General Information

The purpose of the competition is to capture particularly the attention of startups and entrepreneurs from across the tourism value chain to facilitate the offering of innovative and smart solutions related the complex challenges the tourism sector is facing. The Resilience & Innovation Summit unites young innovators, startups, digital innovation hubs, science parks, universities, small and medium-sized enterprises, and others from the SEE region in order to catalyze digital innovation and practical business solutions in the field of tourism.

USAID Developing Sustainable Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina are the event organizers for the Resilience & Innovation Summit.


During the competition, our focus extends to, but is not limited to, the following topic:

Innovations: Under this topic, we are seeking travel tech start-ups, oriented to digital innovations, AI-driven entrepreneurial ventures, as well as e-services and digital tools. This topic explores pioneering technologies and strategies reshaping the digital landscape and operational efficiency of tourism-related businesses. From mobile apps, smart room technologies, and virtual concierge services to revenue management systems and reservation platforms, participants are encouraged to present holistic solutions that seamlessly integrate technology for an elevated guest journey and enhanced operational excellence.


We are looking to engage with high potential start-up businesses less than two year's old and less than USD2m funding , with a strong differentiated competitive advantage, recurring revenue streams and the belief that, with the right support, have the potential to scale, rapidly, regionally and internationally.

Applications are only open to candidates from the SEE region, and the digital solutions proposed should tackle a specific need or challenge within any economy, relevant to the given topic. Teams are encouraged to be composed of qualified individuals from various backgrounds including ICT companies, students, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, startup companies, and others.

We encourage eligible applicants to apply if they:

  • Have an innovative, technology-based solution or business model • Possess a sustainable competitive advantage
  • Comprise a motivated and ambitious management team dedicated to innovation
  • Exhibit the capacity and commitment to generate value for shareholders
  • Either have a minimum viable product or a well-prepared idea ready for development and funding
  • Provide evidence of a tested pilot and a comprehensive business plan
  • Operate with a full-time team
  • Prioritize the advancement of digitalization, innovation in environmental preservation, and positive impact on local communities. We welcome various forms of innovation, including new methodologies, processes, governance models, social impact initiatives, and technologies.

Time and location

Application process starts on 27 March 2024 and ends on 10 May 2024 at 12:00 (CET+1). The announcement of the shortlisted selection will be made on May 15, 2024. The Pitching Competition for finalists and Award Ceremony will take place on June 7, 2024, in Sarajevo.

Instructions for applications

All applicants must submit their application documents by 10 May, 2024, 12:00 (CET+1) via the registration form on the website: https://resiliencecouncilevents.com/2024/en/page/resilience-and-innovation-summit. Applications that are not submitted by the deadline, do not adhere to the competition instructions, or are incomplete will be rejected. Each team may submit a maximum of one application for this competition including the following information:

  • General information (Company information, Contact Person Information, In which stage of the development is your idea)
  • In no more than 1000 words (up to 2 pages), please tell us about what/who you are nominating. Please make sure to include the following sections: company profile, objectives, concept, and approach, along with the methodological and operational strategies to address the problem, specifics of the implementation plan, organizational and management framework including short profiles of team members, detailing their relevant knowledge and experience.
  • In no more than 500 words (up to 1 page), please tell us why judges should choose this start-up company to win. Please highlight what's innovative and new about your business.
  • In no more than 500 words (up to 1 page), please provide details of measurable key achievements and evidence of success
  • Could you please specify the level of funding your start-up has received?
  • References for any relevant activities implemented, if available.
  • Please add any supporting materials, if available (including samples or design concepts to illustrate the proposed solution, a video etc)
  • Please accept general Terms & Conditions and agree that your information is stored and processed for the purpose of the event.

Please note that if you are selected as a finalist, the Final event will be held in person in Sarajevo on June 7, 2024.

The Organizer reserves the right to accept or remove participants from the program if they are deemed to act fraudulently, abusively, or contrary to the program's spirit, Organizer’s principles, or applicable laws, third-party rights, and good faith. Participants or related individuals whose actions may harm Organizer’s reputation may also be removed. Such actions do not entitle participants to claim damages. Failure to comply with program requirements will result in exclusion, and Organizer may withhold prizes or exclude non-compliant participants. Organizer’s employees and minors are ineligible. Organizer is not liable for inaccurate participant data, which may result in automatic exclusion and loss of prize entitlement. Participants must complete the online registration form accurately in English; incomplete or inaccurate submissions may be disregarded. Providing true information is essential for participation.

Selection and evaluation process

A panel consisting of business and professionals, specialists in specific digital domains, and organizator’s members will review all eligible applications. The submissions must be original and not previously submitted, published, or utilized. Any applicant found to have violated this rule will face disqualification. All applications meeting the basic technical requirements will undergo evaluation based on the quality of the information submitted through the application.

The decision of the pre-selected projects and the winning project will be made by the jury selected for the occasion. Up to 10 pre-selected project will have the opportunity to attend the final event. The primary goal is to recognize projects that can bring about significant innovation and positive change in the tourism sector. The evaluation will focus on the project's potential to reshape and enhance the tourism industry, considering its global impact, transformative capacity, and the degree of positive influence it can have within the tourism sector.

Only shortlisted applicants will need to submit their presentation decks by Friday 31 May, 2024, or your entry may not be eligible for final judging. Please send your slides to RISarajevo@turizambih.ba.

Finalists chosen for the competition will present their 10 minutes ideas to the jury followed by jury questions. Winner will be determined based on the following criteria: Idea behind business concept and business plan quality, Scalability, Uniqueness, Market potential and competition, Promoted entrepreneur and team, Innovation and Adaptability, Customer Validation and Feedback, Financial Viability and Return on Investment (ROI), Risk Management and Contingency Planning, Pitch and presentation quality on the day.

The results will be announced at the conclusion of the Awards Ceremony. The finalists are obliged to present at the final pitching event in person.

Mentorship programme

The winner of the start-up competition will participate in mentorship sessions led by experienced mentors in their respective fields. The organizer will provide a diverse list of mentors with various backgrounds and expertise.

Jury of the competition

Different members will compose the jury for each phase of the competition, selected from relevant representative institutions.


The winning awards will be determined through jury evaluation and predefined criteria. The winning idea will receive a monetary award along with additional mentoring support and networking opportunity. The winner will finalize an Agreement/Statement with the organizer to formalize their rights and responsibilities. Should the winner of the top awarded idea withdraw from subsequent procedures or be disqualified, the next candidate with the highest score will be considered. The Agreement will outline the procedure for the immediate awarding of the first installment of the prize, with the second installment granted after solution development.


Programme Stage

Timeline (Tentative)

Launch of the competition

27 March 2024

Application deadline

10 May 2024

Shortlisted selection announcement

15 May 2024

Final Pitch and Awards Ceremony

7 June 2024

Industrial and Intellectual Property and Protection of Personal Data

In case the processing of personal data is necessary for the running of the competition, the organizers of the summit assume the following commitments:

  • To use the data communicated solely for the purpose of the competition.
  • To ensure that the persons authorized to process personal data shall undertake to respect confidentiality and that the data will not be communicated to unauthorized third parties.
  • To take all necessary measures to provide a level of security appropriate to the risk that may arise from the processing of personal data and ensure the safety and integrity thereof, as well as to prevent their alteration, loss, accidental or unlawful destruction, treatment, disclosure or unauthorized access.
  • If there is another entity in charge of processing, to impose the same protection obligations established in the applicable regulations.
  • Participants can assert their rights of access, rectification, cancellation, and objection by emailing on RISarajevo@Turizambih.ba, indicating the desired action and providing a copy of their Passport, National Identity Document (DNI), or similar proof of identification.
  • The participant expressly consents, and this through the mere fact of participating in the competition presented herein, that Organizer may use of his/her name in order to make the winning project known to the rest of the participants and without any remuneration being generated in his/her favour.

In submitting their applications, the applicants guarantee that:

  • The projects are the original work of their authors, who have full ownership or disposal rights over them. Participants agree to indemnify the organizers from any liability and hold them harmless against any legal action, claim, or demand related to intellectual property rights or personal data of third parties regarding their submitted projects.
  • If the projects result from the collaboration of multiple participants, they will be treated as collaborative works, and the resulting rights will belong to all participants as co-authors.
  • Participants grant the Organizer permission to publish the project summary on their official websites, allowing visitors to access this information according to the website's terms of use.
  • Participants authorize the Organizer to use the name and title of their project indefinitely for website mentions, related events, and archival purposes associated with the competition.
  • The Organizer does not claim ownership of the information provided or any associated industrial or intellectual property. Participants do not transfer industrial or intellectual property rights derived from the projects to the Organizer.
  • Participants expressly consent to the Organizer using their personal information to share information about events and activities of potential interest.
  • Participants acknowledge the transfer of their data to the Organizer upon the conclusion of the contest.

Final considerations

This programme may be modified, interrupted and/or cancelled if there are justified circumstances that so warrant. Likewise, the Organizer reserves the right to declare all or any of the benefits unawarded, in the event that no submitted project meets the expected quality in the opinion of the decision-making team.

The organizer is not responsible for any possible shortcomings of the platform and problems related to computers, networks or any other reason that may result in lost, damaged or delayed entries.

Acceptance of the terms and conditions

Mere participation in the Competition implies the acceptance of the entire content of these Terms and Conditions. The non-acceptance of any of the points that make up these Terms and Conditions supposes non-participation in the Competition and, in the event of being selected and/or being declared the winner, the automatic waiver of the award.

Governing Law

These Terms and Conditions shall be interpreted in accordance with the general principles of international law, to the exclusion of any specific national law. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions or in relation to them shall be construed as a waiver of the privileges and immunities of the Organizer.

Use of the name, acronym, flag and emblem

Participants shall not use, in any manner whatsoever, the name, acronym, emblem or official seal of Organizer for promotional, commercial or other purposes without the prior written permission of Organizer, which shall be provided at its sole discretion in each case.

Limitation of Liability and Indemnity

Under no circumstances shall Organizer be liable to Participants for any loss, direct, indirect, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages, liability or expense incurred or suffered that is alleged to have resulted from or in connection with the competition. Participants agree to indemnify and shall defend and hold Organizer harmless from any action, claim, loss, damage, liability and/or expense arising from or in connection with this Competition, including, without limitation, any infringement of the intellectual property rights or other rights of any third party with respect to the projects they submit.