Rady Alumni Richard Castle receives CONNECT's "Most Innovative New Product" Award for New Frontier in Travel Technology

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Rady School Dean Robert S. Sullivan received the Distinguished Contribution Award for Technology Innovation

Rady Alumni Richard Castle (MBA '13) has a case of wanderlust and it's spreading (to 115 countries to be exact). In December, Castle received CONNECT's "Most Innovative New Product" software award for his startup, Cloudbeds.

As COO and Co-Founder, Castle describes Cloudbeds as, "[A software] about helping hostels and B&Bs to operate more efficiently and sell more beds and rooms to a broader range of guests around the world. All the technology that a hostel or B&B needs; from the back office, to the front office, to distribution to online travel agencies is contained within Cloudbeds, a simple tool accessible through a web browser."

The concept for Cloudbeds was directly shaped by Castle's personal adventures. After extensive traveling and staying at hostels and B&B's, Castle was inspired to start a technology to enable others to have the same memorable experiences. Castle hopes that by using Cloudbeds, hostels and B&B owners and staff can spend less time managing technology and instead use that time to create a better, unique experience for guests.

Castle's MBA education and fellow colleagues at Rady School also had a lasting impact on Cloudbeds. "Rady is a mecca of entrepreneurship in San Diego and even nationally for that matter…Furthermore, Rady taught me how to focus my passion for entrepreneurship into a marketable idea rather than just an idea."

Looking towards the future, Castle hopes to "continue learning from the people around me and my mentors on how to be a better innovator and a better leader. Our company evolves every day and we are faced with new challenges and obstacles that are exciting to navigate." Eventually, Castle also hopes to move back to San Diego to continue to build the thriving entrepreneurial community that helped get Cloudbeds its start.

Also at the CONNECT awards, Rady School Dean Robert S. Sullivan received the Distinguished Contribution Award for Technology Innovation to honor his support of innovation, diversity of thought and the advancement of local entrepreneurs, through business and community involvement. Dean Sullivan spoke to San Diego as a growing hub of innovation. "The Rady School was founded in partnership with the business community, who recognized the need for a top-tier business school that can train the next generation of innovators," Sullivan said. "I accept this award on behalf of the San Diego community, which has provided integral support for the Rady School."

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