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Global Startup Battle (GSB), the largest startup competition in the world, is coming to a city near you. With over 15,000 participants last year from over 40 countries, the buzz for this year’s event is building.

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As you prepare for 2014’s Battle, we asked a few of last year’s winners what it takes to master this global competition.

Meet Mayer Elharar, CEO and Co-Founder of Toronto-based Pawly, a company that created an interactive pet toy for on-the-go animal owners – and last year’s Grand Champion sponsored by Google For Entrepreneurs.

Pawly’s team took an innovative product idea and enlisted the help of strangers on the streets to beat nearly 1,000 startups worldwide. As 2013 champions, they received 20K in funding, visitation to Google headquarters, entrepreneur-celebrity Google+ hangout, press coverage and support.

1-year-later, Pawly’s software continues to develop and push boundaries in consumer robotics. It’s currently being funded on Indegogo with a goal of 80K.

Global Startup Battle, Pawly, Startup Weekend

Global Startup Battle, Pawly, Startup Weekend

We all want to win the greatest battle entrepreneurs have ever known. Where one proves themselves as the master of all things startup. Here are some strategic tips to get your team ready. Oh, haven’t signed up? 

Mayer shares his advice for earning the win this year.

1. Work your ass off.

Each of you can be the next winner of Global Startup Battle. Yes, that’s right. I wouldn’t have believed it then, but we won!

You have to work, though. Hard. One day you’re losing the Battle, the next day you’re on top. Keep at it until the final day. After all the hard work, you will win. GSB is great preparation for startup life – lots of ups and downs. Remember the goal and work harder the next day. If you win, you’ll get the chance of a lifetime.

2. Talk to strangers.

An important thing to understand is market validity – are people interested in your product? Will they buy it?

To win GSB, we had to be analyzed by a panel of industry experts. Only the top 15 teams had that opportunity. To be in the top 15, we needed as many votes as possible. You simply can’t get all those votes sitting at your computer.

So we went to the streets. We talked to strangers about our product.

The feedback we received was amazing. We got the same reaction: when can I buy a Pawly? This got us the votes we needed. It also taught us more about pet owners’ needs. GSB is the best competition for any startup. We learned a lot!

3. Be prepared to quit your day job.

Once you win, get ready to quit your other job!

The Battle pushed us forward to achieve unimaginable things. The media attention we received was phenomenal. We almost felt famous. The push we got was enough to take us from concept to a company.

Since GSB, we have been accepted into the Digital Media Zone, a startup incubator. We are also launching an Indiegogo campaign next month. We can’t wait to share Pawly with the rest of the world. Winning GSB has given us the power make this a reality.

Sean Min, Marketing Analyst (left) and Mayer Elharar, CEO and Co-Founder (right)


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CaroleLundgren