Sponsored by the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization, the Chilean Ministry of Economy, Promotion and Tourism, as well as the Chilean National Service of Tourism, the event went from July 9 to 10 in Santiago.
Considering that Chile was named the global leader of adventure tourism for the fifth time at the recent 26th annual World Travel Awards in La Paz, Bolivia, it makes sense why the country hosted it own gathering. Aligned with this, the forum sought to merge education and technology into the national tourism industry.
Over the course of two days, participants connected with actors from the education, innovation and tourism ecosystems. This included startups, academics, corporations, investors, accelerators, incubators, public organizations, as well as government entities.
For startups, much of the focus revolved around helping companies scale and expand internationally all while solidifying new business opportunities. Some of this involved potential investments for disruptive solutions, venture capital, in addition to corporate financing.
Featured in our market map of Latin American startups developing solutions for people with disabilities, Wheel the World is an adventure tourism startup offering unique getaways for the handicapped.
Executive Director Sofia Bravo accepted the reward on behalf of the company after presenting to investors and fellow entrepreneurs. According to reports, the winning startup will collaborate with traditional as well as venture investors.
The origins of Wheel the World began in tragedy but turned into an opportunity. Founder Álvaro Silberstein became quadriplegic after a major car accident when he was 18 years old. Through the trials and tribulations, he created the company with his friend Camilo Navarro and collaborators in 2016.
Today, participants can select various activities, ranging from trekking, kayaking, scuba diving, and adapted surfing. Over 700 people with disabilities have participated with Wheel the World and its excursions.
Since it’s a Chilean company, Wheel the World offers circuits and customized tours to some of the country’s most renowned locations. These include Torres del Paine, Easter Island, Valparaiso, and other riveting places in the Andean country. Internationally, there are also trips to Peru, the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, as well as Tanzania.