In the bustling world of startups, where creativity and innovation reign supreme, our team has made waves by bagging a prestigious award from the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Led by our young female leader, Zeljana Babic, Xenios Academy has captured the hearts of the international tech scene, emerging as one of the four winners in the "Women In Tech" competition, held in Saudi Arabia’s capital city of Riyadh.
Zeljana Babic, CEO of Xenios Academy
This isn't your typical startup success story – we still have a long way to go! But during the last few days of September, Xenios Academy went above and beyond, winning in front of more than 140 other companies from 13 countries to secure its place in the winner's circle. From day one, our mission was clear: to revolutionize education in the hospitality industry. However, a year and a half after we started, we realized that we are now ready to expand to other tourism and travel sub-sectors. And, you know what? We are elated, excited… We actually might be missing the right combination words to describe how we collectively feel at the moment. :) But, guess that's how it has to be.
What's our secret sauce, you may ask? Well, in a nutshell, it's a unique blend of neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and gamification. Imagine learning the ins and outs of your business while having a blast! That's what Xenios Academy brings to the table!
The event was a star-studded affair, attended by delegations from tourism ministries of member countries worldwide, alongside visionary entrepreneurs and numerous government officials.
Our CEO Zeljana Babic couldn't hide her excitement, and who could blame her? "This is not our first major award in global competitions, but it is certainly the biggest and most significant recognition of our work to date. To be recognized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization on the global stage as a promising young company in our first year is a significant acknowledgment of our entire young team," she commented after receiving the award on World Tourism Day in Riyadh.
Our team also had fun outside the competition. We have visited AlUla, a historic place in Saudi Arabia, which stands as an exquisite testament to the legacy of Saudi Arabia’s rich history in which this beautiful country was always a timeless crossroad of ancient civilizations, that has been continuously evolving over centuries. Our COO Marco Corallo had the opportunity to take a tour of The Line, a massive project in Saudi Arabia set to change the future of urban living and redefine the look of future cities and urban landscapes.
The winners of "Women In Tech" competition with UNWTO representatives in AlUla, Saudi Arabia
But this week’s blog post isn't just about awards and accolades; it is also a celebration of women's empowerment in the tech world. On stage, Zeljana was accompanied by three other tremendously successful and inspiring women reshaping the tech industry in the Middle East as the CEOs of their companies: Kirti Chandel from WooHoo, Nouf Alhazmi from Plastus, and Menna Ayad from Fosha. The competition in Riyadh underlined the pivotal roles women play in entrepreneurship and the development of new technologies. This blog post serves as a reminder that diversity and innovation go hand in hand, forging a path toward a brighter future.
And, while we look forward to what could be next in the store for us, we keep pinching ourselves to make sure that what happened in Riyadh wasn’t just a dream but a stark reality of what happens when you work hard and keep your eyes on the goal.