2020 UNWTO SDG Global Start-up Competition

The worldwide COVID-19 outbreak has brought the world to a standstill and both, civil society and the private sector have been severely affected. Consequently, the pandemic jeopardizes all of the progress achieved thus far in terms of sustainability. Against this backdrop of heightened uncertainty, tourism’s proven resiliency and dynamic nature can be harnessed to support and reinforce recovery. Given the sector’s capacity to create jobs and increase inclusiveness, UNWTO calls for a transversal, cross-sector approach to boost sustainable development all over the world.

Targeted participants for 2020 UNWTO SDG Global Start-up Competition

Startups from all walks of life, from all over the world and all economic sectors are invited to participate if meeting the following criteria:

  • Be innovative in nature providing value-added solutions
  • Be sustainability-driven
  • Be scalable: to have potential for international growth and potential to be applied in corporations and destinations (countries, regions)
  • Be an Early Stage or Series A startup
  • Have a tested pilot and business plan
  • Have been accelerated before
  • Have a full-time team
  • All ways of innovation are welcome: new methods, processes, governance models, social impact initiatives, and technologies.

Categories of Applications

This Competition features 17 categories, each one representing a Sustainable Development Goal. Each participating start-up should select the SDG in which can generate the greatest impact. To know more from the SDGs, visit Tourism for SDGs Platform.

Evaluation Criteria for 2020 UNWTO SDG Global Start-up Competition

Participating startups will be assessed according to their:

  • Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Ease of value capture via collaboration with the startup
  • Potential business impact
  • Maturity of the product/technology
  • Maturity of the team and the organization
  • Partnership readiness

Benefits of 2020 UNWTO SDG Global Start-up Competition

Benefits for winning startups include but are not limited to:

  • Pitch at a UNWTO Demo Day
  • Curated mentorship programme including one-on-one and in-group sessions focused on Intellectual Property (IP), sustainability, business and leadership
  • Access to technological support
  • Connection to the UNWTO Innovation Network
  • Potential pilot project with private sector collaborators and institutions

How to Apply for 2020 UNWTO SDG Global Start-up Competition

Get ready for your application:

  1. Keep in mind the category or Sustainable Development Goal you will apply for
  2. Read the Terms & Conditions (hipervinculado al PDF) of the Competition
  3. Make an attractive pitch deck in English (no more than 15 slides)
  4. List your web page, social media users and contact information 

Click here to Apply Online

Timeline Deadline for candidatures             20 September, 2020 Announcement of winning startups          November 2020 Pitching round for winners                          November 2020