Start-up category


20 selected Start-ups will be shortlisted by a panel of international experts and stakeholders from the gastronomy tourism sector (public and private sector, academia, and civil society)

Validate and test

The 5 finalist startups will have a sponsored trip to pitch their idea to a panel of experts, governments, industry leaders and international investors who will attend the 6th Edition of the World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism to be held in Flanders, Belgium on 1-3 June 2020.

Pitch and connect

The winning startup will have the possibility of presenting on a global platform and increasing the impact together with the support of experts from BCC and UNWTO with a tailor–made support programme in the Culinary Action! Acceleration programme. Participation in the Acceleration will include financial support for travel and accommodation expenses for up to 3.000 Euros.

Accelerate and incubate

The winning company will have the opportunity to design a pilot project with the Basque Culinary Center and implement it with the help of its network.

Implement an international pilot project


How do we evaluate projects?

The projects must be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations and the introduction or adaptation of digital and technological elements, and focused on one (or several) of the following areas:

  1. Destination management or private management of solutions/products/services developed around gastronomy as gastronomic tourism products
  2. Supply-side configuration seeking balance between sustainable development and the profitability of the project, maximizing the positive impacts on the community.
  3. Connection with the market and the user experience in all phases of the trip.
  4. The integration of sustainability in the project´s business plan, specifically the conservation of local ingredients and the relationship between culture, heritage, gastronomy, tourism and economic growth

The projects will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Innovation and disruptiveness

We are looking for startups with a project/product/service proposal that will disrupt the sector by introducing new concepts not yet identified in the gastronomic tourism industry

Potential impact and scalability

We are looking for startups with a sound business model that has the potential for scalability in another environment/market/region making it feasible to increase and grow its social, technological and economic impact.

Initially validated or tested business model

We are looking for startups in growth or seed stages that have tested their idea and have an Minimum Viable Product (MVP) tested in a real market.

Suitable and committed team

We are looking for startups that have an entrepreneurial team suited to the needs and characteristics of the project, with high motivation, interest and commitment to its development.

Partnership Readiness

We are looking for startups that have experience in the co-development of products/services and interest in accessing collaborations with partners in the sector.

Sustainability in the value proposition

We are looking for startups that integrate sustainability into the business model of the project, taking special care of the relationship between culture, heritage, gastronomy, tourism and economic growth.

Technological or digital component

We are looking for startups in which a technological or digital component is embedded in the business model.

Who can apply?