Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash 2014

get in the ring entrepreneur pitch competition

Founded in 2009 by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands, Get in the Ring is a unique, high-impact pitch competition in which ambitious entrepreneurs battle head-to-head to secure growth opportunities, potential clients, and relationships with those who can help them succeed.

Last year, the Kauffman Foundation brought Get in the Ring to the United States for the first time and was thrilled when our American winner went on to be the world champion!

New in 2014 is the opportunity for five American finalists to compete in the North American competition along with five national finalists from Canada and five national finalists from Mexico.

Any entrepreneur meeting the following criteria is eligible to apply for the U.S. competition:

  1. The startup is not more than 5 years old and is based in the United States.
  2. The startup is a scalable and innovative business idea or model.
  3. The entrepreneur must be a United States citizen or be legally present in the United States pursuant to a visa or other document that permits you to work for and operate your business.
  4. The entrepreneur must be able to legally travel to Rotterdam, Netherlands, expense-paid, to participate in the final event on Nov. 21, 2014 (i.e., he or she has a passport or, if he or she is not a United States citizen, has the necessary visa or other paperwork required for citizens from his or her home country to travel to Rotterdam).
  5. The entrepreneur is seeking funding that is available if he or she wins the North American competition and his/her startup is determined to be worthy of funding by the investor judges at the global finals.

Here's how it works:

  • July 1: Online application opens for U.S. startups.
  • Aug. 15: Online application deadline for U.S. startups.
  • Sept. 26: Deadline for 20 U.S. semi-finalists to submit a three-minute video.
  • Oct. 10: Fifteen North American semi-finalists (five each from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico) are announced.
  • Nov. 6: Fifteen North American semi-finalists travel expense-paid to Kansas City, Mo., to compete in the North American semi-final round, narrowing the field down to eight North American finalists.
  • Nov. 7: Eight North American finalists compete in the North American finals.
  • Nov. 21: North American champion competes in global finals in Rotterdam, the Netherlands; travel expenses are provided.

The five U.S. finalists who come to Kansas City will receive presentation coaching, national and international exposure, and networking opportunities with leading entrepreneurship experts.