UNWTO launches competition for women in tech startups
UNWTO has launched a new startup competition to support women entrepreneurs and technology innovators in tourism in the Middle East.
Announced at Biban 2023, Saudi Arabia's largest SME congress, the Women in Tech Startup Competition: Middle East will further UNWTO's work to make tourism a pillar of women's empowerment. The initiative offers innovators the opportunity to compete for greater empowerment and visibility. Finalists in each category will join the UNWTO Innovation Network, giving them access to UNWTO's network of Member States, mentoring programmes and UNWTO fellowship opportunities.
Tourism startups are also leading the way in the advancement of women's empowerment, in the Middle East and around the world, and UNWTO is delighted to support the region's best innovators and digital entrepreneurs".
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: "Tourism startups have the power and agility to transform the sector in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Tourism startups are also leading the way in advancing women's empowerment, in the Middle East and around the world, and UNWTO is delighted to support the best innovators and digital entrepreneurs in the region".
Who can apply?
Startups owned, led or managed by women residing in one of the following countries: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.
Startups in ideation, early stage or series A with an idea or minimum viable product that is ready to be developed and funded.
Startups that have a full-time team, a proven pilot and a business plan.
Startups that are scalable and have international growth potential.
Startups must also belong to at least one of the following categories:
Social impact: startups focused on technology in relation to wellbeing, health, urban development, rural development, sustainability and education and that have a cross-cutting impact on tourism.
Tourism and travel experience: startups focused on the food and beverage, transport and accommodation, travel and retail sectors.
Future technology: startups using fintech, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality, cryptocurrencies, the internet of things, blockchain technology, digital twins and the metaverse.
Events and community: startups focused on social and messaging platforms, e-sports and gaming platforms, community-based apps, event-related platforms and educational technology.
The deadline for submissions is the end of July 2023 and the winners will be announced at the Tourism Tech Adventure (TTA) to be held on World Tourism Day, 27 September, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.