'GEW 50' Now Compete for Grand Prize Trip to Global Entrepreneurship Congress n Moscow and Three-Month Stay at GEW Startup House in the Kansas City Startup Village
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oct. 15, 2013 – Startups from two dozen countries are being recognized as the best and brightest in the world. Global Entrepreneurship Week today announced the "GEW 50" — a list of the 50 most innovative new companies competing in the Startup Open, a competition that recognizes startups with high-growth potential.
These elite ventures will now vie for a handful of prizes with the winners announced during Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 18-24).
Those recognized hail from 24 countries on six continents and represent a range of industry sectors—from enterprise tech and software innovations to health, life sciences and travel.
"The next generation of entrepreneurs looks increasingly diverse as startup ecosystems around the world strengthen and mature," said Jonathan Ortmans, Kauffman Foundation senior fellow and president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. "The programs and support available to these young companies at the earliest stages—during Global Entrepreneurship Week and throughout the year—are critical to their success and, ultimately, widespread economic growth and job creation."
Startup Open applicants were judged on the concept and growth projections for their businesses as well as their knowledge of their industries.
Each of the competing startups was required to have a "startup moment" between GEW 2012 and GEW 2013 (Nov. 12, 2012 to Nov. 18, 2013).
A "startup moment" is anything that can be interpreted as the company is "open for business," such as becoming incorporated, completing a first sale or securing outside funding.
The GEW 50 will now go through a second round of judging to select the overall winners, which will be announced on Monday, Nov. 18, the opening day of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The Startup Open Grand Prize winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Moscow where they will attend the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in March 2014.
The GEC brings together entrepreneurs, investors, global leaders and startup champions from more than 100 countries to explore the best ways to build and strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems.
As part of the experience, the Startup Open winner will have the opportunity to showcase his or her startup on a global scale and meet with potential collaborators, mentors and others to help the startup grow.
Additionally, one person from the winning startup will have the opportunity to stay for up to three months — rent-free — at the GEW Startup House in the Kansas City Startup Village (KCSV), where he or she will have access to one of the fastest Internet speeds in the world.
KCSV is an entrepreneur-led community of startup enthusiasts and is centered around the Google Fiber "fiberhood" — with speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second — in the hometown of the world's largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
The founder also will network with like-minded entrepreneurs and others active in the burgeoning Kansas City startup community, opening opportunities to collaborate with top thinkers and experience all the KCSV has to offer.
In addition to the Grand Prize GEC Experience, top finishers of the Startup Open will receive a mentorship experience with established entrepreneurs, including Mike Delazzer, founder of Redbox, and others. These mentors will share the knowledge they've gained over the years to help the founders build their businesses and make key connections in their industries.
The countries represented by the 2013 GEW 50 are: Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Canada, Cape Verde, Croatia, Ghana, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, Tanzania, United Kingdom and the United States.
For a complete list of the GEW 50, visit www.startupopen.com/gew50.
Startup Open is organized by Global Entrepreneurship Week and supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Startup Weekend and Dell.
About Global Entrepreneurship Week
During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions around the world inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. In five years, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to 139 countries—building and strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. Powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and sponsored by Dell, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of roughly 10,000 partner organizations. For more information, visit www.unleashingideas.org, and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.