed them to speak one-on-one with HITEC attendees about their technologies.


The winning company in that first year was Whistle, a service that aggregates customer communications into minimalistic web and mobile admin panels and allows businesses to respond to or triage incoming messages via a real-time chat interface to and from the customer’s preferred app. "The most valuable element of Entrepreneur 20X for Whistle has been the validation and exposure to industry leaders and professionals," said Christopher Hovanessian, Whistle’s co-founder and president. "Being the winner of the first E20X competition is definitely a very exciting accomplishment for us and it feels great! It’s an amazing feeling to find out directly from the industry experts that our hard work is recognized and paying off."


HFTP introduces another award to the E20X competition: the People's Choice Award, which is selected by popular vote amongst HITEC attendees.


Following the initial success of the competition, HFTP continued to produce E20X as part of its HITEC program. In 2017, HFTP added another annual E20X competition at HITEC Europe, when it debuted in Amsterdam that March.


HFTP adds another segment of the global startup competition to its brand with the debut of E20X Dubai, co-located with The Hotel Show Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).