While at a 2009 Startup Weekend in Boston, Organizer Josh Bob witnessed the momentum and excitement instigated by a “Twitter Hashtag Battle” that went on between a few simultaneous events. The next year, at an Organizer Summit, when discussing the effectiveness of the Hashtag Battle, Josh Bob and a group of Organizers came up with the raw, initial concept of “Global Startup Battle.” The Organizers hoped that, eventually, the energy and global aspect of the SW community as captured by the simple Hashtag Battle could be duplicated on a larger scale. Just two years since the original concept, Global Startup Battle is now the largest entrepreneurial competition in the world.
This year’s Global Startup Battle is kicking off Friday, November 9th with events taking place in more than 130 cities during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). Global Startup Battle has the potential to enable thousands of new startups from Kansas City to Croatia and Milwaukee to Ethiopia to be formed worldwide.
“The stakes are higher than ever this year – Global Startup Battle has more than doubled in size from 67 events in 2011,” says Marc Nager, CEO of Startup Weekend. “With registrations at an all-time high, startup communities around the world can expect a surge of founding teams and innovative ideas.”
One week following GEW, beginning Nov. 21, the winning teams from each event will have 24 hours, 15 words and 90 seconds to create a video to pitch their startup. Once all the videos are posted, voting will open up globally allowing anyone around the world to cast their vote for his or her favorite startup, resulting in 15 top teams. Finally, a panel of judges including Brad Feld of the Foundry Group, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque, prominent fund manager Chris Hollod and actress/serial entrepreneur Jesse Draper, will decide which team is left standing. The winning startup team will be announced the first week of December.
Last year’s Global Startup Battle champion, AfterShip, launched a service for e-commerce merchants and buyers that provides live notifications for customers and gives merchants the opportunity to personalize their shipments with up-to-date messages that bolster customer service capabilities.
This year’s victor will receive a prize package worth more than $50,000, including:
● A trip to Rio De Janeiro for Global Entrepreneurship Congress – Sponsored by Global Entrepreneurship Week
● A trip to San Francisco to tour Googleplex and meet with founders, mentors, and investors – Sponsored by Google
● $5,000 in-kind PR Launch Package – Sponsored by Geben Communication
● $5,000 worth of Design Services – Sponsored by Btrax
● $5,000 Incorporation and Legal Package – Sponsored by Cooley LLP.
● $20,000 in Google Cloud Credit – Sponsored by Google
● And more to be announced
There will only be one Global Startup Battle champion, but this year’s GSB events aim to turn out over 1,200 new startups all around the world – a victory that everyone benefits from.