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Airbnb Announces the Winners of $10M OMG! Fund Contest

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The entry "Jungle Eco Treehouse With a Leaf Petal Shape" by Elisa O. from Mexico is one of 100 selected OMG! Fund recipients. | Image by Airbnb

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Airbnb has recently announced the winners of its OMG! Fund, which will award up to $100,000 to each of 100 selected individuals. These recipients, who include developers, DIY enthusiasts, and manufacturers from over 20 different countries, will be able to bring their 100 wild and unique home ideas to life.

Each person who entered submitted a proposal to Airbnb outlining a unique concept that would promote sustainability and create an immersive experience for guests.

The OMG! selection committee reviewed thousands of proposals and chose their winners. Judges on this panel included several industry notables, including Koichi Takada, a professional architect based in Sydney; Bruce Vaughn, Airbnb’s Vice-President of Experiential Creative Product; Iris Apfel, an American style icon; and Kristie Wolfe, an Airbnb Superhost guru.

While applicants drew inspiration from just about everywhere, there were a few distinct elements that appeared in many of the proposals received by the OMG! selection committee: star gazing, music, fruit, solar panels, suspended homes, and tree houses were some of them.

Upon the completion of their fanciful concepts, the OMG! Fund winners will list them on the Airbnb platform and start reaping the benefits. As more than 50% of the winners are already Airbnb hosts, they are likely very aware of what this will mean financially for them. The average Airbnb host in the U.S. made about $13,800 in 2021, representing an increase of 85% from 2019. Moreover, from 2019 to 2021, the number of nights reserved in listings from the “unique” category climbed worldwide by more than 49%.

OMG! judge Kristie Wolfe is a testament to an Airbnb host’s earning potential. She paid $32,000 to develop the Big Idaho Potato Hotel — a listing that is truly unique and earned $208,000 in its first three years of receiving guests.

Wolfe said it had been a fantastic experience participating in the OMG! Fund judging. Applicants shared many heartwarming tales and spoke of places she had never heard of before. Speaking about the winners’ ideas, she expressed her eagerness to see them come to life. “These are more than just places to spend the night — each one offers an entire experience!”

The winning proposals truly stretch the idea of what to expect from an Airbnb stay, such as a lighthouse in Sweden that can only be reached by boat, a dinosaur skull made of adobe, or a floating avocado.

Pablo C., an OMG! Fund winner from Mexico, said, “The idea was to do something out of the ordinary, never seen before, something rare and beautiful that would impress any human being. The result is an organic form spaceship — a six-meter-high pillar, embraced at 360 degrees by trees.”

Like Pablo, many of the applicants found inspiration in science-fiction novels. Others drew from nature and wildlife, their local cultural traditions, or pressing issues facing the world today, such as OMG! Fund recipient, Kimberly S., who plans to use recycled materials to build her Giant Tire-Shaped House.

Over the course of the next ten months, OMG! Fund winners will design, construct and outfit their spaces to be guest-ready by summer 2023.       

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