Meet the Startups

Meet the Startups

Winners and Finalists from UNWTO Innovation Competitions and Challenges

UNWTO has curated this online space to showcase Top Startups from within the global tourism innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, following its mandate of promoting universally sustainable, accessible and inclusive tourism, and innovation and digital transformation as a management priority.

Winners and finalists of UNWTO Innovation Competitions and Challenges are hosted here with their pitch deck.

Corporations, investors, institutions, education centres, accelerators and incubators, and other startups are encouraged to actively interact and form synergies to redefine travel as we know it today.

"Startups enable society to benefit from new advances in less time, and connecting their projects with potential partners and investors from the public and private sectors help to ensure their implementation. This flow of knowledge and investments is a novel paradigm for introducing state-of-the-art technologies in tourism for both countries and corporations."

Natalia Bayona,
UNWTO Director of Innovation,
Education and Investments.

A C E F G H I K L M N P Q R S T V W

Top Startups
 

Acullicando.com
La Paz, Bolivia
Finalist of the 1st Tourism Tech Adventure for The Americas

My family has its origins on the shores of Lake Titicaca, in the middle of the Andes, in the Community of Lojpaya, in La Paz, Bolivia. Like thousands of peasant families, my father migrated at an early age to the city, due to the limited opportunities in the rural area. Like many, he left, but never really left his community.

It is ironic that a country like Bolivia, with so much diversity and geographical and cultural richness, suffers from continuous rural-urban migration processes, so that the rural population represents an increasingly smaller percentage of the population (2017, 70% urban, 30% rural). From a social perspective, it is dramatic that along with this process not only populations are lost, but all the elements that make these communities in the rural area (languages, traditions, festivals, etc.) and the existing physical and human capital is underutilized.

Nevertheless, in the last decade - as a result of sustained growth in Bolivia's economy - the average income of people has increased notably. Two million Bolivians have moved to a "middle class" income level. Moreover, new consumption patterns have developed, representing a greater potential demand for tourism.

In spite of this new context, the tourist offer continues to be "split": on the one hand, a traditional tourist offer is maintained, with a highly segmented offer (either very expensive for external tourism, or of very low quality for local tourism) that benefits few, maintains others at subsistence levels, and does not offer a quality-price middle ground for an increasingly important middle class.

On the other hand, the Bolivian government has been implementing policies to promote community-based tourism, which aims to develop community-owned and managed initiatives. Unfortunately, the success stories promoted from the public sphere are few and, in contrast, many funds are invested in rural community hotels without concrete results, many of them abandoned.

The proposal:

I start from the certainty that there is a third way. Thus, based on my experience and knowledge in the sector (I have been a tour guide for 15 years and am an economist by profession), I believe that a vital aspect for the success of any tourism initiative is the existence of leading private entrepreneurs, who at the same time have a social commitment to their communities.

Thus, the model I propose is family-based entrepreneurship, with a close relationship with their community of origin. This model takes the best of both proposals, that is, a tourism project with a private (family) base but with an explicit social sense. The entrepreneur, who is a person or family of the community, assumes the risks and costs for the development of a tourist offer of accommodation (Country House, Rural Hotel, Camping, etc.) and outsources the services (transport, food, products, services) to the members of the community to which he belongs, thus generating income and appropriation of the initiative. We have tested the model in the "Sacred Lake" country house... and it works!
The mission of the start-up is to support the development of rural family tourism enterprises under this model, through virtual management services, efficient and timely. Specifically, it is proposed:

  1. To constitute a service platform for the development of family rural tourism initiatives, providing technical assistance services, training of providers (community), management of reservations and marketing, with emphasis on local tourism.
  2. Also, to develop mechanisms for articulating commitment with the community (development of providers, service delivery, joint planning, accountability).
  3. To constitute a network of entrepreneurs under this business model.

Regions of interest: The Americas

 Pitch deck

 Video

BeFC
France
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy

BeFC produce paper-based biofuel cells as an environmentally-friendly and sustainable energy solution. We combine our clean energy solution with flexible electronics platforms that have been optimised to our energy source. Our technology is metal-free and plastic-free, meaning it can be easily disposed of with minimal or negligible impact to the environment, or even composted. BeFC use bio-sourced and sustainable materials. In fact, the materials used in fabrication of our biofuel cells are simply cellulose and carbon papers, sugars, salts and enzymes.

The technology is based on the use of enzymes to convert glucose (sugar) and oxygen into electricity. BeFC has decades of expertise in optimising the biochemical wiring of enzymes to carbon paper, culminating in a 6-patent portfolio.

We know the future will be smart, but at BeFC we believe it can be smart and sustainable.

Competitive advantage: BeFC technology is a hybrid energy harvester with supercapacitive behaviour. Our products can provide very high power densities for short pulses of duration, and then slowly self-recharge by harvesting the natural energy from glucose and oxygen.

Market: BeFC are targeting the next generation of connected devices, from wearable patches in health and medical applications, point-of-care single-use/single-patient tests, to connected packaging and logistics, including monitoring refrigerated pharmaceuticals, to remote environmental IoT sensors.

Business model: BeFC are currently working with several leading global companies via joint development agreements to develop the next generation of connected products. We plan to sell our paper biofuel cells as a B2B model, along with our electronic platforms where necessary.

Use cases: Contact tracing, point-of-use medical testing, air quality monitoring, luggage tracking, tracking or persons in travel hubs.

Contact: jules.hammond@befc.fr

 Pitch deck


BlueDot
Canada
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 3 – Good health and well-being

BlueDot protects people around the world from infectious diseases with human and artificial intelligence. We help governments protect their citizens, hospitals protect their staff and patients, and businesses protect their employees and customers.Our team understands the complexity of the challenge in front of us – and that the urgency to solve the problem has never been greater. We’ve combined our public health and medical expertise with advanced data analytics to build solutions that track, contextualize, and anticipate infectious disease risks.

Competitive advantage:

  • Patented global early warning system for tracking and predicting the spread of dangerous infectious diseases
  • World-leading partners and clients in public health, healthcare, insurance, and defense
  • Diverse & world-leading teamStrong track record and reputation built off of repeated of successes, including predicting the spread of Zika into the Miami, Florida area 6 months before the first case
  • Purpose-built and proprietary AI engine and analytics

Chekin
Sevilla, Spain
Finalist Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge

Autonomous Check-In is becoming essential for travelers in these uncertain times, to comply with the hygiene and security measures that a physical reception can hardly offer.

Chekin offers hotel and property managers around the world a digital solution to easily, comfortably and safely conduct guest registration.

Thanks to our technological solution, we automate all the legal requirements of a fragmented tourist legislation, which often changes from city to city. This ranges from signing the rental agreement to paying the tourist tax, making it an especially useful tool for hosts with a high number of properties. The other functionalities are joined to the legal and fees area: OCR scanner, biometric mapping (DNI vs selfie) and the most important in these times, the pre-Check-In, which will help the tourism sector to carry out this process of remotely and respecting social distancing. For this we integrate with any type of smart lock and facilitate a completely autonomous Check-In process, from the registration of travelers, through the verification of identities to access to accommodation, 0% contact, 100% comfort.

The solution is based on a B2B model where hosts are offered a technological solution (which can be a mobile app for small clients, or an API that integrates with the API of larger clients) that allows reducing and digitize the different tasks involved in registering a new guest, allowing traveler access, document scanning, cloud storage, sending information to the Police or managing tourist tax in just 3 minutes.

The integration of our API with the smart locks of our clients is very important to give autonomous access to the guest and complete the Self Check-In process." 

 Pitch deck


ClimateTrade
Spain
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 13 – Climate Action

ClimateTrade is a cutting-edge solution born to disrupt the traditional carbon markets by providing alternative solutions to help corporations achieve carbon neutrality. ClimateTrade marketplace provides an innovative tool for responsible companies to offset their emissions by purchasing carbon credits directly from mitigation project developers, avoiding unreliable or unaudited intermediaries and allowing project developers to get the right price and promoting, therefore, fair trade practices and honest promotion of sustainability and SDG’s (specially SDG 15 but also other collateral) thus generating a real positive environmental and social impact.Our solution is fully based on Blockchain technology which brings the carbon offsetting process to a new dimension providing transparency, reliability and traceability to any transaction on a peer to peer basis. Besides, we have developed a sophisticated API REST to include carbon offsetting in any commercial transaction done worldwide in order to help our clients offer their own customers carbon neutral products and services.

Competitive advantage: We have shaped an excellent solution that solves the current global needs by automating and simplifying the carbon offsetting process with complete transparency and traceability through Blockchain Technology.

Market: There is an evident and urgent need to take action. A wider consciousness is growing in all social and economic sectors and it is crucial to tackle the climate crisis.Our solution is addressed to any corporation willing to voluntarily or mandatorily offset their carbon emissions and move towards carbon neutrality. Out target market, therefore, is potentially wide and global with multiple applications in different verticals.

Business model: ClimateTrade platform connects both mitigation project developers and offseter entities peer to peer. Our company charges a % fee per transaction in the platform. We also charge a fare for the integration of our API and the licence use. We offer consulting services on sustainability matters, carbon footprint calculation and assessment report.

Use cases:

  • Airlines, offsetting flight emissions.Passengers can offset the carbon footprint of their flights in the purchase process.
  • Melia Hotels. Guests can offset the carbon footprint of theis accommodation during the booking process.
  • Mobility. Offsetting the carbon emissions of taxis and car-sharing companies.
  • Travel agencies can offer carbon neutrality on their services.

Our solution has many applications in the touristic sector.

Contact: fran@climatetrade.com

 Pitch deck


Climber RMS
Lisbon, Portugal
Finalist 1st UNWTO Start Up Competition

Most of the hotels don't have time to run their revenue management and find difficult to manage all the data. However in such competitive market, they also want to be more competitive and bring better results. Climber helps on this through dynamic pricing and automated generated reports, which allows hoteliers to detect revenue opportunities on a clean interface. Climber enables the hoteliers to work more efficiently and save time.

Climber has 2 products, one with target for hotel chains with more revenue management culture and another one for small and independent hotels with less revenue management culture. Both easy-to-use, clean and visual. Both with support and free training provided and also we give the possibility to due revenue management consultancy with our partners.

 Pitch deck


Clio Muse Tours
Greece
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth

Founded in 2014, Clio Muse enables professionals to create self-guided audio / virtual / skip-the-line tours via our online authoring platform following our award-winning storytelling methodology. Tours are then listed on all major OTAs for travelers to book. For each booking, tour creators get a commission. Museums also use our platform to upload their collections and stories. Tour creators get an extra revenue stream. OTAs get a great product of unlimited availability to offer as an upsell to other products. Museums get access to a vast network of travelers. Travelers find a digital guide for each destination. Currently, we’re offering >300 products for 11 countries. In 2019 we served 50K travelers, reaching YoY 10x revenues (€ 760K), while in Jan ‘20 we saw a 200% YoY increase.

Competitive advantage:

  • Our technology is sustainable and scalable.
  • We facilitate partnering culture and tourism.
  • Our award winning storytelling methodology creates optimal visitor experience.
  • Unlimited availability and upsell.
  • Low customer acquisition.
  • Applicable in any country.
  • Several successful partnerships.

Market: The size of the Online tours & activities market is $27B. Self-guided tours were seen as a smart upsell for global OTAs. Now they are seen as the biggest opportunity in the tours & activities market by all kinds of tourism companies because they offer the independence new-age travellers need.

Business model:
B2C & B2B2C: audio/virtual tours sold through our eshop & OTAs, as standalone products or packaged with entry tickets for attractions. Prices: €11-€50 /traveller (30-70% profit margin).
B2B: content & tech services to Museums to create touristic products. Prices: €5K-€20K (60-90% profit margin).

Use cases:

  • Providing alternative revenue streams for tourist guides & tour operators.
  • Connecting highly visited with lesser known areas for a more equal tourism dispersal and economic growth.
  • Providing museums and attractions a value-for money platform to digitize their cultural heritage & create innovative touristic products.
  • Providing OTAs & other distributors an unlimited availability tour, perfect to upsell to non tour-takers & FITs, thus creating a new profitable extra service for their portfolio.
  • Providing a high-quality self-guided tour to travellers looking to explore new destinations independently at their own pace.

Contact: daphne@cliomusetours.com

 Pitch deck


Community Homestay Network
Nepal
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth

In relation to SDG 8, we have been providing communities with an additional income source within their own homes. In 2019, we were able to provide communities with 100 euros additional income and create 768 jobs. In light of COVID-19 we have pivoted our business model towards product development through which we will work with communities to help them leverage their local expertise to develop.

Competitive advantage: CHN works with rural communities which traditionally had very limited or no tourism activities. Our partnerships with some of the big players in the global tourism industry has helped to magnify its impact on the destinations. CHN is different from others as it works directly on a large scale with the homestays at the community level rather than the individual level.

Market: Our market can be divided into B2B and B2C segments. In the B2B segments, we have international and local travel agents who seek to provide the customer base with immersive cultural travel experience and social organizations looking to accommodate their teams to volunteer in rural areas. Within the B2C segment, we have foreign travelers who are keen on exploring lesser known destinations with local interactions.

Business model: CHN acts as a liaison between communities and travelers, adding value along the way. Our business model focuses on partnering, collaborating, supporting and reinvesting in the communities to develop and support tourism enterprises and destinations to help them better understand and serve foreign travellers.

Use cases:

  • Stimulate local economies and help create employment opportunities
  • Preserve cultures and enable cultural exchange
  • Women Empowerment
  • Promote personal and community development
  • A hassle free solution provided by a single platform that enables travelers to visit local communities in Nepal

Contact: info@communityhomestay.com

 Pitch deck


CultuAR- AR Vision
Granada, Spain
Finalist of the UNWTO Rural Tourism Competition

The rural world is a source of economic, cultural and social wealth that is increasingly under threat. It spans 85% of Spain’s territory and but only 20% of the Spanish population lives in these areas. The rural exodus and the low number of inhabitants in these small towns is causing economic deterioration, greater demographic decline, and consequently reduced investment in infrastructure and in the business fabric. This situation also jeopardizes the cultural heritage that constitutes defining features of every part of Spain. There are growing difficulties in transmitting culture from generation to generation, due to a dearth of residents to whom all the local expressions, sayings, stories, cultural festivals, typical recipes, etc., could be passed down.

Depopulation and sparse commercial offerings create deserted villages that are unappealing for tourists looking to see new places, get to know their histories and taste their flavours. To be attractive, these sites need to be prepared for the arrival of tourists, offering them possibilities and tools with which to showcase their great cultural heritage. These elements lead many tourists to select the places they want to visit based on the information they find in digital media.

CulturAR's mission is to end this geographical discrimination by making available to any locality a technological tool to offer its cultural heritage to tourists, turning them into Smart Villages.

In addition, the current situation in the wake of the pandemic has highlighted the crucial need for public and tourism institutions to offer innovative experiences that attract tourists and to provide them with a high level of safety during their visit. The digital transformation of the sector is the key to covering both aspects. In 2019, we developed our minimum viable product, CultuAR, a product of AR Vision, which was tested by the Málaga Provincial Council and the University of Granada.

CultuAR is a customized application that makes it possible to add valuable information in Augmented Reality about the tourist attractions of the municipality. By scanning a marker and through geolocation, tourists can access different 2D and 3D contents that are customized according to the specific location. The application does not require an internet connection, thus offering great accessibility. The constant improvement of the application means that it is not conceived as a static product that can become obsolete, but rather an ever-evolving product with which more and more services can be offered to tourists.

 Pitch deck

DefinedCrowd
United States of America
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure

For artificial intelligence to live up to its promise, it needs to be properly trained with data. A lot of data; annotated and validated for machine learning purposes. But acquiring this data is expensive and time-consuming for companies. That is where DefinedCrowd steps in. We provide the high-quality, prepared data needed to train AI initiatives to become smart, fluent, and natural. Whether it is through our customized data collection or our off-the-shelf data offering. Sourced, annotated, and validated by a global crowd of over 500,000 members and available in over 50+ languages, our world-class data will fuel everything from virtual assistants and chatbots to Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and search and recommendation algorithms. Whether you are aiming to provide more human-like customer service or improve medical reporting, DefinedCrowd will empower your AI initiatives to drive business goals while ensuring unbiased datasets. DefinedCrowd works every day to overcome the language barriers of AI technologies, making this technology available to everyone, in a fairness, unbiased and ethical way, democratizing the access to AI. It is why we’ve been serving Fortune 500 companies since day one. DefinedCrowd is headquartered in Seattle, with R&D offices in Porto, Lisbon and Tokyo.

Competitive advantage: DefinedCrowd guarantees 98% data quality, speed, and scale. With a community of over 500.000 crowd members worldwide, DefinedCrowd covers 70+ countries and 50+ languages (and dialects).

Market: Potentially any business implementing AI initiatives or in the process of a digital transformation may need our data. From training data to AI, machine translation translation or Evaluation of Experience through testing to fine tune models, there’s endless possibilities to work with us.

Business model: DefinedCrowd provides a suite of products based on PaaS that includes an online marketplace of off-the-shelf AI datasets available upon a monthly subscription or as a one-time purchase and project-based data collections/annotations performed by our Neevo community (crowdsourcing platform) and fully customizable and managed by the customer through our Enterprise Portal and API also available upon subscription.

Use cases:

  • Virtual assistants for Tourism Boards, Museums, Stadiums, etc
  • Real-time translations for cultural events
  • Chatbots for online services (make reservations, to check flights, buy a ticket for an event)

Contact:  sales@definedcrowd.com

 Pitch deck


Eatour srls
Viterbo, Italy
Finalist of the 2nd UNWTO Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition

Eatour is an app that measures nutritional fact and the carbon footprint of our daily meals. It contributes to reducing the emission of carbon dioxide suggesting an "environmental diet" created by nutritional expert and environmental engineers. The CO2 saved goes in a piggy bank that is validated on blockchain and give back credits to people. Eatour creates responsible consumption, knowledge about climate change and engagement, people are involved in a world challenge. Badge, awards and credit from the saved CO2 is a big motivation and a gamification process to achieve climate goals.

 Pitch deck


eccocar
Madrid, Spain
Winner 2nd UNWTO Global Startup Competition

At eccocar we offer digital mobility solutions to accelerate the world's transition towards sustainable mobility. We provide the necessary technology for rental cars, car dealers and fleet managers to launch, operate and scale mobility services through a White Label App and Platform, multimodal and multi vehicular, where the final consumer can quickly and easily find nearby transportation options. Our technology is designed to obtain mobility data in real time, allowing our partners to optimize the efficiency of their fleet and minimize their operating costs.

Our main goal is to reduce the consumption of resources and emissions generated in the manufacture of vehicles. There are 1 billion vehicles in the world, if we manage to share all the vehicles, the number of new cars would decrease by 30%. Therefore, the reduction in automobiles would be 300 million, which means avoiding 18 billion tons of CO2.

We make it easier for car rentals and fleet managers to adapt to new mobility trends, making it possible for them to offer good shared mobility services, which permits a significant decrease in the number of vehicles needed to offer the same service level, which would have an impact on reducing car manufacturing. We also encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, significantly reducing pollution in the most populated areas. Finally, we free up public space in cities and reduce traffic congestion, making cities more livable.

We have also developed 'the eccobox': the first do-it-yourself hardware that can open the doors of any vehicle without installation, in order to offer an after market device that facilitates the digital transition to rent-a-car and corporate fleets.

 Pitch deck


Contacless technology for mobility of a postpandemic world - Eccocar from Eccocar on Vimeo.

ECOLOO
Malaysia
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 6 – Clean water and sanitation

ECOLOO is an onsite biological treatment toilet system that employs enzyme to terminate odour, break down human waste into ashes & converts urine into fertilizer that is odour free, rich with nutrients, perfect for garden/farm.

ECOLOO is eco friendly, odour free, water free, sewage free, energy free & hassle free with minimal maintenance cost. It is easy to maintain & saves water from being flushed. There is no sewage created so no septic tank or suction required.

ECOLOO was co-invented in Sweden & mass produced in Malaysia with global presence in 25 countries.

Our success stories:

  • biodiversity conservation at UNESCO Heritage Sites in Jordan by implementing ECOLOO at Petra, Wadi & Dibbeen Reserves; it stops open defecation practice & boosts tourism sector
  • greener beach in Chile
  • greener floating chalets & cleaner lake in Malaysia

Our customers include UNDP Jordan, UNESCO Heritage Operator, Ministry of Tourism.
ECOLOO contributes to achieve SDG6 directly & SDG3,4,6,9,11,13 indirectly.

Competitive advantage:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Easy to use, install, move, maintain
  • Minimal water usage, only for cleaning/hygiene
  • Minimal treatment/maintenance cost
  • Odourless during/after use of toilets
  • No energy demand (solar can be implemented if required)
  • No IST/STP/suction required
  • Byproduct fertilizer

Market: The possible market would be tourist attraction areas such as: National Parks, Heritage Sites, Glamping Sites, Rest & Relax/Stop over areas, Islands/Beaches/Rivers/Waterfalls, Camper Vans/Sleeper Buses/Ferries/Floating Houses or restaurants, International Events/Festivals/Conferences/Exhibitions/Sports/Spiritual

Business model: ECOLOO business model includes:

  • sales
  • rental
  • lease
  • maintenance of our eco toilets that can be individual or multiple, depending on the needs. The revenues can also be generated from vending machines (toilet & hygiene accessories), advertisements inside/outside toilets & sales of fertilizer.

Use cases:

  • Saving gallons of water from being flushed by public
  • Saving maintenance cost of public toilets
  • Providing convenience & relief for tourists
  • Protecting parks, beaches, islands, river & lakes from pollution
  • Preventing ground water from contamination

Contact: zuraina@ecoloo.eu

 Pitch deck


Eco Nubia
Aswan, Egypt
Winner of the Tourism Tech Adventure Middle East: Egypt

We help local communities to discover their own Natural & Cultural Heritage treasures…
Put it in action using Tourism practices, to receive financial and psychological benefits.

Eco Nubia project is located on Bigeh Island, which is considered as an archaeological site situated along the Nile River in historic Nubia, and within the Aswan Governorate of southern Egypt.
The island has been situated in the reservoir of the Old Aswan Dam, since the dam's initial completion in 1902.

Eco Nubia is a new Ecolodge aiming to promote the eco-friendly lodging with authentic Nubian food and beverages, and unique beach area directly on the Nile surrounded by the amazing nature of the island. The project also includes a community center that is suitable for organizing events with a unique view overlooking the famous Philae temple.

Regions of interest: Middle East

 Pitch deck

 Video

Eco View Resort
Jerash, Jordan
Finalist TTA: Middle East -Regional Commission Egypt

Eco View Resort is a unique and first of a kind in the Arab World located in a charming forest in Jerash- Thaghret Asfour to be a combination between an adventure park and a natural place to relax It also a human development center for training and developing life skills that contribute to building the personality of the participants and gives them the opportunity to simulate nature, overcome challenges and apply leadership, teamwork and many other skills.  

We offer a unique experience of living in tree houses designed in a classic country style and in harmony with Jerash environment, as an entertainment site suitable for families and individuals.  the camp consists of 10 nature-friendly chalets and tree houses with a capacity of 40 beds, a luxury tourist restaurant, multi-purpose training rooms accommodating up to 25 people each and a parking

The site of Eco View Resort  is prepared to accommodate up to 100 participants, a Challenge field with following adventure activities (high rope course, low rope course, big swing, Climbing tower, and zipline, challenge games, training area, football field and campfire squire). It’s equipped with Camping Area (30 Tents, 80 Beds), kitchen, outdoor restaurant and parking.

Problems

  • The needs for  integrated center for human development in nature
  • The needs today for entertaining, relaxation, enjoyment, travel and stress relief.
  • The Jordanians' dream of  experience living in tree-houses

Solution

  • To create all-encompassing nature escape made of stone and wooden cabins, built throughout our property. Offering a wide spectrum of outdoor activities ideal for team building and corporate events or for planning an adventure in the wild
  • Located in a charming forest in Jerash, Thaghret Asfour, Jordan Ranger offers a unique, first-of-its-kind resort in the Arab World, inviting you to recharge, rejuvenate and reconnect with nature. Jordan Ranger now includes nature-friendly cabins with a capacity of 40 beds, a restaurant that offers delicious local food and drinks and two fully-equipped theatre-style meeting rooms accommodating up to 25 people each.

 Pitch deck

 Video

Enexor BioEnergy
United States of America
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy

Enexor BioEnergy complements several SDGs and most closely aligns with SDG 7, “Affordable and Clean Energy” as we have developed an innovative renewable energy solution for the world’s organic, plastic, and biomass waste problems. Enexor’s Bio-CHP is a patented system that can convert almost any organic, plastic, or biomass waste (in any combination) into reliable, renewable power and thermal energy while concurrently offsetting 2,200+ tons per year of CO2. Modular and easily transportable, the plug-and-play design of this powerful system allows for quick deployment and onsite mobilization in most places around the world and can be aggregated as needed. Enexor’s Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) business model is a major competitive advantage; as we sell the electricity, thermal, and waste diversion generated by our Bio-CHP systems to a customer instead of selling the system itself. In doing so, Enexor delivers on average between 20-50% savings to the customer on their energy, thermal, and waste disposal costs while requiring minimal capital outlay. Enabling cost savings and greater sustainability, Enexor truly benefits tourism and hospitality businesses.

Competitive advantage:

  1. Enexor can use a wide range of organic, biomass, and plastic waste (in any combination) as feedstock = numerous applications
  2. Low Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) (USD <$0.045/kWh) = very cost competitive
  3. Patented microturbine technology = maximum efficiency
  4. Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) partnership model = immediate customer savings
  5. Carbon Capture technology = huge industrial and carbon credit opportunities

Market: Due to its unique value proposition of solving customer’s waste problems and helping them to achieve their sustainability goals while concurrently providing them affordable onsite renewable energy, Enexor’s market opportunities are tremendous. Currently we have identified our Total Available Market (TAM) to be ~$110B+ and our Share of Market to be $1.65B+. Our initial focus will be hospitality/tourism and business/industrial customers in both developed and developing/island nations. We currently have a Customer Revenue Pipeline of $250M+ despite operating in ‘stealth’ prior to early 2020.

Business model: Enexor’s Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) business model is a major competitive advantage; as we sell the electricity, thermal, and waste diversion generated by our Bio-CHP systems to a customer instead of selling the system itself. In doing so, Enexor delivers on average between 20-50% savings to the customer on their energy, thermal, and waste disposal costs while requiring minimal capital outlay. Customers see Enexor BioEnergy as a tremendously valued partner and a catalyst for helping them to achieve their sustainability and/or operational improvement goals.

Use cases:

  • Lower Energy (electricity and thermal) Costs for hospitality/tourism/travel businesses
  • Lower Waste Costs (reduction in hauling and tipping) and Landfill Diversion Opportunities for hospitality/tourism/travel businesses
  • Increased access to affordable, onsite renewable energy for hospitality/tourism/travel businesses
  • Greenhouse Gases and CO2 emissions reduction, helping them expedite the achievement of their sustainability goals for hospitality/tourism/travel businesses
  • Carbon Credit/Offset creation and purchasing opportunities for hospitality/tourism/travel businesses

Contact: RobertG@Enexor.com

 Pitch deck


Etnica
Guatemala
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG1 - No poverty

Etnica tackles the lack of inclusion and job opportunities for Guatemalans through local empowerment, the co-creation of responsible travel experiences, and fair trade practices. We are breaking the cycle of poverty that affects women and children in rural Guatemala, apart from our travel experiences we focus efforts on:

  • Travel gear for good: a line of handmade travel accessories that benefits 54 Maya women artisans, fusing tourism with artisan work in the hopes of providing job opportunities and entrepreneurship training.
  • Homestay program: this program provides a direct income to the host families we partner with improving the quality of infrastructure, basic services and access to better education.
  • Food safety program : this focuses on agroecology training so that our partners have food sovereignty through family orchards. It enables our partners to have access to better nutrition and the opportunity to share this knowledge with other members of their community and travelers.

Competitive advantage: We build partnerships by going through an integration process, we get to know our local partners, who they are, their culture, how the community works and together define common goals. We are the only travel company in Guatemala that has integrated social impact projects and fused them with tourism.

Market: We focus on students, families, solo travelers, and couples who want genuine cultural experiences, Spanish immersion, and volunteer opportunities. Our clients seek to establish connections through travel and want an insight to life in Guatemala. Most of our market is based in the U.S & Canada.

Business model: Our business model is B2C & B2B. We make revenue selling immersive experiences & handmade travel accessories. Our service is personalized, it adapts to the customer’s needs. Our model is scalable because it provides dignified work and livelihood to poor regions where tourism isn’t resilient.

Use cases:

  • Setting homestays as first-choice of accommodation.
  • Mangrove reforestation opportunities in the Pacific Coast.
  • Reducing use of plastic and using local transportation during tours and experiences.
  • Beneficiaries of our food safety program sell their produce as an extra income.
  • Creation of handmade accessories using 100% sustainable materials.

Contact: hola@etnicatravel.com

 Pitch deck


Escappy Travel
Bogotá, Colombia
Finalist of the Tourism Tech Adventure Colombia: Scaling up

  • In the tourism sector, people generally travel to the same traditional destinations in each country, which generates an overload of those destinations and in high seasons the service deteriorates, prices increase and there is no experience according to the wishes of the people. This happens due to ignorance of the existing tourist wealth. Usually 80% of people travel to 20% of destinations and about 45% of these travelers don't return satisfied with their experience.
  • On the other hand, traditional agencies are not concerned with fully understanding people's wishes or offering personalized experiences. They usually offer generic experiences which causes that dissatisfaction in travelers.
  • Additionally, accommodation and transport services often have routes that go with 50-60% of the capacity, so they charge the cost to the final customer.
  • During the Covid-19, many tour operators who depended on tourism to live,were severely affected, because tourists couldn't be mobilized.

At Escappy we solve it through surprise, personalized and virtual trips, where:

  1. We occupy the marginal product (what the airlines and accommodations already know they lost) and we obtain discounts or commissions between 50% -80%, which represents savings for the customer → This is something that companies cannot do directly with the client because everyone would wait for prices to drop and the brand would be affected as well as the market. By having a surprise travel business model where people find out very close to the departure date about all the details of their trip, we can select those best that suit the wishes of customers and occupy those routes and accommodations of “marginal product”.
  2. Identify people's wishes and organize tailor-made trips according to each of the characteristics they want to live. We achieve this thanks to technology and to characterize each destination, accommodation and activities. In addition to tracking low-priced routes and offering the best options for customers.
  3. We are starting to boost tourism, giving visibility to destinations that people are unaware of and that have a unique innovation factor. Take people to destinations that they will really value, making tourism more responsible.
  4. At Escappy we decided to give visibility through digital tools (online transmission) to indigenous, rural, Afro communities or in general families or people who have incredible experiences and want to receive an income; cultural, gastronomic, artistic, historical experiences and many more that families can enjoy from home, protecting our health and connecting hearts to support us all in the current situation.

 Regions of interest: The Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and The Pacific

 Pitch deck


Freed Group (aka TravelFlan)
Hong Kong
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Freed Group is an award-winning Travel and Lifestyle AI Digital and Smart Merchandising Solution provider utilizing Artificial Technology (AI), Big Data and Machine Learning technologies to revolutionise how traditional travel or non-travel companies conducting business today. We empower our partners with multi-vertical inventory and distribution system along with our proprietary AI Digital Solutions to adopt to current fast-changing market demands, particularly during COVID-19. By implementing our solutions, our clients have increased YoY revenue growth by average 30% and improved customer engagement by 60%.

Our signature AI Digital Solutions including Travel Concierge Chatbot and inventory management consolidator effectively increase revenue streams and improves customer engagement through multiple digital channels like social media platforms, official websites, mobile apps and more.

At the back-end, our fast-growing database is powered by 20M+ weekly unique data points with our home-grown Machine Learning capabilities. Our partners include Fortune 500 companies like China Mobile, Samsung Group, Travelport, SITA, Korean Air, Marriott Group, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and more to tackle their revenue and customer experience issues.

Competitive advantage: TravelFlan operates proprietary S2B2C business model, which was evolved from the traditional B2B SaaS and B2B2C business approach. By offering S2B2C solutions to businesses, we provide businesses not only proprietary digitalization and operation software tools but also required inventory and related supporting content & service, which effectively improve our partners’ revenue stream and customer experience.

Market: We connect travel with a untouched area of the market. instead of traditional travel industry practice, airlines working with GDS, hotels working with OTA, we bring travel content and products to non-travel partners like telecom, eCom platforms and more. Therefore, the TAM is quite significant. Up to day, we are working with major telecom companies in South Korea, Hong Kong, China and more.
Business model: TravelFlan operates proprietary S2B2C business model, which was evolved from the traditional B2B SaaS and B2B2C business approach. By offering S2B2C solutions to businesses, we provide businesses not only proprietary digitalization and operation software tools but also required inventory and related supporting content & service, which effectively improve our partners’ revenue stream and customer experience.
our business model consists of followings,

  • R&D / implementation fee (one-time)
  • Monthly service fee
  • Revenue share (with our partners)
  • Advertisement

Use cases:

  • Creating ancillary revenue for airlines, hotels and other travel related service providers by utilising our multi-vertical inventory system. Existing clients include Korean Air and Hong Kong Airlines
  • Reducing customer service cost for all travel related operations
  • Improving customer experience/engagement
  • Promoting travel providers’ inventories to wider customer bases like via China Mobile and Samsung networks at much lower distribution fee
  • Understanding customers’ profile by utilising FreeD Big Data analytics and reporting capabilities

Contact: abel.zhao@travelflan.com

 Pitch deck

Fly Foot
Beirut, Lebanon
Finalists of the 1st UNWTO Sports Tourism Startup Competition

For diehard fans, football is much more than a sport. In the MENA region, many fans dream of watching live European football matches, but they struggle to navigate the process of finding tickets for the match, arranging flights, and booking accommodations through a patchwork of foreign websites. These fans must perform extensive online research in a foreign language to find the best value flights, convenient and affordable hotels, reliable transportation, and touristic activities that interest them. Without prior knowledge of their destination, it is difficult to evaluate the options and piece together a successful travel plan.

Fly-Foot is the first online platform where football fans from MENA can book all- inclusive travel packages to watch their favorite teams play with just a few clicks.

Regions of interest: Middle East

 Pitch deck


FOODIEcations
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Winner of the 2nd UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure for the Americas: EdTech

FOODIEcations [foodie + vacations] is a food tourism agency for foodies who love to travel and travel to eat.

Through our city guidebooks, curated tours, consulting services, blog posts, and exclusive tools designed for foodies, we promote gastronomic experiences from around the globe with the primary goal of helping you experience culture through food.

 Pitch deck


foodieon
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Winner of the 2nd UNWTO Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition

Problem: Local Economy goes down without tourist

Local food ingredient business owners want to sell their food more and more, but doing marketing and selling online is not easy for them. They are always finding a way to sell and show their food to the consumer. foodieon is a "foodie experience" service which creates local food ingredients food tour and provides authentic, but unusual foodie tour for millennials.

What solution do you offer?

Solution: Revitalize the local economy by creating local food ingredient tour content

  1. foodieon meets (the countryside) locals who produce local ingredients.
  2. foodieon do re-branding and create local foodie tour content with food ingredient
  3. foodieon advertise for tourist to travel the local and consume local's food ingredients
  4. foodieon share revenue with the local business owners

 Pitch deck


The Freebird Club
Dublin, Ireland
Porto, Portugal
Finalist of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition

PROBLEM

The global population is ageing at a phenomenal rate due to increased longevity and falling birth rates. The number and proportion of older persons (60+) is set to grow from 900m today to an estimated 2.1bn by 2050. Against this background, we address 3 social issues:

  1. Loneliness & isolation among older adults - recent studies indicate that almost 1 in 5 adults over 65 are chronically lonely. Chronic loneliness has been correlated to smoking over 15 cigarettes a day, and presents a higher health risk than obesity. A recent study found that among Americans aged 65+, social isolation costs c.$7 billion in additional health care costs annually.
  2. Lack of travel options for older adults - many would like to travel more but lack a companion or the confidence to go alone.
  3. Financial insecurity in later life - many struggle in retirement with inadequate pensions, despite often living in mortgage-free homes.

SOLUTION

The Freebird Club is a peer-to-peer social travel and homestay club for older adults. It allows approved members to travel and stay with each other as part of a trusted community of peers. Members with spare rooms can rent them out to fellow older adult members who wish to travel and meet like-minded people. Our ‘age-friendly’ platform allows members to set up personal profiles of themselves (including their background & interests) so that guests and hosts can find and select each other on the basis of shared interests and compatibility. Visits always involve staying with a host living at home, as the focus is more on the sharing of company than the accommodation. As such, Freebird offers a new accessible way of travelling for older people (especially those who would not otherwise travel alone), a means to unlock value in their homes and earn extra income, and a fun way to meet new people and enjoy social and cultural interaction in later life.

THE COVID CONTEXT

Just as the world’s population of older adults starts to soar, we face the intersection of two deadly epidemics: COVID-19 and loneliness. One is acutely deadly now, the other a gradual threat with similarly devastating consequences. Even before the current crisis, we were in a social recession, as evidenced by dramatic increases in loneliness and isolation among the elderly. Now we are in danger of a social depression that could run deeper and last longer than the current Coronavirus pandemic. Here too, older people are the most severely impacted, given their extreme requirements for self-isolation and avoidance of social interaction. This is devastating for seniors who were already prone to loneliness. Looking beyond the acute phase, to when we can start travelling again, the crisis has created new travel barriers for older people, by denting their confidence with safety concerns that weren’t there previously. In this context, older adults will need all the help they can get to re-boot, regain confidence and re-connect with the world around them, and most importantly, with each other.

This is where the Freebird Club comes in, offering new opportunities to connect and interact, through safe shared travel experiences with fellow Club members. Compared to staying in hotels or going on a cruise or group holiday, a Freebird trip to another member’s home is far lower risk in the virus context – simply because contact can be limited to one other person at their home. Post crisis, the Freebird Club can be a real beacon to get seniors mobilised and connected again, as well as empowering them financially. If older adults ever needed Freebird to exist, it will be in the aftermath of this pandemic.

Regions of interest: The Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and The Pacific

 Pitch deck


GDX Travel
Bogotá, Colombia
Winner of the Tourism Tech Adventure Colombia: Scaling up

GDX is an online airline consolidator with the most airline content from the Latin America Region. We have the most Low Cost content and we allow and make possible its distribution.  We take all the airlines in the region, put them together in a single tech solution and allow any OTA to access it by a single API connection.
This allows our partners to: 

  1. Centralize their operations in the region in one single solution.
  2. Have a unique virtual interlining in the region. Our software makes combinations between airlines from different categories, airlines that don’t have commercial agreements between them. So this allow our partners to have more and better options for their clients.
  3. Have local prices for every airline that is affiliated with us, at the end of the day, a good tech solution, plus a great service and the best prices is what opur clients are looking for.

Regions of interest: The Americas

 Pitch deck

GoRaymi.com
Quito, Ecuador
Winner of the 2ndUNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure for the Americas: EdTech

Traditional tourism online marketplaces catalog tourism services and get a commission from each sale. Although this is functional for well positioned destinations and large scale tourism industry (rooms and air tickets), however, this business model excludes to an INCREASING WORLD TOURISM MARKET interested in nature, culture, rural tourism and community tourism. As well it excludes:

  • A variety of offers from the smallest tourism actors of a destination, because theirs offers are not attractive for a traditional on line market places.
  • Non – massive tourism offers created by small touristic businesses. 
  • Cultural, religious, cultural and folk festivals from less positioned destinations.

To understand the social impact, we have considered studies that reveal that tourism contributes significantly to achieving the SDGS, and others that reveal that more than 70% of the tourists choose their travel destination through digital media.

This is the reason why by including the offers of small tourism actors for free and efficiently way, in an online marketplace where their less positioned territories are protagonists, SOLVES AN EXCLUSION PROBLEM.

In a post-COVID-19 era, the inclusion of less know destinations or even small destinations in the digital world becomes more urgent. Although OTAS can expose and sell offers from small destinations, the truth is that the processes prior to booking, today more than ever, are essential. The moments of dreaming and planning a tourism experience in a small destination, is the missing piece, now when tourists will demand all kind of information, before booking. Today, more than ever a tourist will demand more and deep information about a destinations instead of simple advertising in a traditional market place.

We are a CITIZEN EMPOWERMENT PROCESS, which facilitates RURAL COMMUNITIES, the necessary work to POSITION THEMSELVES AS A TOURISTIC DESTINATION, through a PROMOTION AND ONLINE MARKETPLACE PLATFORM which, in the form of SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE (SaaS), coordinates the actions of the people and entrepreneurs.

  • OPTIMIZING the collaborative work of these actors
  • PROMOTING small communities unknown until today
  • PROMOTING CONSUMPTION of any offer from local tourism producers
  • SELLING OFFERS ONLINE, that, despite not being massive, it can be sold online
  • GENERATING KNOWLEDGE about the wealth generated by this industry in their territories.

To structure this process, we have added:

  • Subscriptions, for the provision of technology for all the involved actors
  • Collaborative Economy, for the appropriation of technology by local stakeholders.
  • Predicting algorithms (patent pending) that build relationships between what tourists looks for (which is known) and the offer of smaller players (which is not known).  A viable way to bring these two worlds together (promotion).
  • The transformation of territory touristic promotion portals into online marketplaces.
  • Data mining in our platform to build knowledge.

Our business model mix the traditional on line marketplace model with the subscription to a software as a service as key of intelligent and effective promoting added to a methodology of collaborative work to produce contents and to build knowledge in less positioned destinations.

Following this line, we have added special products:

  • Free subscriptions for the generation of contents.
  • Freemium subscriptions for cataloging product offer.
  • Sales Subscriptions for the creation and management of promotion pages.
  • Special subscriptions for the execution of actions of social responsibility by other industries.

Through these products we assure the engagement of all tourism stakeholders: tourism entrepreneurs, Governments, Academic organizations, tourism small actors, volunteers, people of the destinations and even the tourists themselves, showing that union means strength when we want to commercialize a less positioned destination.

In addition, we offer 3 SERVICES that complement the needs of our customers:

  • DESIGN AND PRODUCTION OF CONTENTS
  • DIGITAL ASSETS MANAGEMENT
  • TOURISM MARKETING STRATEGIES DESIGN

Regions of interest: The Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and The Pacific

 Pitch deck


Hotel Data Cloud
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Finalist Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge

Hotels rely on complex distribution networks with hundreds of booking channels to sell their rooms. These channels require detailed descriptive content about the hotels, highlighting their features, amenities, services, and facilities. Distressingly, the content currently available is incomplete and even inaccurate, misleading, and obsolete. This not only leaves customers frustrated and disappointed; Hotels lose bookings and revenue. Misinformation can create substantial reputational damage, requiring recovery efforts (e.g. with room upgrades or compensation) that impact hotels financially.

The inability to efficiently share information is now particularly worrisome: To recover after CODIV-19, hotels urgently need to ease apprehension, offer reassurance, and rebuild the confidence of travelers. Transparently and openly communicating how hotels ensure hygiene, safety and cleanliness is essential.

Hotel Data Cloud (HDC) is a content distribution platform that enables hotels to easily share detailed content and comprehensive information in a standardized, globally consistent format. This reduces manual workload and lets hotels efficiently control the narrative of their listing across all booking channels, improving their discoverability and leading to increased bookings and revenue. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are applied to generate personalized content and smart recommendations.

The platform has been modified to reflect the increased demand for even greater transparency during and after COVID-19: HDC lets hotels communicate how they ensure hygiene, safety, and cleanliness. A special section was developed within the platform, dedicated to comprehensively cover all measures that relate to COVID-19 with over 94 standardized attributes. Hotels can share details on improved hygiene standards, cleaning and housekeeping protocols, staff procedures, social distancing processes and any other policies that hotels introduce to create a safe and healthy experience for their guests.

Given how quickly the situation can change as we learn more about COVID-19 and how to combat it, the HDC platform is designed to allow for quick modification: New attributes can easily be added if there are new insights that lead to the introduction of new safety and hygiene standards and procedures. The platform can be customized in partnership with tourism authorities, to comply with local regulatory standards.

All hotel content and information is distributed by HDC through a freely accessible data feed, which can easily be integrated into travel websites, booking platforms, reservation systems and also governmental systems and platforms. All connected channels are immediately updated, which eliminates the need for hotels to perform redundant manual updates of various extranets. HDC provides access to this information for free.

With up-to-date information and an unrivaled level of detail, travel companies can provide better filtering options and reliably inform their customers, to generate valuable additional bookings for hotels using HDC. This ultimately allow travelers to discover hotels more easily, make smarter booking decisions and arrive well informed without anxiety and uncertainty.

 Pitch deck


Hotelmize
Tel Aviv, Israel
Finalist Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge

Hotelmize is the leading data-based and highly efficient repricing technology that helps hotel distributors, bed banks, wholesalers, and travel agents to increase their profitability by 30% and raise their business standards.

 Pitch deck


iBonus Limited
Hong Kong, China
Top Solution- Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge

COVID19 Digital Prevention System to control the spread of COVID19 while resuming the daily economic activities.

 Pitch deck


Ifarm Agritech
Kenya
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 2 – Zero hunger

By supporting smallholder farmers with capital, agronomy support and access to markets we are aligning with SDG 2 target 3 which states that by 2030 double the agricultural productivity and the incomes of small-scale food producers, particularly women, indigenous peoples through secure and equal access to productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities.

Competitive advantage: Our competitive advantage is not only in our proprietary innovation, but also in the business model. Unlike traditional agricultural finance, our model is not credit driven. We involve ourselves in the farming activity, supporting our farmers with a 360 approach to increase yields and unlock their potential.

Market: We are keen on global impact investors with disposable incomes of atleast $500, majority of whom have travelled to Kenya before or are planning to.

Business model: We make our money through fresh commodity trade from our farmers. This is usually +10% margin between farmgate and offtaking (large buyer) price.

We also finance mechanization and technologies like rice combined harvester and solar irrigation , which we earn profit on sale as well as interest on sustainable asset financing.

Use cases:

  • We encourage investors and organize field trips to the farming communities they have invested in, this way promoting tourism and confidence.
  • Global participation in sustainable agriculture and food security through foreign direct investments.
  • Powering thriving local economies that are essential for domestic tourism.
  • Powering a smart farming revolution that will promote agro-tourism to Kenya and East Africa
  • Structuring food value chains that will enhance traceability, safety and affordability of food items for the tourism sector.

Contact: admin@ifarm360.com

 Pitch deck


Inclusive Society
Asahikawa, Japan
Finalist 1st Sports Tourism Startup Competition

Based on the concept “Inclusive Society”, people with disabilities ourselves work for different missions, such as attracting para-sports competitions and training camps, and organizing other related events, cooperating with local people, schools, companies and various other individuals and organizations. Through those missions, we accumulate the know-hows of the projects and events in order to achieve next goals.

Rather than waiting for someone to remove obstacles in front of us, we ourselves take a lead solve those problems, taking actions and spreading information regarding para-sports, tourism and public transportation in order to achieve an inclusive society.

We provide an opportunity to people with disabilities to obtain a connection with community by going out, participating different events and interacting with other people in society.

Sports exchanges are especially beneficial for children with disabilities. We actively hold para-sports experience classes at elementary schools to let the children learn importance of diversity and cooperation. Holding different kinds and levels of para-sports and related events leads to vitalize the local community as well as to gain recognition of the para-sports.

 Pitch deck

Immersion India
India
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 4 – Quality education

Global awareness in a borderless world is becoming imperative. The ability to possess skills to thrive in a multi-ethnic and diverse world environment will be a key differentiator in the days ahead. Mobility for Business, work, and leisure will only accentuate the need for such skills. We at Immersion India want to be the key drivers for the world to understand INDIA in its true sense. We believe experiential learning programs offered to students will motivate them to be globally aware and responsible. Providing Quality education through travel is our focus and we believe India is ideally positioned to be a learning ground for promoting experiential learning.

Competitive advantage: INDIA is poised to becoming a $5 trillion economy with tourism being a champion service sector that is key to achieving this milestone. With the emphasis on promoting tourism, India could rank within the top 10 in the world tourism index as well as the Global Student mobility Index. Immersion India aims to be at the forefront by capitalizing on being the early entrants and become the leading experiential travel & learning company that designs study-centric programs in India for the global learning community.

Market: Over the years, there has been keen interest amongst the global learning community (both businesses and Academia) to connect with Asia. To a larger extent, the connect has been very unorganized and has met with very limited success. According to an Open Doors report on Key Study Abroad Destinations published in 2019, Asia receives 14% of the student traffic of which only 1.2% prefer India and a high of 6% prefer China.

Business model: Immersion India guides students, corporate executives, faculty & professionals on studycentric, experiential learning programs in urban and rural India. All programs are customizable and tailored as per the learning objectives with a key element of travel experiences.

Use cases:

  • Accommodation at eco-friendly hotels
  • Introducing to green initiatives across the country
  • Showcase innovative solutions from rural India
  • Striving for Zero plastic usage while traveling

Contact: experiences@immersionindia.com

 Pitch deck


Impulse Travel
Colombia
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions

IMPULSE offers tours with a positive impact on travelers and locals. We create, operate, and promote tours that let travelers experience the country from a local and authentic perspective while creating meaningful and inspiring connections with our people.

We are at the intersection of top-notch traveler experience and social impact. Our model has consisted in creating customer-centric experiences that exceed travelers expectations and crafting them in a way that each traveler helps spin the wheels of peacebuilding and collective healing processes at a local level.

We achieve this by identifying grass-roots cultural, productive and artistic initiatives that come from communities that have been affected by violence. We work closely with the leaders of these initiatives to find creative ways to engage them in the tourism value-chain. This way, we foster the connections for social transformation to have an economic engine. One tour at a time.

Competitive advantage: The strength and value of the relationships we have developed on the ground allows us to have privileged access to high-touch experiences and places. Thanks to this we have a very differentiated product, which facilitates a diversified commercialization scheme.

Market: Strong focus on international visitors who visit Colombia. Acquisition: our website, 300+ listings at OTAs, B2B2C international partners. We are also important players in the local ecosystem since some local competitors buy our experiences because of the leveraged access and uniqueness.
Business model: Average tour ticket is $90, and backet-rate 2.4 tour per traveler. Reseller commission is 15% avg. After commission, we split the revenue 3-ways. One for community projects incorporated in the value chain, one ground for operational costs one for Impulse profit. Proportions may vary per product.

Use cases:

  • Market integration for community driven projects
  • Narratives that support collective healing and social transformation
  • Aligning partnerships for the advancement of social investment
  • Creating access to capital for vulnerable populations
  • Fostering empathy and otherness

Contact: info@impulsetravel.co

 Pitch deck


Inturmancha
Albacete, Spain
Finalist of the UNWTO Rural Tourism Competition

Inturmancha is the leading tour operator of Castilla-La Mancha in the field of industrial tourism. It offers the most extensive and varied range of guided tours to factories in our region, highlighting wineries, cheese makers and olive oil producers.

We are experts in the creation of gastronomic routes and agrotourism activities linked to the most representative products of our land, such as Manchego cheese, La Mancha saffron, or Almagro aubergines. We want visitors to learn about the origin of the products of the countryside, to appreciate the work of crop and livestock farmers, and to enjoy tourism in a more responsible, sustainable, and tranquil manner.

We offer tourism plans and activities for families, schools and organized groups travelling to Castilla-La Mancha in search of creative, original and fun experiences—always with personalized, attentive and friendly treatment.

We promote responsible tourism with close ties to the local population, giving added value to their occupations, culture, products and traditions.

We generate wealth in the villages through guided tours to the agri-food industries, and we create more direct contact by the traveller with the local population, with their traditions, crafts, and economy, so they can enjoy a more real and authentic experience.

 Pitch deck

Jiranis Food
Nairobi, Kenya
Winner of the 2nd UNWTO Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition – Social Impact Category

Jiranis food is an online community marketplace for people to list, discover and book local cuisines experiences around Africa.

 Pitch deck


KAI Hotel Solutions (Formerly Yearth)
Singapore, Singapore
Finalist 1st UNWTO Start Up Competition

KAI helps hotels to supercharge the upsell strategy by selling the right experience to the right guests at the right time.

Start by building an entire automated personalized guest journey, KAI empowers hotels to engage with the guests from all channels, not only knowing guests preference, preparing check-in, staying connected with guests, but increasing revenue before arrival.

Artificial Intelligence Big Data Europe, Middle East, Asia and The Pacific

 Pitch deck

 Video

Kind Traveler
Los Angeles, United States of America
Finalist TTA: Chile - 2ndUNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure for the Americas: EdTech

More than 72% of travelers want their travel dollars to positively impact the destinations they visit. However, of those that want to travel sustainably and responsibly, half find it difficult and one-third find it confusing. Furthermore, hotels and tourism boards are challenged and are looking for ways to create sustainable and responsible travel initiatives.

Kind Traveler is the world’s first socially conscious Give + Get hotel booking and sustainable travel media platform that empowers travelers to positively impact local communities and the environment in the destinations they visit. Travelers unlock exclusive hotel rates and perks upon a $10 nightly donation to a vetted local charity that positively impacts the visiting destination, or to a charity of choice. 100% of donations go to charity, creating a triple win.

Travelers can choose to explore a growing collection of more than 120 Kind Hotels and 70 charities in 15 countries on KindTraveler.com. All of Kind Traveler’s charities are aligned with the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development working to fight poverty, advance environmental sustainability and reduce inequality. Travelers can also search for hotels based on their ‘Kindness Factors’ – initiatives in place to advance wellness, sustainability, and community impact. In 2020, Kind Traveler received a Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award and in 2019, was a finalist with both the UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure in Chile and Lufthansa Innovation Hub’s Changemaker Challenge in Germany. Find inspiration to #TravelKindly over on KindTraveler.com.

 Pitch deck

La Perla App
Santa Marta, Colombia
Finalist of the Tourism Tech Adventure Colombia: Scaling up

Problem

In search of the transformation of tourism in Santa Marta and the axis of high-impact entrepreneurship, the Corporation Santa Marta Vital, in 2017 decides to create La Perla App as a technology-bases venture that encompasses the entire offer of accommodation, transportation, gastronomy and of tourist experiences of Santa Marta, with the aim of allowing foreign and national tourists visiting the city to discover and enjoy the cultural, historical and natural wealth that characterizes Colombia’s most diverse destination, which makes clear the great potential of this replicable and desirable model in the development of the orange industry in the city.

 Pitch deck


La Voyageuse
Pessac, France
Finalist of the 2nd UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition

Problem

The insecurity of women is the recurring topic on the media. There are a lot of sexual aggression/ assault cases where women are victims of which makes everybody uncomfortable yet brings a reality to light.

Women today are more audacious, independent and they seek more than ever to try new, authentic and experiences to feel free. Yet, they always fear for their safety.

81% of solo travelers consider safety as the main issue. Many notice that their travels are limited by issues due to the fact that they travel alone, especially when it comes to accommodations. As far as non-solo travelers are concerned, we learnt that 55% of women surveyed dream to travel solo but do not dare to do so.

Furthermore, the market of solo female travelers is on a explosive growth rate. For the three consecutive years, solo female travelers are the big trend of the market: There are more than 138 million in 2017, twice as much as in 2014 and is expected to only grow more in the future.

Yet, there isn’t any safe homestay solution for solo female travelers.

The Solution

Being an experienced solo backpacker and having encountered several safety issues while traveling, Christina Boixière, launched in July 2019 the first safe homestay platform to help women travel solo safely - “La Voyageuse” (la-voyageuse.com) that connects solo female travelers with trustworthy women hosts all over the world.

Innovation

“La Voyageuse” integrates an unique hybrid profile verification system (both automatic and manual checks) to thoroughly verify member profiles in several steps: Initial ID check, individual phone interview and continuous follow-up.

Social Innovation

“La Voyages” targets a niche market with a considerable potential. It’s also the only solution that helps women travel solo, safely and authentically. All hosts are volunteers who welcome travellers home, as friends, making each homestay experience authentic.

Achievement

Recognized as one of the Top 4 innovators in Sustainability by UNWTO in 2020 and double-winner of National eTourisme contest in 2019, “La Voyages” has been mentioned by over 80 medias since its launch. With over 1350 validated hostesses on the platform, 450 travelers, aged 18 to 71, have realized their dreams with us, among which many have traveled solo for the first time.

Ambition

We believe that if we can help more women step out of their comfort zone, we can make this world a better and more harmonious place to live.

We offer a solution that responds to a current and pressing social issue, we promote gender equality: where men can go, woman shall go! 

If for a Western woman, traveling solo is already considered as a courageous act, imagine for those from India or the Middle East? 

“La Voyageuse" will thus be beneficial to the world economy because we will develop this new customer base. The social impact will be even greater when we will be present in countries where women are increasingly seeking for empowerments, especially in countries where women’s rights are limited or non-existent.

“La Voyageuse" is the solution for the tourism of tomorrow, as it promotes sustainable tourism and women’s empowerment around the world.

Regions of interest: The Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and The Pacific

 Pitch deck


LUGGit
Lisbon, Portugal
Finalist 2nd UNWTO Start Up Competition

LUGGit is a platform that works through a mobile app (available in iOS and Android) and allows anyone who travels to request a Keeper in real-time that will collect their luggage, keep it and deliver it at the place and time they choose.

 Pitch deck


Lumitics
Singapore
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production

Lumitics mission is to empower kitchens globally to be more sustainable by tackling their food waste. Lumitics is committed to UN SDG #12 to help kitchens half their food waste by 2030.

Competitive advantage: Superior AI and image recognition capabilities

Market: Global

Business model: Subscription model

Use cases:

  • Lowering food waste in hotels’ buffet restaurants and production kitchen
  • Lowering in-flight food waste for airlines
  • Lowering food waste in airline catering facilities

Contact: raynerloi@lumitics.com

 Pitch deck


Metrica6
Spain
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities

Metrica6 solutions have a positive impact in several SDGs but, if we had to pick one, it might be #11:

  • Related to SDGs 3, 4 and 8: Water efficiency is clearly related to good health and well-being as the most common product for hygiene. The way we offer our solutions is also through advice and training for users, managers and professionals, encouraging equality in opportunities.
  • Related to SDGs 6, 13, 14 and 15: it is obvious that water impacts ecosystems for which every services and activity depends on.
  • Related to SDGs 9, 11 and 12: Metrica6 bets for local industries, innovation and sustainability, promoting awareness in resources consumption and circularity.
  • Finally, related to SDG 17: our team is stronger when more members are committed to the mission. This includes external partnerships with companies and other organizations with whom we share a common philosophy.

Competitive advantage: No competitor has WAISENSE’s IoT modularity and all its functionalities. We do have competition for individual features, like smart irrigation, but we know our advantages, detailed in our benchmarking analyses. There are barriers for potential competitors too: patents, efficiency, applicability…

Market: Metrica6 focuses on two main markets (smart city and smart agro) and its segments (building industry, irrigation –not only for agriculture–, insurance companies, smart consumers, tourism, and related), mainly in the countries where the technology is patented.

Business model: It is a combination of PaaS (product as a service) and traditional. Customers can purchase WAISENSE and its skills directly in a marketplace or wholesaler, as a subscription with a monthly fee, download premium features, renting/leasing, cross-selling, hire services or customizations, etc.

Use cases:

  • Upgrading quality of life in homes.
  • Improving quality of service in businesses and accommodations (hotels, gyms, hair dressers, etc.)
  • Reducing water bills.
  • Saving time (and money) in processes due to its automated and programmable features.
  • Rising environmental awareness in an impactful and rewarding manner.

Contact: eduenas@metrica6.es

 Pitch deck


MyStreetBook
Madrid, Spain
Winner of the UNWTO Rural Tourism Competition – Innovation Category

MyStreetBook is a tourism-focused artificial intelligence system that is intended for public entities (cities, municipalities, localities and regions) as well as private entities. It is an artificial intelligence system applied to tourism to create a detailed, hyper-customized traveller experience, making it possible to discover the destination by creating and recommending smart routes according to their tastes and needs taking into account, among others, variables such as opening hours, transport, fares or accessibility. The pioneering software underlying the system matches user preferences with the resources of the destination and advises the traveller on available offerings, taking into account criteria such as diversity, distribution or sustainability, as it applies a technological ethos promoting actions that respect the local fabric and decreasing the environmental impact of the visitor. MyStreetBook improves tourist interactions, democratizes access to the cultural resources that a destination can offer and enables responsible use of the data necessary for the management of our territories of tourism interest. Based on its contribution to the digital transformation of tourism businesses and bringing the traveller closer to the future. MyStreetBook received this year the Andalusia Tourism Award in its category of Training and Tourism Research and is the winner of the Rural Tourism Competition of the World Tourism Organization in the innovation category.

MyStreetBook helps destinations address four major challenges: (1) attracting new travellers through hyper-customization and diversification of product offerings, (2) boosting the economy by incentivizing, digitizing and promoting shops, gastronomy and local crafts and (3) implementing sustainable systems in the territory through a technological ethos that promotes lowering the footprint of travellers and promoting sustainable actions in the local milieu.

In addition, it offers tourism managers a data analysis tool and reports to get to know their visitors, as well as their flows or movements, in order to adapt or improve their offering.

MyStreetBook technology is able to analyse trends, as well as increase and diversify the tourism offerings of the territory beyond the resources identified by the municipality. This expands the tourism space and the technology makes it possible to attract more target audiences. Moreover, MyStreetBook works in a network of interconnected destinations, that is, it incorporates many destinations organized by localities, regions or provinces. This is one of the most important points, since it is one of the first digital tourism systems that has incorporated extensive rural environments into a national tourism network, where leading destinations can make others more visible through the customized recommendations of the system.

 Pitch deck

Natoure
Mexico City, Mexico
Finalist of the 2ndUNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure for the Americas: EdTech

Natoure is a social enterprise that was born in early 2016 with the mission of "healing nature while traveling"

In this way we have 2 impact working lines:

1. We have an APP/WEB that promotes conservation of natural areas and social inclusion of vulnerable people through sustainable tourism. We count with a fair trade marketplace to connect travelers with local communities hosts and also with natural protected areas managers where every travel helps to protect those natural areas where local communities and indigenous people are the main allies to generate a positive impact.

2. Natoure is also a platform for citizen science and political advocacy, we have generated campaigns with the citizen participation of more than 650,000 people and surpassing 100 million reactions on Social Networks, we were also part of the scientific committee of COP13 and currently we lead the Mexican 2030 Sustainable Tourism Strategy, see: this link

We are committed to transform the way how Protected Areas in Mexico and Latin America are conserved, for this we are revolutionizing with technology the way we travel focused on generating social inclusion, economic equity and the conservation of Natural Protected Areas in Latam.

Not many knows about it, but 1/3 of Climate Change derives from deforestation, in the last 30 years more than 180 million hectares of forest have been lost, which is equivalent to 21 soccer fields per minute. In the same period, Mexico has lost a third of its forests, so as Natoure we boost sustainable tourism in order to revert this. Natoure is travel to conserve Nature.

Right now we are 8 people in the team that combines technology, science and art in order to innovate

 Pitch deck


Nauty 360
Cartagena, Colombia
Finalist of the Tourism Tech Adventure Colombia: Scaling up

The nautical tourism market generates income of thousands of millions of dollars annually in the world, however, it is still considered an undeveloped, irregular, insecure market, with fluctuating prices and unreliable or affordable, even more so in Latin America.

We live on a planet where 70% is water, with millions of people and companies focused on this sector, populations and groups where their only economic income is nautical tourism, and they have not yet found a stable way to show this great potential to clients, who do not know how to reach and purchase these services.

For this reason, we will be restaurateurs and promoters worldwide, the nautical tourism market, supporting the correct exploitation and its growth, centralizing any type of nautical experience in the same place, where each of our suppliers must have the certifications and adequate standards, to be able to access the platform and to guarantee users and travelers a magnificent, safe and reliable experience; becoming that milestone that connects all these providers with users anywhere in the world where these experiences are.

About our Startup

We are a Colombian startup that was born from the idea of connecting through a digital platform of collaborative economy, boat owners (sports boats, sailboats, catamarans, yachts) and operators of any other nautical experience, with travelers in any destination in the world that contains water; Whether for tourism, rest or business.

In addition, we seek to offer much more than boat rental, since users through our platform will be able to acquire services from people or companies that offer diving, fishing, water sports, ecological tourism, hotels on islands or lakes, corporate events, stays on private islands, cruises, exclusive nautical events or any other that may exist in the nautical world or existing body of water in the world.

Through the platform, users will be able to find all kinds of nautical experiences at their destination, book, pay, and after this, rate the experience received by the provider, where the provider may also rate the behavior of the customer during the service, protecting both sides of the business.

Regions of interest: The Americas, Europe

 Pitch deck

Nibi
Colombia
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals

Nibi is a social tech where people and companies can easily find hundreds of social and environmental programs of nonprofits that are working to contribute to different sustainable development goals. With Nibi people can become real changemakers through (i) high impact travel experiences, (ii) volunteer work and (iii) donations. By doing so, they are being rewarded with nibis, virtual points they can exchange for discounts in Nibi’s network of +60 emerging brands that are selling sustainable products and services (socially and environmentally friendly). In this way, Nibi is creating, connecting, and coordinating the interactions of a high impact digital ecosystem (composed by people, companies, nonprofits and sustainable brands) and promoting sustainable consumption habits in the meantime. With this tech-based solution Nibi enables the partnerships the world needs to achieve a sustainable future.

Competitive advantage: Nibi reward people for helping. When they subscribe our nonprofits’ high impact travel experiences, or their volunteer activities, or when they donate, they are rewarded with virtual points they can exchange for discounts in sustainable brands. Our ecosystemic approach, our team and our technology are other of our competitive advantages.

Market: According to a BCG study made about the social sector in Colombia in 2018, this is a 2B USD market size, but it has a huge growth opportunity. The United States’ social sector represents 2.1% of its GDP = 410B USD

Business model: Nibi has 2 main revenue streams: (i) Transaction’s fee, (ii) SaaS plans in a freemium model: monthly subscriptions nonprofits, companies, and sustainable brands pay to enable and improve some features in the platform.

Use cases:

  • Building capacities in our nonprofits so they can use their volunteer experiences as a high impact touristic tool and as a revenue stream for their sustainability
  • Connecting people interested in travel experiences with nonprofits in all Colombia who offer impactful volunteer opportunities so travelers can get to know and transform social and environmental problems when traveling

Contact: nacho@nibi.com.co

 Pitch deck


Opus 12
United States of America
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 13 – Climate Action

Opus 12 has developed a technology that converts carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals and fuels that are identical to and cost-competitive with conventional products. Our device bolts onto any source of CO2 emissions, and using only water and electricity as inputs, converts those emissions into critical chemical products. We can reduce the emissions of the world’s heaviest emitters, while creating a new revenue stream from greenhouse gases that are discarded freely today as waste.

Opus 12 can ultimately address 2-3 billions tons/year CO2, and create a pathway to displace fossil fuels in existing supply chains, while addressing the root of climate change. Opus 12 can transition the world from a fossil fuel-based economy to a CO2-based economy and shift the chemicals, materials, and fuels industries from extractive to circular by recycling CO2 into high-value chemicals and fuels that are conventionally produced from fossil fuels.

Competitive advantage: Opus 12’s technology is the only company modifying existing PEM electrolyzers to convert CO2, significantly reducing our scale-up risk and capital requirements. Our reactor architecture is cheaper, simpler, more scalable, more flexible, and has a longer commercial track record than any competing technology.

Market: At scale, our addressable markets span chemicals, materials, and fuels, a $300 billion petrochemicals sector. Our customer base spans entities with one or more of the following needs: the need to reduce large CO2 emissions, find uses for large scale renewables, or make/use Opus 12 end products.

Business model: Our systems will be installed at customer sites and Opus 12 will earn a recurring revenue stream through licensing. End customers will operate the units themselves, and Opus 12 will monitor the systems remotely.

Use cases:

  • Enable the production of carbon-neutral fuels and products, including electronics, running shoes, sunglasses, automotive parts, and suitcases.
  • Effectively provide a pathway to electrify aviation using molecules as the energy carrier to produce liquid fuels
  • Provide a pathway to displace petroleum in existing supply chains

Contact: info@opus-12.com

Parque Ecológico Mundo Amazónico
Leticia, Colombia
Finalist of the Tourism Tech Adventure Colombia: Scaling up

MUNDO AMAZÓNICO is a family project for the conservation and recovery of formerly eroded land in the Amazon. This reforestation became a collection of living plants that in 2009 incorporated tourism elements as a tool to ensure the economic sustainability of the conservation process. It opened its doors to the public in December 2010 and has already earned national and international recognition. These national and international recognitions attest to our commitment to caring for the environment and preserving the Amazon. Through this ecotourism initiative, we are developing good bio-commerce practices, making sustainable use of native biological resources, demonstrating strategies and productive activities that promote the sustainable use of natural resources in the Colombian Amazon, and generating economic and social benefits to local and indigenous communities.

Regions of interest: The Americas, Europe

 Pitch deck


Pruvo
Haifa, Israel
Finalist of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition

There are 2 main problems with B2B hotel bookings.

  1. Hotel prices tend to change AFTER you book - On average 22 times between the moment you book a hotel until the last free cancellation date.
  2. Most travel companies don’t re-shop hotel reservations after they booked the hotel for their customer

Pruvo is an AI-driven solution that automatically tracks hotel bookings made on any provider, monitors their price 24/7 & helps you increase your profitability by 36% by automatically rebooking those reservations when their net price drops.

In addition, Pruvo not only helps you increase profitability, but ALSO generates for you new hotel sales by reselling your inventory to Pruvo´s hundreds of thousands of end traveler customers.

Regions of interest: The Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and The Pacific

 Pitch deck

 

Questo
Bucharest, Romania
Winner 2nd UNWTO Start Up Competition

Questo is the travel platform and mobile app for contactless, gamified 24/7 city tours. The company travelers and locals discover new places and stories by using our mobile app to follow clues and solve challenges based on their surroundings. Every tour is created by a local storyteller or a tour operator who gets a revenue share for every booking.

THE PROBLEMS QUESTO IS SOLVING:

Problem 1. Expensive tours
The younger generations want budget friendly options when they travel. Tour guides charge on average 75 euros/person in big cities. Questo tours are priced at 3-5 euros/person (20x cheaper)

Problem 2. Regular tours are restrictive.
Travelers seek flexibility and freedom, while regular tours run on tight schedules and in big groups. With Questo, you can play at any hour, alone or with friends and pause the game and resume whenever you like.

Problem 3. Safe tours post covid
Questo provides the safest tours: no human interactions, play anytime, less crowded routes, social distancing.

OUR SOLUTION

Questo is a travel app that takes tourists & locals on city exploration games where they solve clues to discover new places and local stories.

It offers 24/7, year-long experiences for an unlimited number of people simultaneously. No need for a tour guide, only your smartphone.

Each route inside the Questo mobile app is created around a specific theme, which can be inspired by a movie, a book, a historical fact or just a local legend. In London, for instance, travelers can explore the city as Sherlock Holmes or Isaac Newton, while in Paris they can play as Hemingway or Picasso.

 Pitch deck


Road.Travel
London, United Kingdom / Moscow, Russia
Finalist 2nd UNWTO Global Startup Competition

Road.Travel is an all-in-one solution for creating and publishing curated routes with storytelling, booking capabilities and an industry-unique budget optimizer. We make car travels as simple as holiday packages, and Road.Travel is the first-ever technological platform to introduce road trip packages.

Our technology enables tourism authorities, destination management companies and travel service providers to take immediate steps in the months following the global lockdown to promote Covid-19 safe trips.

We're offering a solution for tourist destinations (DMOs, tourism boards, etc.) and travel service providers (airlines, car rental companies, etc.) – domestic car travel packages, with curated routes and hand-picked recommendations from experts and local community activists on how to explore their home regions in a sustainable way with a purpose of education, entertainment, physical activities, etc.

Our platform can easily be integrated into websites and mobile apps of tourist destinations, airlines, etc., as well as used as a standalone solution. Please contact us at partners@road.travel for more information and a live demo.

 Pitch deck


Runnin'City
Lyon, France
Winner of the 1st UNWTO Sports Tourism Startup Competition

The problem

The vast majority of those 400 million runners are casual runners. They find it difficult to motivate themselves in their own city as running is in competition with family time, work & other hobbies. And when runners are travelling, they never know where to go, which discourages many of them. So it is difficult to stay motivated both at home and away.

80% of runners live and work in cities. Runners represent such a large proportion of residents and visitors that cities and their eco-system (hotels, airlines, transport companies, insurance companies, sports shops, race organizers, etc.) have to offer them engaging solutions. Cities fight against each other in a fierce national and international competition for being the most engaging and nicest city to visit, live and work in.

“We bridge the gap between runners and the city’s ecosystem”.

Our solution

Runnin’City (http://runnin.city) is a smartphone app with which runners (and walkers) can discover more than 200 cities around the world. It guides you through the city and comments on the points of interest as you run past them. Runnin’City is a combination of an audio GPS and digital tourist guide available in multiple languages.

We are also now integrating big data to improve customer experience with regard to health and well-being. The most impressive feature being the integration of street-by-street, real-time air quality and allergens data to help users run in the least polluted areas.

Our mission

“Our mission is to give our users a reason to run.”
They will be happier, healthier, more productive & more creative.

Our business model

Our business model is quite simple: The app is free for users.  We provide specific tours and annual running experiences for cities, hotels, transport companies, race organizers, financial companies and more recently, to sponsors.

We recently signed more than 100 contract in Europe, with some world-class references (Air France, Accor, ASICS Europe, Decathlon, the cities of Paris, Lyon, Brussels, Keolis, etc.).

The international press loves us and we have received several innovation prizes world-wide, including an Innovation Award at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in 2019, the prize of the most disruptive start-up in the are of sport and tourism by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and have been elected "European SportsTech of the Year".

Regions of interest: The Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and The Pacific

 Pitch deck


Rutopia
Mexico City, Mexico
Finalist 2nd UNWTO Global Startup Competition

Indigenous communities have everything needed to be great hosts: they have the nature, the culture, the human capital, the organization and even the infrastructure. However, they lack the know-how to design complete and high-quality tourism experiences as well as the tools to access wider international markets.

At rutopia.com We support indigenous community tourism projects in succeeding and creating a positive impact in their community by working with them to improve the creation and distribution of their tourism products and services. Specifically, we help integrate the products and services they offer into a more end-to-end, high-quality bio-cultural tourism experience. We then also help ensure that these experiences are communicated accurately and effectively, and help to manage their bookings.

 Pitch deck


Safety Line
France
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 13 – Climate Action

Paris based Safety Line offers digital solutions that enable airlines and airports to leverage existing data for safer and more efficient operations. The combination of a solid expertise in aviation associated with patented research in data science applications allows Safety Line to offer uniquely innovative and practical solutions, with a focus on better managing risks and reducing fuel and CO2 emissions.

Competitive advantage: The OptiFlight Suite (including OptiClimb, OptiCruise and OptiDescent) is the only predictive in-flight guidance solution allowing airlines to optimize all flight phases including climb thanks to Machine Learning perfomance models for each tail, accurate 4D weather forecasts, and customized recommendations issued to pilots for each flight.
Market: OptiFlight solutions can optimize fuel burn and emissions for any type of commercial jets. OptiFlight is currently in operation with over 857 aircraft operated by 21 airlines, which already represents 3.8% of the global fleet.

Business model: OptiFlight is offered as a SaaS subscription on a per aircraft per month basis.

Use cases:

  • Reducing fuel burn and emissions in the climb-out phase with OptiClimb
  • Reducing fuel burn, emissions and flight time thanks to in-flight shortcuts with OptiDirect
  • Ensuring on-time arrival at best fuel/time ratio with OptiSpeed
  • Reducing fuel burn and emissions thanks to flight level optimisation with OptiLevel
  • Anticipating on most likely approach thanks to OptiDescent

Contact: nora.serin@safety-line.fr

 Pitch deck


Siliconbali
Portugal
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals

Imagine helping Lebanese entrepreneurs to rebuild Beirut after the blast, building solar panels to bring back electricity in the Brazilian Amazon, or mastering the century-old tradition of Portuguese pastries with a chef.

SiliconBali is a global marketplace for immersive experiences hosted by local experts, from artisans, entrepreneurs, to organizations. Our platform lets users deep dive into ideas and issues that shape a particular destination, by joining in an activity that goes beyond tourism. Participate in global topics (like Rebuilding Beirut after the blast), choose one of the 17 SDGs (such as the Zero Hunger project in Rio), or experience unique subcultures (like the Creative Balinese or Lisbon Surfing Culture). We promote a longer (3 Weeks Avg.) and more sustainable way to travel that turns tourists into temporary citizens. We align to SDG#17: Partnership for goals, by working directly with local communities to prioritize their visions, needs and mobilize action towards them.

Competitive advantage: We call it ASAP. As sustainable as possible. As scalable as possible. As soon as possible.

  1. Sustainability: Interactions that positively impact the destination & the World.
  2. Scalability: A tech-enabled marketplace, not a travel agency/ organized trip.
  3. Soon: First-mover advantage to promote sustainable travel at scale.

Market: Thoughtful & conscious global citizens who travel to not only escape and visit, but to engage and build a meaningful connection with the world. They are broken down into these segments:

  1. 1.2B travellers who seek new & more sustainable way to travel.
  2. 1/3 tourists who wants to immerse deeper in a destination.
  3. +70M youths & academic who seek work experiences abroad.
  4. >20% remote workers who plan to travel to another city for a medium-long term stay.
  5. 60% global talent who are exploring career opportunities overseas.

Business model:
Current: Marketplace commission fee.

Future:

  1. B2B: To integrate into hotels and airlines to sell our experiences to guests and passengers that are traveling for the medium-long term.
  2. B2G: To partner with destination & tourism boards to promote a longer and a more authentic way for travellers to visit their city. In a way that doesn’t promote over tourism & restart travel more sustainably by prioritizing the local communities needs.

Contact: sevo@siliconbali.com

 Pitch deck


Sisterwave
Brazil
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 5 – Gender equality

The Sisterwave wants to solve the problem of depriving women of the fundamental freedom of movement and to decrease the fear many women have of traveling by themselves. And to provide more gender equity for women when traveling and offering travel services. According to a research done by YouGov, women are more likely to feel insecure about traveling alone. 76% stated they do not travel alone because they don’t find it safe.

Through our platform, the sisters (this is what we call our community members) can chat with female locals and help each other with tips and information. They can also look for female travel buddies (not focused on dating) and offer travel related services with affordable prices. So, these are powerful tools that allow us to empower women to go further.

All the features we create are made through validation processes with our users. Everything we do is always based on our strong contact with our sisters and their demands. Our focus is user-centered, by using tools of design thinking and customer success.

Competitive advantage: There are some competing platforms around that are also focused on connecting women travelers in a marketplace. However, none of them is a social network, only Sisterwave.
In addition, we have a team with expertise in artificial intelligence and user experience to improve the connection between the sisters.

Market: The number of women traveling alone has been growing in the last few years around the world. In 2017 more than 100 million women traveled alone, and in the last six years, the number of female exclusive tourism companies has grown 230% (Forbes). 45% of the researched travel agents found that Europe is the most popular destination for women (Booking).

Business model: The platform works through a subscription model in which the sister can use the travel services, get in touch with local residents and other travelers and use the virtual experiences without any intermediation fee. They can also negotiate terms and discounts with the hostess, and also make exchanges.

Use cases:
- Empower women to travel with more confidence.
- Income generation for women.
- Decentralization of tourism from large companies to small female entrepreneurs.
- More immersive experience at the destination by connecting with a local resident.
- Promotion of cultural exchange, friendships and connections.

Contact: jussara@sisterwave.com

 Pitch deck


SmartDigitalPlug
Madrid, Spain
Finalist of the UNWTO Rural Tourism Competition

We have put together a platform that enables alternative accommodations and small independent hotels to deliver a digital customer experience that is safer for both, the customer and the property´s employees. It eliminates physical interactions combining 6 digital services that the Property can easily handle from a single one-stop-shop. Once the Property is registered in the SmartDigitalPlug site, all the services can be enabled: Automated Registration using the technology of Checkin, which is already adapted to all touristic compliance regulations across the EU; Automated Guest Access using the technology of STAYmyway; Automated Electricity Saving using the technology of STAYmyway; Certified Professional Cleaning using the technology of Doinn, an online platform that integrates cleaning, linen & towel rental, laundry and final inspection services (once the final customer has checked out); Private Shuttle Services using the technology of Servantrip; Automated Customer Service using a chatbot on WhatsApp or Messenger deploying the technology of Visor.ai; Automated Customer Satisfaction Monitoring deploying the technology of myHotel.

 Pitch deck


SeeVoov
Omer, Israel
Finalist 1st UNWTO Start Up Competition

SeeVoov is a video based trip planner.

We offer our partners an end to end costumer journey that is supported by video.

We use the power of video (increases time on site, increases purchase intent and consumer engagement) and turn viewers into buyers.

We offer several use case scenarios in different stages of the traveler (all as white label solutions):

  • Inspiration (pre travel and pre decision) – video guides to Swiss destinations
  • Planning (post flight booking) – planning your stay in your destination
  • Booking – booking attractions with the platform and increase ancillary revenues
  • In-flight entertainment – enable travelers to explore their destination and plan their stay while they fly.
  • On site – a Swiss white label application offer travelers to navigate in their destination (based on their pre-planned trip) and explore their current location for additional attractions

 Pitch deck

 Video

Seven Clean Seas
Singapore
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 14 – Life below water

Seven Clean Seas (SCS) is an ocean clean up organisation with the goal of removing plastic from the marine environment and working with rural / island communities to prevent plastic from entering the natural environment in the first place.

Using a multi-pronged approach, SCS’ goal is building an ecosystem containing environmental plastic recovery, community level interception, river cleanup and sorting infrastructure. To this end, SCS has developed a high volume, low cost River Plastic Recovery System, employs rural waste management and ocean cleanup crews and is building a MRF in Indonesia.

All activity is funded by the world’s first Ocean Plastic Offsetting solution, helping responsible companies first reduce, then offset their necessary plastic footprint against ocean plastic. The beauty of this solution is that it provides both a mandate and funding to clean the ocean, whilst providing value to the offsetter. It’s a triple win!

Competitive advantage: We are one of the first movers in the market and already have many clients.

Market: When you think of Plastic Offsetting, people usually think products, packaging and supply chain. Whilst these have clear Plastic Footprints which can and should be offset, the solution is much more adaptable and can be applied to travel, events, business operations, services, or even used as a customer reward.

Business model: Companies can offset unavoidable plastic use by investing in projects that tackle plastic pollution. Once the plastic footprint is identified, said company can offset it through the purchase of plastic credits from Seven Clean Seas. A Plastic credit is a certificate for 1,000kg of plastic that has been recovered from the ocean or prevented from entering it in the first place.

The client wins and can achieve Net-Zero Plastic in their products or services and benefit from the PR / Comms / Marketing opportunities as well as the environmental benefit.

Seven Clean Seas wins because we get a mandate and funding to clean the oceans.

Use cases:

  • Providing Employment Opportunities to furloughed or unemployed tourism workers (we employ 22 currently in Indonesia).
  • Providing environmental conservation / cleanup in areas often shared with the tourism industry.
  • Providing waste management solutions to hotels and resorts.

Contact: tom@sevencleanseas.com

 Pitch deck


Smart Tour / Smart Tracking
Brazil Florianópolis
Finalist Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge

Smart Tracking is a Covid-19 contact tracking platform during the disease incubation period. We were able to track establishments and people who had contact with a patient in the 15 days prior covid-19 diagnosis and contact them by email or phone. We don’t use Apps, BLE or GPS. We are in accordance with the General Data Protection Law and we appreciate the individual freedom. Using Smart Tracking is it possible to maintain the local population and visitors safety in the return of economic activities.      

 Pitch deck


SOURCE
United States of America
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 6 – Clean water and sanitation

SOURCE technology makes water and endlessly renewable resource by harvesting pure water vapor from the sky and converting it to clean safe, great -tasting drinking water regardless of geography or socio economic. We support goal M.12

Competitive advantage: our revolutional patented technology is unlike anything available on the market , with no direct competitors. Our robust IP is protected by multiple patents.

Market: Every part of the world is facing water challenges , and SOURCE can solve them. We serve remote communities , bring water to schools, hospitals and cities, support sustainable experiences and empower indigenes communities and women’s and girls

Business model: We sell SOURCE hydropanels directly and through Water Purchases Agreements WPA.

Use cases: We bring clean sustainable produced drinking water to far destinations, we replace the expensive and environmental impact of plastic bottle and trucked water, for eco - tourisms, we delivery sustainable experiences down to wáter

Contact: eduardo.casilda@source.co

 Pitch deck

Soundwalkrs
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Finalist of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure for the Americas

We know we will travel again, but it will require lots of efforts to include physical distancing strategies for safety. As the Travel sector counts its losses and intent to resume activites to plan how to get the sector back up one thing is inevitable: change, and with it the rise of a new type of traveler. As  the sector recovers the industry will have to implement new strategies to increase urgently revenue streams with upsell opportunities, and respond to the demand of the travelers that will be available in early Post Covid travel landscape.

But, what happens when tours and activities are no longer available or limited in a new Post Covid Travel world because it will require physical distancing?
With the increasing need for self-guided tours to provide complementary services to the leisure traveler in a physical distancing manner, Soundwalkrs has pivoted to provide a scalable and rapid solution to help the industry recover.

Soundwalkrs is cloud base service to integrate self guided tours in online reservations.

Through software licensing and delivery model we offer our subscribers a centrally hosted self guided tours for tourism service providers to create new revenue streams and add value to their customers journey in the Post COVID travel landscape that will require physical distancing.

Regions of interest: The Americas, Europe

 Pitch deck


Stay 22
Montreal, Canada
Finalist of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition

Stay22 is a free interactive solution that helps event-goers make better & faster travel decisions. From helping them choose their accommodation between a range of booking platforms such as Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Airbnb, etc; to offering a broad selection of travel services that include restaurants, car rentals, parking and events, Stay22 aims to offer the public a superior booking experience. Working as a map-like widget, it uses events and points of interest to up-sell hotel inventories to targeted users.

Main technology used: Interactive solution
Second most important technology: Big Data

Regions of interest: The Americas, Europe, Asia and The Pacific

 Pitch deck


Swimsol
Austria
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy

SDG 7, “Affordable and Clean Energy”, aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. This is a goal that Swimsol holds dear. Swimsol’s photovoltaic solutions offers green energy at a cheaper price than diesel (a predominant energy source in the Maldives and other Small Island Nations). Harnessing the power of the tropical sun means Swimsol’s solar systems produce a steady supply of renewable energies, allowing its clients to switch off their diesel generators partially or fully during the day. Furthermore, each system is optimally configured to integrate into the pre-existing electrical grid and ensure a reliable and steady supply of energy. By offering several financing options (such as turnkey or power purchasing agreements), Swimsol ensures solar power is affordable and attainable for its clientele – so that SDG 7 can become a reality.

Competitive advantage: Swimsol’s competitive advantage lays in its technical offering and business model. SolarSea is the world’s first solar power plant for the sea which saves valuable land space and provides solar energy at a cheaper price than diesel. Swimsol also offers a zero-investment business model to assure the affordability of clean energy.

Market: Swimsol has installed projects in the Maldives, Indonesia and Malaysia. Currently, Swimsol is expanding its market to include projects in the Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, and Chile. Swimsol technology is appropriate for any coastal area with protected waters.

Business model: Swimsol has a production-based compensation programme. Swimsol secures investment for projects, which are paid-back by turnkey purchases or through power purchasing agreements using a special purpose vehicle. Power purchase agreements involve paying back investment costs by purchasing energy.

Use cases:

  • Lowering energy costs at hotels
  • Providing clean energy alternatives to diesel generators
  • Saving valuable land space by installing PVs at sea
  • Ensuring reliability of grid-energy supply by integrating batteries

Contact: office@swimsol.com

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Tobadaa
Egypt
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities

ToBadaa helped the society by allowing people to earn more cash by doing things they really love, to be independent, we connecting travellers first to tour guides and locals using their own cars to book tours and activities instead of travel agencies, where the locals can find the opportunity to live better.

Competitive advantage: Each of tobadaa guide has his own profile, create his tours and also to set the prices.

Market: $188B USD, tours and activities.

Business model: Commission based, future subscription fee.

Use cases:

  • Minimizing the cost of each tour.
  • Avoiding the hidden fee and extra commissions.
  • People see who they will meet.
  • No hidden fee.
  • Cutting from the profit to help children hospitals. in achieving profitability.

Contact: info@tobadaa.com

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Travaxy – accessible travel
Israel
Winner of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition
Category: SDG 10 – Reduced inequalities

Travaxy enables offline/online travel agencies and travel APIs to get the most accurate services for travelers with disabilities and senior travelers who need assistance by disability type and needs, ensuring a worry-free holiday. Our airline notification and accommodation offers happen in seconds, instead of hours and sometimes days. The best thing about it is that B2B partners don’t need to disconnect from their service providers (hotel and flight APIs ). We have a middle layer API to a fast and easy to integrate solution, making them disability experts! B2B travel partners save time, money, and most importantly, get happy and returning customers.

Travaxy offers three unique APIs:

  1. Airline assistance notification - Providing airlines with all the accurate disability information about the passenger, the type of assistance needed, and the equipment and documentation. We notify the airline 48 hours before the passengers’ arrival, so the travel agent/traveler won’t have to do it by themselves.
    • Airline service is worldwide.
    • Option to get this service as a Saas.
  2. Hotel offers: Travel B2B customers stay with their existing booking process.
    Travaxy integrates as a middle solution in the process. There is no need to change providers to get our services. Hotel offer by disability type and sub filters for specific requirements - Disability type: Mobility impaired, visually impaired, hearing impaired, older travelers in need of assistance. (Travaxy offers a different set of hotels for a different type of disabilities) Sub-categories: Ex. From the bed’s height, have a lift to get inside the Pool, a hearing Kit, and more than 90 accessibility parameters.
  3. Travaxy generates a certificate for each hotel we provide. That way, travel agents/travelers can precisely see the hotel’s public and room areas and know the hotel’s different amenities and measures. Travel agents become accessibility travel experts!
  4. Travaxy API tells the existing hotel API provider which hotels to present by the disability type and needs.

Competitive advantage: Travaxy is the only company worldwide that tackles this problem from a different angle, instead of us being disabled travel agents for people with disabilities, we make the travel experts - accessibility experts by giving them the knowledge they need to close the deal in seconds instead of hours and with zero mistakes.

Market: We’re talking about the biggest and fastest growing minority in the world, 1.2 billion people in the world are disabled. 600 million out of them lives in developed countries and 70% of them travel between 2 to 4 times more than the usual traveler before COVID-19. The booking the planning and the at destination stay are estimated in more than $200 billion every year before COVID-19.

Business model: We have two options of business model, one is a retainer based connection, we also have an option to pay by usage without a retainer fee.

Use cases: Our solution saves time by helping and choosing the right accommodation for the specific disability type, one or more, and also filters by subcategories for better precision, and offered this service in seconds instead of hours of searches.

We also save time on airline notification, travel agents are required to provide information to the airlines about travelers with specific needs and the equipment that they are flying with. We are providing that Service in a simple API/Saas calls and save two / three hours for the travel agents and by that save money for the organization.

Contact: lioz@travaxy.com

 Pitch deck


TravelMeetEat
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Finalist of the 1st Tourism Tech Adventure for the Americas

TravelMeetEat is the world’s first friend-finding app for travel-foodies. We’re an online community where members can safely match, connect and share with travel-foodies worldwide and then break bread together in real life.

Millennials will account for half of all global leisure and business travel spend by 2020. They crave authentic, unique and hyper-personalized food experiences and value a sense of community. However, existing online resources continue to be either too generic and unspecific or solely transactional in nature and hence inauthentic.

TravelMeetEat seeks to disrupt the online travel & food reviews industry by building a community where members can:

Match with like minded travel-foodies based on their unique travel, social and food preferences.

Connect and build enduring travel-foodie friendships by sharing travel & food recommendations.

Share authentic culinary experiences with other travel-foodies at their next travel destination and dine as locals do.

 Pitch deck


Tripxio (Formely Roundbob.com)
Kampala, Uganda
Winner of the UNWTO/NEPAD Tourism Tech Adventure: Promoting African Tourism Innovation

It is difficult and expensive for African tourism operators to digitalize their products inventory and do business online. Achieving this could help increase product visibility, distribution and demand.

Tripxio is a SAAS efficiency suite helping tourism operators cover their front and back-office operations and 3rd party integrations. The platform enables small and medium businesses in the tourism sector to digitalize their operations, package new & existing offers, create e-commerce websites, offer booking pages, distribute to 3rd party platforms, accept payments and efficiently run their businesses.

Regions of interest: Africa

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Valopes
Bogotá, Colombia
Finalist of the Tourism Tech Adventure Colombia: Scaling up

Valopes is a tech company that digitizes the Industrial Metabolism at companies to improve the effectiveness in the use of the natural resources. By providing them all the power of business intelligence applied to sustainability and circular economy.

 Pitch deck


UpperEat
Madrid, Spain
Finalist of the 2nd UNWTO Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition

Startup supporting top-quality restaurants attracting the corporate client, increasing their average price and mid-week traffic, giving the best service while controlling, studying and reducing costs to companies in meal expenses. All this is backed up by a revolutionary technical platform which connects B2B the corporate clients with restaurants.

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Vanwoow
Barcelona, Spain
Winner of the UNWTO Rural Tourism Competition – Social Impact Category

Vanwoow is a collaborative platform dedicated to promoting responsible experiencies in rural enviroments. Our aim is revitalise underpopullated small villages through caravaning tourism.

Small villages offer caravaning travellers exclusive stay overnight places along unique experiences.

And caravaning travellers, in return offer visibility, economic dinamization and the most important thing, people visiting and enjoying places not yet discovered by mass tourism.

 Pitch deck


Visualfy
Valencia, Spain
Winner 2nd UNWTO Global Startup Competition

Visualfy is a company formed by deaf and hearing people that creates technology for deaf people and institutions committed to accessibility, with the objective of closing the gap deaf people have to face in their daily life in different areas. We have created an artificial intelligence algorithm able recognize relevant sounds and translate them into visual and sensory alerts, so deaf people can be notified directly and at the same time of hearing people about important information they must react to.

Our system is patented in 44 countries and has been developed with an investment of 1,3 millions of R+D from a European H2020 program and 1.2 millions of private funds. It translates important sounds -such as a fire alarm, a baby crying or an alarm clock- into visual and sensory alerts on any connected device, both public -intelligent lighting of the building- or private -mobile or smart band-. We add indoor geo-positioning technology to assist evacuation in case of emergency.

We have two main business lines:

  • Visualfy Places is a portfolio of technological solutions for the accessibility of public and private spaces, to guarantee compliance with accessibility legislation on inclusion and equal access to services and products, allowing people with hearing loss equal opportunities. It includes technological (artificial Intelligence and geo-positioning)  and communication solutions (magnetic loops and real-time sign language video interpretation). 
  • Visualfy Home is a home sound recognition system that listens for the user and translates sounds such as the doorbell, the fire alarm or a baby crying into customizable light colour alerts on smart devices. For example, the user can make the smartphone light up in green if the doorbell sounds, the smartphone and smartwatch in yellow if the baby is crying, or the smart bulbs in red if the fire alarm sounds.  

We have been working with the deaf community for the last 10 years, and deaf people are part of all our value chain: as investors, advisors, part of the managing board, team and users. Our team is made up of 17 deaf and hearing people from different fields (artificial intelligence, development, marketing, commercial, customer service…) who work every day to make the company’s vision a reality: that hearing loss does not stop anyone’s dreams or personal and professional development.

Sign language is one of the languages spoken at our offices, along with Spanish and English. We produce every communication material in sign language and with subtitles and have a team devoted to this task.

We are a social impact company and our business model is driven by social key performance indicators (kpi's), audited by Bcorp. Achieving a productive, sustainable business is our means to grow our impact. We have been recognized as Best for the World 2018 and 2019 in the Customers Category by the international social impact movement Bcorp.  We proudly contribute to Sustainable Development Goal n. 10: Reduce Inequalities.

As for the background, the company was established in 2011 by Manel Alcaide and Ángel Albiach, and from very early on had a close relationship with the deaf community. In 2014, they created a free app for mobile accessibility, that was downloaded in 122 countries by thousands of people in a few weeks, which uncovered a necessity and the possibilities of economic and social impact that the development of solutions for hearing accessibility could have, prompting them to take a step further.

 Pitch deck

Wheel the World
Berkeley, United States
Santiago, Chile
Winner of the 2ndUNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure for the Americas: EdTech

There are one billion people who have a disability and two billion directly related to them. All of them have different accessibility needs and face multiple problems when they travel.

Wheel the World is a social startup with the purpose of empowering people with disabilities to explore the world without limits!

Through gowheeltheworld.com people can find and book accessible travel experiences including places to stay and things to do with the accessibility they need in the most amazing destinations of the world.                                                    

By mapping detailed accessibility of travel partners (hotels and tour operators), and organizing their relevant information into our systems, Wheel the World provides accurate information and confidence to travelers with disabilities when booking a trip through the platform.  Users profiles detail their accessibility needs, search for destinations and look for travel products with all the specific accessibility information about them.  Once booked the service, automated emails and system integrations Wheel the World provides all information to the hotel/ tour operator required to satisfy the traveler’s needs.

Wheel the World was part of several accelerator programs such as Booking Booster Booking.com’ sustainable accelerator program, Google Launchpad, and Facebook Community Leadership Program.

Regions of interest: The Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and The Pacific

 Pitch deck