Travolution and Global Resilience Council partners with USAID to launch start-up competition

Travolution and Global Resilience Council partners with USAID to launch start-up competition

Companies from across Southeastern Europe, Moldova and Ukraine, can apply

Travolution and its sister brand the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council have partnered with USAID to launch a new start-up competition in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The contest which will form part of the Resilience and Innovation Summit on June 6-7, 2024, is in partnership with USAID Developing Sustainable Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Turizam).

It will provide an opportunity for start-ups that are shortlisted to go on to be the finalists, to live pitch in front of a panel of judges.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 provided by Chemonics International to invest in its business and mentorship from an industry professional.

Start-ups from the region of Southeast Europe, including Moldova and Ukraine, must be two years old or less at date of submission and the application to submit nominations is now open. It will close on May 6. 

The competition will take place during the two-day event dedicated to showcasing resilience and innovation in the tourism and travel industry, with a particular focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Southeast Europe region.

This event will see thought leadership from leading global brands including Radisson Hotel Group, AXA Partners, Travelzoo, ITB and Sabre. 

Partners of the event also include data and analytics firm Mabrian, financial services company Trust My Group, global consultancy ICF, and the Minister of Tourism from Jamaica, known for his support of tech start-ups.

Kate Harden-England, editor of Travolution, said: "We're so excited to bring this opportunity to the Balkans and the rest of Southeastern Europe. 

"We do the same competition for more central Europe-based companies every year in October, at our Start-up and Innovation Summit. 

"For a budding business to be recognised for its value and potential success, plays an important in its future success."

She added: "Our previous winners have found it pivotal in conversations with investors and alike to have the backing of Europe's leading B2B travel tech and digital travel publication."

Ibrahim Osta, international tourism development expert and member of the Resilience Council’s Executive Leaders, said: "Catalysing travel tech start-ups in the region is of critical importance to a more vibrant and forward-thinking industry. 

"AI and other technology innovations must be embraced by the tourism sector in order to morph into a more experiential and economically competitive sector. 

From hyper target marketing to AI-enabled commerce, the industry will be transformed rapidly and we need to help the countries in which we work not only embrace these innovations, but also create them."

You can find the agenda and register to participate here.