26 startups competed in the North America finals of the world’s largest and most diverse startup pitch competition and support program of its kind
Winners received cash prizes and qualification to the global finals in November to compete for prizes totalling $5m and investment
National finals are taking place around the world throughout the year
Last week, hundreds of investors, corporate executives, entrepreneurs and thought leaders packed the house at GSVlabs’ Silicon Valley and Boston Innovation Centers for the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) national finals. EWC, established by the Misk Global Forum (MGF), and Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), is a global startup competition and support program focused on recruiting and aiding early-stage companies from an applicant pool of over 100,000.
Often times the decision is not whether or not you should use a development partner, but rather who the right development partner is for you and your business. The first thing to think about is what type of model you are going to use. The three most common models are fixed cost, dedicated resource, and hourly.
From hundreds of applicants, 26 companies made it to the National competition - 20 finalists from the US (10 on the East and 10 on the West coast) and 6 from Canada. The winning startup from each group was awarded $25K in non-dilutive funding from GSVlabs, plus a trip to the global EWC Finals this November for a chance to compete for $5M in prizes and investment. Participants pitched to a panel of esteemed judges, representing marquee venture capital firms (Venrock, Silicon Valley Data Capital) and some of the world’s leading universities (HBS, MIT), including West Coast judge Tom Willerer, Partner at Venrock who remarked, “the level of quality among the entrepreneurs at the Entrepreneurship World Cup was off the charts. It made the job of judging both very interesting and very hard! Congratulations to all involved.”
The Entrepreneurship World Cup provided a global platform for builders to connect with each other and share learnings… there's something special that happens when founders get together in Boston in the same room at GSVlabs
- Keith Corso, Founder & CEO - BusRight
One of the finalists in the East Coast competition.
Advancing to the finals are Koniku, an advanced biotech company that creates living machines to detect volatile organic compounds in the air, with the potential to revolutionize global healthcare and security. "The Koniku team had a great time at the EWC organized by GSVlabs. We met a lot of formidable startups and generated a lot of interest amongst the VC's who were in attendance... We are looking forward to Riyadh" said Osh Agabi, Founder & CEO, Koniku. On the East Coast, the title was taken by Tive, a real-time supply chain solution that provides end-to-end visibility and analytics at the asset level during transit, and from Canada by NERv Technology, a health tech company that has developed a sensory platform designed to detect gastrointestinal leaks that can arise after surgical procedures.
The runner-ups were Corumat who create micro-engineered bioplastics with a goal to eliminate billions of pounds of plastic waste, Nineteenth Amendment, a female-founded platform for sustainable, inventory-free retailing, and Retaildeep, computer vision and analytics to supercharge retail in brick and mortar stores. The runner ups were awarded $10K each in non-dilutive funding and because they were so impressed with the quality of their pitches, MISK sponsored their participation in the Global Finals as well. GSVlabs offered all 26 participating finalists a free annual membership to Passport, plus a year of co-working space at both our Silicon Valley and Boston innovation centers.
EWC national finals are continuing around the world, culminating in global finals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in November.
All the startups have shown profound business viability, strong technical acumen, and, most importantly, great potential to leave a footprint of global impact. We have been humbled to see some of the Silicon Valley and Boston ecosystems’ key stakeholders participate in the judging process.
- Abdulrahman Al-Suhaymi, Initiative Manager,
Entrepreneurship World Cup, Misk Global Forum
This is more than just a simple pitch competition.The Entrepreneurship World Cup brings international expertise and support to more than 100,000 individuals in over 170 countries -- helping them take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey, no matter where that may be.
- Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network
In keeping with MGF’s ethos of internationalism, the US events are the latest in a series of national finals taking place in as many as 100 countries ranging from Brazil to Barbados,Colombia to China, India to Indonesia and many, many more. At every event we see proof that wherever young people live and whatever challenges they face, they can create the world-changing companies of tomorrow by harnessing the raw energy, optimism, mastery of technology and collaborative spirit of their generation. They are the greatest natural resource of any country and we stand ready to help unleash it.
- Shaima Hamidaddin, MGF’s Executive Manager
Global Silicon Valley Labs - GSVlabs - is a worldwide innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley with over 6,000 members, 300 startups, 450 investors and 75 enterprise partners in our network. Our mission is to create the world’s premier global innovation platform - empowering entrepreneurs and democratizing innovation around the world. We create powerful network effects by supporting entrepreneurs, accelerating startups and enabling innovation in the world’s largest companies. We catalyse the world’s innovation ecosystem, and through our new digital platform GSV PassportTM connect Silicon Valley to the World and the World to Silicon Valley.
About Misk Global Forum
The Misk Global Forum (MGF) is the flagship international platform of the Misk Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic foundation established by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discover, develop and empower Saudi young people to become active participants in the knowledge economy. Launched in 2016, MGF takes Misk’s mission onto the world stage, helping young people to realize their potential in the future economy and become active global citizens. Through international events, partnerships, and initiatives, MGF brings together emerging and established leaders, innovators, and creators to explore, experience and experiment with ways to meet the challenge of change. Website: http://miskglobalforum.com.
The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates a platform of programs in 170 countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business. By fostering deeper cross border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organizations, GEN works to fuel healthier start and scale ecosystems that create more jobs, educate individuals, accelerate innovation and strengthen economic growth. To learn more, visit genglobal.org.
The Entrepreneurship World Cup empowers entrepreneurs at all levels – from idea stage to scale-up – helping them reach the next stage in their journey by providing them with access to free training and resources, enhancing their visibility and working to connect them to mentors and potential investors. The EWC is the biggest and most diverse startup pitch competition and support program of its kind, featuring 100,000 entrepreneurs from 170 countries, and it offers winners life-changing prizes, including training and resources, networking and connection opportunities, investment, and cash-prizes totalling US$5 million.