Applications invited for 1st Global Sports Tourism Start-up Competition.

Applications invited for 1st Global Sports Tourism Start-up Competition.

Organization: World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Event Duration: 30 Aug. 2019 - 14 Oct. 2019

Apply By: 15 Aug 2019

About the Organization

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 organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO 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.

About the Event

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with Futbol Club Barcelona, presents the 1st UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-up Competition. It is a global initiative that aims to identify startups with the greatest potential to outline the future and promote sustainable innovation in the sports & tourism sector.

Objective of the Event

  • Identify challenges and projects, and catalyzing innovations that can transform the Sport & Tourism sector in the near future.
  • Sports & Tourism stimulates entrepreneurship and the generation of new companies and organizations that necessarily affect other industries transversally and fosters values such as:
  • Sustainability based on maintaining a balance between economic growth, sports and innovation.
  • Cooperation, solidarity and unity amongst all actors that belong to sports and tourism sector.
  • Authenticity by highlighting local sports and cultural values.


  • 20 selected start-ups will be shortlisted by a panel of international experts and stakeholders  from the Sports & Tourism sectors (public and private sector, academia and civil society)
  • The 5 finalist start-ups will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to a panel of experts, governments, industry leaders and international investors who will attend the Mobile World Congress (MWC) to be held in Barcelona on 25-28 February 2019.
  • The winning company will have the possibility to make its mark on the international stage and increase the impact of its start-up with the help of FC Barcelona experts with a customized mentoring programme and the possibility of participating BArca Innovation Hub.
  • The winning company will have the opportunity to design a pilot project with FC BArcelona and implement it with the help of its network.

Criteria of projects

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 Sports as Inclusive Tourism products.
  • Supply-side configuration seeking balance between sustainable development and the profitability of the project, maximizing the positive impacts on the community and environment.
  • Connection with the market and the user experience in all phases of the trip.
  • New ways to use technology resources in sports and its involvement in developing Smart Cities.


  • Startups 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


  • 23 May 2019: Launch of the competition
  • 15 August 2019: Deadline for applications
  • 30 August 2019: Presentation of 20 pre-selected startups on the online platform
  • 15 September 2019: Selection of 5 finalists and presentation on the online platform
  • 14 October 2019: Announcement of the winning startup

How to Apply

For more information please check the Link


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