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Innovators: Apply for Touristech Startup Fest Pitch your travel startup in Seville at TIS 2023

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Touristech Startup Fest is coming back in October 2023 and aims to convene 400 applications — 40 of the most innovative solutions in travel will pitch in front of investors, VCs, and entrepreneurs from around the world in Seville, Spain.

We talk with Silvia Avilés, Director of Tourism Innovation Summit (TIS), to learn more about why should startups and innovators apply for Touristech Startup Fest 2023.

What is Touristech Startup Fest?

The Touristech Startup Fest is a startup competition that is held in the framework of TIS - Tourism Innovation Summit, the international forum of tourism innovation. The Touristech Startup Fest brings together each year in Seville the most innovative entrepreneurs with projects that can transform the travel and tourism industry through technology and sustainability.

The Touristech Startup Fest plans to convene more than 400 startup applications, from which 40 will be selected to pitch in front of investors, venture capital and leading travel and tourism firms at TIS2023. After the pitch, a jury will select the best projects to be the winners of the Touristech Startup Fest 2023.

What makes Seville an ideal place to showcase tourism innovation?

In recent years, Seville has become a hub of tourism innovation and business development thanks to an approach that combines infrastructure, public and private initiatives, and international events. This strong commitment by Seville to transform such an important industry for the city, as well as for Andalusia and Spain, is an opportunity to unite the tourism sector with the technology industry to offer more job opportunities to a constantly evolving sector. Seville has managed to create an ecosystem that continues to grow in tourism innovation, and proof of this is that Seville has been elected European Capital of Smart Tourism 2023.

What are the key criteria for startups to be chosen to pitch in Seville?

We take into consideration all those projects that have an impact in digitalizing and boosting sustainability in destinations, the hospitality industry, the MICE and Business Travel sector, distribution channels and OTAs, activities and attractions businesses, tourist transport such as airlines, cruises, and in leisure and culture travel. We evaluate the high technological solution and its innovative component, its potential impact on the general economy and society, and its contribution to sustainability.

What are your 3 top tips for startups that want to apply?

👉 Present a clear value proposition and highlight how their product or service solves a problem or meets a need in the travel industry. Also, explain the specific benefits and advantages the solution offers over existing alternatives.

🚀 Demonstrate market potential and show the impact the solutions have on the travel and tourism sector.

🔭 Showcase innovation and explain how that solution leverages cutting-edge technologies, unique business models or disruptive approaches to create a competitive advantage.

What benefits do startups receive if they get chosen to pitch?

Pitching at the Touristech Startup Fest allows entrepreneurs to present their innovative projects or solution in front of an audience of high-profile executives from the travel and tourism industry, investors and venture capital. By participating at the Touristech Startup Fest, they have access to all TIS2023 ecosystem, with countless ways to connect with tourism leaders and potential partners and investors to develop their projects.

Entrepreneurs can also benefit from Seville ecosystem opportunities, such as accelerating programs to boost their startups. Moreover, they will receive a free ticket to attend all conferences of TIS and will be direct candidates in the Tourism Innovation Awards.

Which startups won the competition last year?

Last year, the Touristech Startup Fest rewarded startups with solutions on Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics and Augmented Reality. A total of 11 startups were rewarded with different acceleration, mentoring or training programs to help them scale their business: Hotel Treats, Noytrall, e-Wand, Swap Your Travel, Beder, TOP Tourism Optimizer Platform, Turbosuite, Aguardio, Midnightdeal, Eat INN and Meep me.

What travel tech trends are hot this year?

Web3, Chat GPT and metaverse are cutting-edge technologies this year, but we think that we won’t see real applications in the travel and tourism industry yet. In my opinion, technologies such as AI, 5G & connectivity, business intelligence, data analytics, cybersecurity, virtual and augmented reality or cloud services are going to lead the travel revolution and offer solutions to the current challenges of the tourism sector.

What startup ideas would you like to see apply this year?

Every startup is welcome to participate at the Touristech Startup Fest, but we would like to see very innovative projects, with disruptive solutions that will have an impact on tourism businesses and destinations.

For instance, technologies such as Artificial Intelligence help to offer personalized experiences for each customer, based on their needs. Or the potential of data and business intelligence tools to make better decisions and improve our service. In the end, any innovative solution that contributes to transforming the travel and tourism industry is welcome at the Touristech Startup Fest.

What are the demographics of entrepreneurs that are applying?

The Touristech Startup Fest receives applications from startups from all over the world, although there are a lot from Europe. In the last two editions, except Spain, many startups were from France and UK because these countries were Destinations Partners of the 2021 and 2022 editions, respectively. But we receive also applications from startups from the US, LATAM, Australia, or de Middle East.

What are you most excited about for Touristech Startup Fest in 2023?

At a challenging time for the tourism industry, it is of utmost importance to bring together the entire tourism ecosystem, including companies and public administrations, to develop new ideas that reinvent this sector, one of the most relevant for the national and global economy. We are very happy to contribute to tourism innovation, bringing together at TIS these new disruptive projects with the capacity to transform and reinvent the tourism industry.


👉 Startups and Innovators can apply for Touristech Startup Fest by September 8th (better to apply sooner)

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Founder & CEO, Yugen Earthside

Quick question: Is there any funding for the winners of this or only mentoring & training?

11 months ago
Founder, Tourism Innovation Summit

Dear Hilary,
It usually changes each year because our partners and sponsors of the Touristech Startup Fest are who decide which prize they offer to the winners. And we don't know yet what award they are going to give this year. You can check the rewards of previous editions here: www.tisglobalsummit.com/network-activities/touristech-startup-fest/
Kind regards!

11 months ago
fundraising for travel startups, birding guide, Birding guru

is it possible to join online?

9 months ago
Content & Community Manager, RaizUp

Hi Nick, the final pitching competition happens in person during the Tourism Innovation Summit in Seville, Spain, in October.

9 months ago (edited)
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Innovators: Apply for Touristech Startup Fest

Innovators: Apply for Touristech Startup Fest was posted by Maria Stoyanova in Article , Startup , Travel Tech , Spain , News , Sustainability . Featured on Jun 22, 2023 (11 months ago). Innovators: Apply for Touristech Startup Fest is not rated yet.
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