Alan Elliott Merschen, Founder of The SIGMUND Project, explains the ethos behind his free, open-source hub created for sharing ideas and innovation with the goal of fostering interconnectivity and finding new solutions to the challenges facing the travel industry today.
Tell us a little bit about this new platform and how the tourism sector in India can benefit from being a part of it.
SIGMUND is 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. Visitors are encouraged to present ideas and collaborate with others on The OPEN • SOURCE Platform, find inspiration and resources at The LOOKING FORWARD Journal, and take their ideas to the next level through SIGMUND’s INVESTMENT GRANTS Program.
SIGMUND is open to anyone involved in the tourism industry (or who wants to be), globally, from university students to small tour operators to large travel wholesalers. Our only ask is that you are open to collaboration. We believe that we are more creative, more adaptable, and more successful when we are connected. A great first step for your readers would be to submit an idea to SIGMUND OPEN • SOURCE. Once their idea is live on the site, they can collaborate with others.
How can it help with funding?
Although SIGMUND may lead to potential funding, it’s main purpose is to connect innovators with collaborators who can offer advice, tools, partnerships and paths ahead. That said, our investment grants programme will launch in 2022. It will be open to two or more individuals or entities who have met through the SIGMUND platform and are now collaborating on an idea that can reshape the global travel industry.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. With all investment grants, The SIGMUND Project will take an interest in the company. All proceeds will then be reinvested into more ideas.
Has anyone from India signed up yet?
This is our official launch into India and we anticipate great traction as India is home to some of the most innovative and creative entrepreneurs in tourism we have met!
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 using noise pollution data to create ‘quiet travel’ tours for those suffering from PTSD.
How will you choose your future collaborators?
Our criteria is relatively simple. SIGMUND is open to anyone who has a great idea to advance the tourism industry. We believe that can come from anyone, from anywhere, at any time. Anyone who submits an idea to SIGMUND OPEN SOURCE is able to request a 14-minute intro call with the SIGMUND team. This is a great first step in refining the idea, discussing how to best position it on SIGMUND to get the right collaborators interested, and we highly recommend everyone to take advantage of this offer. We also believe in the power of a one-on-one phone call, to hear directly from the innovator, understand their idea as well as the challenges they face, and see how SIGMUND can be of service.