Startups – newly established business enterprises-are strongholds of innovation, which schew stability for brainstorming to solve innumerable complex problems pertaining to every aspect of living. In order to simplify the often complicated process of garnering the required expertise to set up and manage startups, entrepreneurs frequently avail of the services of Startup Incubators. These businesses provide office space, training and advertising facilities to budding entrepreneurs. Some of them even conduct contests to promote the spirit of innovation and healthy competition which startups represent, and to provide them a platform to highlight their concepts, which they can present to prospective investors and customers.
1776, a Washington DC based Startup Incubator, which organizes an annual competition involving startup companies from across the globe. This competition, known as the Challenge Cup, is hosted by over 50 Incubators around the world. The chief aim of Challenge Cup is to highlight the most innovative of startups, giving them a chance to present their concepts and models, and win cash prizes. The Challenge Cup also provides excellent networking opportunities to entrepreneurs. Startups specializing in the Education, Energy & Sustainability, Health, Cities, Security, Food, Money and Transportation sectors are allowed to participate.
Three categories of finals mark the progress of participating startups: Local, Regional and Global. The Global finals for the 2015-16 edition will be held in June 2016 in Washington DC. The various regional winners, as well as a few wild-card entrants will be allowed to participate in the Global Finals, competing for a cash prize of over $175,000, along with the priceless opportunity to interact with prospective customers, investors and advertisers. The global exposure which it facilitates to startups also promotes brainstorming and the exchange of innovative ideas and concepts. According to past winners, such as last year’s regional winner in the Education Sector, Neeraj Mehta, participation in the Challenge Cup is something which every serious Startup venture should consider.
Extensive Indian participation has always been a key feature of the Challenge Cup. With 3,100 startups, India is home to the third largest number of startups, after the US and the UK. Effective networking opportunities afforded by the likes of the Challenge Cup has attracted as many as 300 venture capital and 225 angel investment deals for Indian Startups. The hugely expanding Indian Startup scenario is only expected to grow in the near future.
Stirring Minds, a prominent Delhi-based Incubator, is hosting the Challenge Cup in the NCR region this year. SM is encouraging Startups to participate in large numbers, and is aggressively promoting the competition on social media. Their efforts seem to have paid off, and Delhi has recorded the largest number of enrolled participants among all global hosts. Stirring Mind’s focus on ensuring networking between India-based Startups and their counterparts in the Silicon Valley is certain to ensure that the Startups participating in the competition under their aegis will have the finest of opportunities to market their ideas.
The 2015-16 edition is likely to see a large number of motivated contestants, and the resulting global exposure and exchange of innovative concepts is likely to be a huge boost for the global Startup scenario, in which lie solutions to the innumerable problems facing mankind today.
45 Cities, 135 Startups, 1 Global Champion. Is your startup the one?
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