30 May 2020





Gastronomy tourism startup competition

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with the Basque Culinary Center, invites entries for the First Global Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition.  This is a global initiative that aims to identify startups with the greatest potential to outline the future and promote sustainable innovation in the tourism and gastronomy sector.

More Details

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.

BCC is a pioneering global academic institution that comprises the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences attached to Mondragon University and a Center for Innovation and Research. The aim of the BCC is higher education, research, innovation and promotion of gastronomy and food and it is working to promote gastronomy as a lever for socio-economic development through its actions.

Opportunity Focus Areas:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Tourism

Required Languages


Eligible Countries


Program Period


  • Deadline for applications: 30 May 2020.

  • Selection of 5 finalists and presentation on the online platform: 30 June 2020.

  • Final Pitch Session  and Announcement of the winning startup: December 2020.

Eligibility Requirements (Criteria)

They 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, we are targeting startups that are:

  • In the Early Stage or Series A Stage
  • Both for-profit and non-profit
  • Startups with a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Startups with potential for scalability
  • Startups with a sustainable vision

Selection Criteria:

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:

  • Innovation and descriptiveness: They are looking for startups with a project/product/service proposal that will disrupt the sector by introducing new concepts not yet identified in the gastronomic tourism industry
  • Potential impact and scalability: They are looking for startups with a sound business model that has the potential for scalability in another environment/market/region making it feasible to increase and grow its social, technological and economic impact.
  • Initially validated or tested business model: They are looking for startups in growth or seed stages that have tested their idea and have an Minimum Viable Product (MVP) tested in a real market.
  • Suitable and committed team: They are looking for startups that have an entrepreneurial team suited to the needs and characteristics of the project, with high motivation, interest and commitment to its development.
  • Partnership Readiness: They are looking for startups that have experience in the co-development of products/services and interest in accessing collaborations with partners in the sector.
  • Sustainability in the value proposition: They are looking for startups that integrate sustainability into the business model of the project, taking special care of the relationship between culture, heritage, gastronomy, tourism and economic growth.
  • Technological or digital component: They are looking for startups in which a technological or digital component is embedded in the business model.

Opportunity Cost


  • 20 selected Start-ups will be shortlisted by a panel of international experts and stakeholders from the gastronomy tourism sector (public and private sector, academia, and civil society)
  • The 5 finalist startups will have a sponsored trip to pitch their idea to a panel of experts, governments, industry leaders and international investors who will attend the 5th edition of the World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism be held in Felander ,Belgium on 1-3 june 2020.
  • the winning Startup will have the possibility of presenting on aglobal platform and increasing the impact together with the support of experts from BCC and UNWTO with atailor made asupport programme in the culinary Action Acceleration programme .
    participation in the Acceleration will include financial Support for travel and accommodation Expenses for up to 3000 Euros.
  • The winning company will have the opportunity to design a pilot project with the Basque Culinary Center and implement it with the help of its network.

How to Apply

First Step: Fill an online application form here.

Apply Now

More Details

Know more about this opportunity:

Official Website

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This Scholarship Published by:
Mohamed Karam / Egypt

Reviewed by” Ahmed Elgarf/ Egypt
MARJ3 Fellow
MARJ3 Scholarships Team