Startup Nauta Morgau Ecoboats wins GFT Sustainability Award for tourism, organized by IESE

Prize awarded during IESE Business Angels Network investment forum on sustainable tourism

Marc Balaguer, CEO and founder of Nauta Morgau Ecoboats, speaks during the investment forum.

March 24, 2022

The startup Nauta Morgau Ecoboats has won the GFT Sustainability Award for its business project focusing on the design, construction and motorization of sustainable boats.

The award, organized by the IESE Business Angels Network and GFT, recognizes entrepreneurial projects within the sustainable tourism industry, helping promote solutions that generate a positive impact through digital technologies and tools. Nauta Morgau, whose boats are made with wood and have engines that reduce CO2 emissions, will receive 10,000 euros.

Marc Balaguer, CEO and founder of Nauta Morgau Ecoboats, thanked IESE and GFT for the award: “Defending the principles of sustainability in business is not easy or cheap. It is motivating to receive this recognition for companies that really have these principles integrated into their core and which form the base of the project itself.”

8 finalists to achieve a more sustainable tourism

Of the more than 30 applications received, 8 finalists were chosen to defend their projects before more than 200 investors from the IESE Business Angels Network, students and industry experts, during a face-to-face event that took place March 22 on IESE´s Madrid campus.

In addition to the winner, the other finalist projects were:

  • Cocircular: uses innovative technology to provide circular waste management for the construction, industrial, renewable energy and retail sectors of shopping centers.
  • Explorins: an app and creative hub for interactive experiences to revitalize cities and provide experiential marketing through local culture.
  • Greemko: a technological solution for intelligent environmental management, allowing the automatic calculation of carbon footprints and the processing of data to help with the preparation of reduction plans.
  • Magonis Electric Boats: a company that designs, manufactures and sells 100% electric recreation boats.
  • Mogu: provides Saas in the form of an app that allows the digitization of the relationship between travel agencies and all their clients, from booking and destination experience to loyalty.
  • Orpheus: a technological solution that helps companies to guarantee a healthy, comfortable and sustainable experience for the occupants of their buildings.
  • Sloowy: a new way to rent and share beach furniture.

Among the members of the jury were senior executives from companies in the sector, including Rául González, CEO of Grupo Barceló, Tomás Franquet Director of Sustainability at Meliá, Mar Muñoz, Tech Innovation Managing Director at Avoris and David Tapias, Head of R&D&i at Fluidra.

“The final has served as a showcase for talent and the enormous capacity for innovation on sustainability issues that exist within our country. Without a doubt, this is a great opportunity for change in this key sector of our economy”, declared Manuel Lavín, CEO of GFT Spain.

For his part, the founder of IESE’s network of Business Angels and Family Offices, Professor Juan Roure, highlighted the importance for the tourism sector to be oriented towards sustainability and environmental awareness, which is increasingly demanded by society as an engine of transformation.

In addition, two round tables were held during the event, “Challenges and the future of tourism in Spain” with Rául González, CEO of Grupo Barceló and Tomás Franquet Director of Sustainability at Meliá, and later “Keys to sustainability in the tourism industry”, which was attended by Daniel Cordeiro, Director of Strategy and Sustainability at Banco Sabadell, Gonzalo Ruiz de Villa, CTO at GFT and Amalia Santallusia, Director of ESG and HR at Fluidra.