Meeting/Event Information

That’s Ingenious! – New Technology in the Marketplace

January 10, 2019
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
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Sheraton San Jose
1801 Barber Lane
Milpitas, CA 95035
Venue Website

The corporate travel industry is not really known to be early adopters of new technologies. The perception is that it always lags behind the consumer market. 

Travel startup companies with innovative solutions can disrupt the decades-old way of processes and thinking.

It is important for the corporate travel professionals to be ahead of the new ideas and technologies, because your travelers will.

Join us as we watch three new startup companies showcase their technology entering the travel space, and watch as our judges panel review them and ask the hard questions to identify the winner!  Who will SVBTA give a 5 minute promotion spot to at the end of the meeting? Come see how these new companies can change the industry of the future.



Kjarsten Philipsen, Senior Vice President - BCD Travel

In his role of Senior Vice President at BCD Travel, Kjarsten leads commercial and operational teams responsible for the success of global client partnerships spanning a range of sectors including technology, financial, manufacturing, media & entertainment and professional services. He maintains overarching executive ownership ensuring key organizational goals are met as they relate to growth, service delivery, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement.

Kjarsten has over two decades of experience in travel and technology having worked for British Airways, LATAM Airlines, PMP Digital and Expedia Inc. prior to joining BCD Travel in March 2016.  His career has stationed him across a diversity of markets including New York, Miami, Sydney (Australia), Seattle and Los Angeles (where he currently resides).  Kjarsten graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing with curriculum completed at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.  Kjarsten has been an active member of the travel industry serving on the Board of the Los Angeles Business Travel Association as Director of CSR, Treasurer, Vice President, President and Board Advisor.


Nadim El Manawy – CEO Arise Travel

Nadim is the co-founder and CEO of Arise Travel. He previously led sales and partnerships for four years at Frontdesk Anywhere, a hotel cloud PMS, and helped the company grow from less than 50 hotels to over 1,500 during that time. Nadim grew up in Belgium, has a business and finance college degree and move to San Francisco in 2011.


Jeff Berk - CEO Tripkicks

Jeff is an expert in Corporate Travel & Expense and Procurement technologies, with experience leading initiatives across many Global 2000 organizations.   

Jeff began his career at IBM Global Business Services, before moving to Acquis Consulting Group, where as a Managing Director he most recently oversaw Business Development and Partnerships for its rapidly growing Technology Solutions practice, focused on technology implementations for Expense and Procurement technology.  Throughout more than a decade at Acquis, Jeff worked with 50+ global organizations to help them advance their Travel, Expense, and Procurement functions with the introduction of more refined processes and new technology. 

As the CEO of Tripkicks, Jeff focuses on unlocking cost savings and increasing employee satisfaction, by better aligning traveler interests with those of their organization.


Ryan Wenger - CEO WhereTo

Ryan is the Founder and CEO of WhereTo, a virtual assistant style online business travel platform. WhereTo recommends the best options to travelers based on a company-customized algorithm that recommends the trip budget and optimal itinerary after comparing dozens of channels for the lowest prices, and other key factors. WhereTo was custom built for a Fortune 10 company to overcome the clunky booking process and excess spend that occurred in their well-managed travel program. Since deploying globally, they’ve realized massive savings and cut their booking time down to minutes per trip.

Raised in Woodstock, NY, and educated at USC and U.C. Hastings College of the Law, Ryan started his career as a corporate trial lawyer - but had a real passion for travel. While still working as an attorney, Ryan founded, the first search engine to determine where a person could travel for any budget, which gained over 1 million users and international media accolades in its first week. This platform was discovered by a Fortune 10 company who asked Ryan to apply his outside the box thinking to solving their frustration with business travel products--and thus WhereTo was born. Since leaving his law firm to focus on WhereTo full time, Ryan has raised over $10 million from top-tier venture capital firms and leads a team of dozens from their headquarters in San Francisco.

Ben Parodi
Vice President & GM, Sales and Client Solutions
American Express Global Business Travel
Terri Dan
Lead Category Manager, Global Travel Sourcing
Katie Loudon
Americas Travel & Meetings Manager

GBTA All Access Members from OTHER CHAPTERS are entitled to the SVBTA Community Member Discount for events.  Please contact [email protected] for the coupon code to use as a guest registration.


CLICK HERE for Sponsorship Opportunities


$60.00 Member Ticket
$50.00 Earlybird rate before January 4

$70.00 Non-Member or Guest Ticket

$25.00 Student Member Ticket

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