First Global Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition

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The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with the Basque Culinary Center, presents the First Global Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition. The mission is to identify challenges and projects, and catalyzing innovations that can transform the Gastronomy Tourism sector in the near future. The deadline is on 5 March 2019.

The projects must be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations and the introduction or adaptation of digital and technological elements, and focused on one (or several) of the following areas:

  • Destination management or private management of solutions/products/services developed around gastronomy as gastronomic tourism products
  • Supply-side configuration seeking balance between sustainable development and the profitability of the project, maximizing the positive impacts on the community.
  • Connection with the market and the user experience in all phases of the trip.
  • The integration of sustainability in the project´s business plan, specifically the conservation of local ingredients and the relationship between culture, heritage, gastronomy, tourism and economic growth.

20 selected startups will be shortlisted by a panel of international experts and stakeholders from the gastronomy tourism sector. The 5 finalist startups will have a sponsored trip to pitch their idea to a panel of experts at the 5thedition of the World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in Spain on 2-3 May 2019. The winning company will have the opportunity to design a pilot project with the Basque Culinary Centre.

Main criteria

Organisers are looking for startups with most disruptive ideas focused on solving real needs in the tourism and gastronomy sector with a responsible approach.

In particular, startups that are:

  • In the Early Stage or Series A Stage
  • Both for-profit and non-profit
  • Natural or legal persons
  • Startups with a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Startups with potential for scalability
  • Startups with a sustainable vision
  • Innovation and disruptiveness
  • Potential impact and scalability
  • Initially validated or tested business model
  • Suitable and committed team
  • Partnership Readiness
  • Sustainability in the value proposition:
  • Technological or digital component

Transportation and lodging for two nights in San Sebastián, Spain, for 1 representative per team of the 5 finalist startups in order to attend the World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism.

Find out more.

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