Competition for Startups in Sustainable development goals from the World Tourism Organization UNWTO
UNWTO (The World Tourism Organization)

Competition for Startups in Sustainable development goals from the World Tourism Organization UNWTO


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organizat
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Nonprofit organization
20 Sep 2020
Study level
Opportunity type
Eligible Countries
Eligible Region
All Regions

The World Tourism Organization UNWTO is offering a competition for Startups. The proposed competition is an initiative inside the broader framework of the United Nations Decade of Action in order to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It makes it possible to promote stateof-the-art solutions to compelling challenges by giving the opportunity to startups from around the world to present their projects to the global innovation ecosystem.

Target Startups:

  • Startups from all walks of life, from all over the world and all economic sectors are invited to participate if meeting the following criteria:
  1. Be innovative in nature providing value-added solutions
  2. Be sustainability-driven
  3. Be scalable: to have potential for international growth and potential to be applied in corporations and destinations (countries, regions)
  4. Be an Early Stage or Series A startup
  5. Have a tested pilot and business plan
  6. Have a full-time team
  • All ways of innovation are welcome: new methods, processes, governance models, social impact initiatives, and technologies.

Competition Categories:

  • This Competition features 17 categories, each one representing a Sustainable Development Goal.
  • Each participating startup should select the SDG in which can generate the greatest impact.
  • You can see all categories as bellow:
  1. No poverty
  2. Zero hunger
  3. Good health and well-being
  4. Quality education
  5. Gender equality
  6. Clean water and sanitation
  7. Affordable and clean energy
  8. Decent work and economic growth
  9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  10. Reduces inequalities
  11. Sustainable cities and communities
  12. Responsible consumption and production
  13. Climate action
  14. Life below water
  15. Life on land
  16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
  17. Partnerships for the goals

Evaluation Criteria:

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 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


  • Launch:14 July, 2020
  • Deadline for candidatures: 20 September, 2020
  • Announcement of winning startups: November 2020
  • Pitching round for winners: November 2020

About UNWTO:

The World Tourism Organization UNWTO is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.It is the leading international organization in the field of tourism, which promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism knowledge.

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