2016 Startup Open Competition
2016 Startup Open Competition

Startup Open is a global competition that is open to entrepreneurs from any industry with a new business that is yet to raise any outside capital from angel investors, venture capital firms or other formal sources of seed funding.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • YES Stand-up phase when individuals or groups are equipped with the entrepreneurial attitudes and skills to attempt the creation of new company.
  • YES Start-up phase when resources are mobilized and regulatory requirements fulfilled to start a new company.
  • NO Scale-up phase when successful companies expand their businesses to new markets or in innovative ways.
  • NO Exit phase when a business owner or an investor decides to cash out an investment made in the past through trade sale or merger with a larger player in the industry (merger and acquisitions), secondary sales to third parties or initial public offerings (IPOs).

Rules of the Competition

  1. All applications must be submitted in English.
  2. Applications will be accepted from July 1, 2016, until September 30, 2016.
  3. Applications will only be accepted online through the Startup Compete platform or through an officially approved National Competition.
  4. It is not required that a startup be incorporated, but a company cannot be incorporated over 18 months to compete. (That is, the competition is designed for companies that are less than 18 months since incorporation).
  5. You must be starting a for-profit company, or a non-profit that does not rely on grants.
  6. Your startup must be pre-money, no venture funding, at time of application


The winners will be selected by a panel of judges who are looking at a range of criteria including growth potential, passion, creativity, level of idea development, and their pitching skills. Each judge’s score is weighed equally.


One winner of Startup Open receives an all-expense paid trip to Johannesburg, South Africa where they will receive VIP delegate credentials to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March 2017.

In addition to the Grand Prize GEC experience, all 10 finalists gain a spot in GEN Starters Club, with additional chances there to travel to Johannesburg for GEC 2016.

Deadline for submission of entries: September 30, 2016.

To learn more about the application process and the competition, please visit the Startup Open  website.

Good luck as you participate in the competition!

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