Global Startup Battle (GSB) is a video pitch contest that allows entrepreneurs spanning the globe to submit a 90-second video for a chance to win a number of awesome prizes. More than 250 cities and nearly 70 countries including Mozambique, Iraq, Nepal and Guam will be taking part in this years’ Global Startup Battle, which starts this Friday Nov. 13th and goes through Nov. 23, just in time for Global Entrepreneurship Week.
GSB is opening the competition to all startups for the first time via the new Open Track (regularly, startups could only be eligible by participating in their city’s Startup Weekend) to increase diversity and access in over 1,000 startup communities. This years’ Global Startup Battle is sponsored by incorporate.com and the Techstars Foundation, which looks to encourage a more equal share of voice and participation in an industry that faces a dramatic lack of diversity. Recently, Mitchell Cuevas, the Senior Marketing Director of Techstars, spoke to the Examiner about the program and his hopes for its future:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): How and when were you inspired to start the Global Startup Battle?
Mitchell Cuevas (M.C.): Global Startup Battle started in 2010 and is now the biggest contest for early stage startup teams. GSB started from within the Startup Weekend community after running with it as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Since, we’ve been inspired to build it into one of the most reliable jumping off-points for young teams that want to be successful and for communities that want to put their startup ecosystem on the map.
M.M.: How, exactly, does this program work?
M.C.: An initiative created by Startup Weekend, Global Startup Battle aims to generate a stronger global community of entrepreneurs through the largest startup competition in the world. During the weekend prior to and following Global Entrepreneurship Week, hundreds of Startup Weekend events are hosted around the world and teams have the opportunity to move forward and compete with one another via a global online video competition. This year, we have over 250 events in 70 countries across the globe. Global Startup Battle enriches the global entrepreneurial community by creating a sense of inclusion between startup teams around the world. There are three major ways to compete:
• By Region: Attend an official Startup Weekend between November 13th and the 23rd, 2015. Eligible events and tickets can be found here. During the weekend you will build a company and pitch to local judges. At this time you can also create a 90 second video pitch to use later. The video should outline your company and why you will be successful. The local judges will determine the Top 3 winners for each event and those 3 teams will be invited to compete in the Regional Battle. The Regional round will be decided by a 50-50 combination of number of votes and a judging panels score for your team. 2 teams will be chosen from each Region based on their final score and they will move on to compete for winner of the Championship Track. Winner of the Global Championship Track will be decided by our final Judges.
• By Themed Tracks: Open to all teams. Regardless of your local placement, your team can submit a video to any of the Themed Tracks you qualify for. Each has a different set of eligibility requirements, so read up on the ones you may want to participate in. Instead of progressing through a Regional and Global round, all teams in each Track enter a main pool and compete for votes to make their way into the Top 15. From the final 15, judges will select the winners.
• New! Open Track: For the first time ever, we’re opening GSB to teams from the general public (outside of GSB 2015 weekends). Launch a startup in the last few months? This is the Track for you! Teams in this Open Track will compete against each other, and not against GSB 2015 weekend teams.
This year’s Global Startup Battle is sponsored by incorporate.com, Techstars Foundation, .CO, Mr. Coffee, Transpose, YouTube, and Branch.io.
M.M.: Generally, what kinds of products and/or services do these startups deal with?
M.C.: With more than 250 cities and nearly 70 countries including Mozambique, Iraq, Nepal and Guam taking part in the 2015 Global Startup Battle, we are seeing a plethora of different startups in a range of industries producing unique products and services to pitch during the competition. Stay up-to-date with the competition (kicking off Friday, November 13) by attending an event in any of these cities, following Global Startup Battle on Twitter and Facebook, or following your favorite participating startup’s social accounts as they garner votes for their videos.
M.M.: Thus far, what has been the most rewarding part of working with the Global Startup Battle?
M.C.: According to Marc Nager, Chief of Community for Techstars: “The most rewarding thing about GSB isn’t just the sheer size (and therefore the number of people it touches), it’s the incredible diversity of people and locations that are gathered around a common cause and working toward their goals in earnest. Knowing that thousands of people anywhere from a mile away to 10,000 miles away are embarking on the same journey as you are at the same time AND will be there to support you going forward is a really empowering experience. Cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic boundaries melt away as passion and innovation take over.”
M.M.: Where do you hope the program will be ten years from now?
M.C.: Global Startup Battle will be the premier startup contest and looked at as one of the best places to start a new company quickly. It will highlight the diversity of startup ecosystems everywhere and be a yearly rallying point for action based innovation.
M.M.: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events that you would like to mention?
M.C.: The 2015 Global Startup Battle kicks on this Friday, November 13th and runs through Monday, November 23rd.
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To learn more about Global Startup Battle, see here.