Global Talent Displayed as SDGs Tourism Startup Competition Finalists Announced

Madrid, Spain, December 29, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / All five global regions are represented as the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition reaches its final stages. The competition was launched to identify innovators whose ideas can advance tourism’s contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and attracted more than 10,000 participants from 138 countries. Now, the jury has narrowed the field down to a shortlist of just 60 finalists.

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This competition is a UNWTO initiative, in collaboration with Wakalua (powered by Globalia), created as part of the collaboration with the United Nations Innovation Network, a common action framework by UN Agencies to develop public-private partnerships to support the SDGs. The finalists were chosen by a special jury made up of experts drawn from international banks, airlines, tourism destinations and technology platforms. Reflecting the global interest in the initiative, the 60 finalists come from 28 countries, with each of UNWTO’s five global regions represented in the final stages.

Now, the jury will work on selecting just one finalist for each of the 17 SDGs. Each startup will be assessed according to fixed criteria, including their ability to contribute to a specific SDG, the ease of value capture, their potential business impact and the maturity of both their product or platform and their team.

This final group of 17 startups will be announced throughout January. Then, in the spring, they will be invited to pitch their ideas to UNWTO, its partners and investors at the flagship event of the Global Startup Competition, the UNWTO SDG Tourism Tech Adventure (TTA), due to be held in Qatar this Spring.

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In addition to the chance to pitch at the TTA Innovation Forum, winning startups will gain access to leading technological support and to more than 100 venture capitalists. They will also be able to benefit from UNWTO’s network of partners, with curated mentorship programmes from, among others, Amadeus, Amazon Web Services, BBVA, ClarkeModet, FarCo, Globant, Google, the Inter-American Development Bank, IE University, Mastercard., MentorDay, Telefónica and Qatar Airways.