International startup competition to hit Cape Town

This is big. Startup World, an international competition organised by The Next Web, is set to hit Cape Town and several other African cities including Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Cairo, Egypt.

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The global competition, which is currently in its first iteration, will see the eventual winner receive around US$320 000 worth of prizes, including a year’s free web hosting, five-million real-time streams per month for one year worth US$30 000 from Echo and three months of incubation from i/o ventures.

Even if you don’t win though, there are benefits in just being accepted to take part in the competition.

Any startup that gets accepted to pitch at a local level will gain media coverage on The Next Web and a “chance to pitch in front of a panel of expert judges”.

Regional winners meanwhile “will get a chance to fly to Silicon Valley and pitch in front of international media and a panel of Silicon Valley influentials plus an organised tour of some of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley”.

According to The Next Web, it “crowd sourced a map of startup hubs around the world”, before eventually settling on the places that stood out. It does add, however, that it plans to expand the competition in later iterations.

Judging by the criteria set by the organisation, it’s looking for young, viable startups, that could really benefit from funding:

  • To enter Startup World, your startup must have been launched within the last 2 years
  • If your startup has received external funding, it can only be funding up to $500K USD
  • You must have a demonstrable product or service
  • You must be prepared to talk about your product and service in public and have it demonstrated and recorded for public broadcast
  • Pitch and application documents must be in English or you must provide a translator
  • The startup can be across any field; clean tech or consumer tech for example, but must be for profit

There are five main judging criteria:

  • How innovative/disruptive the idea is
  • How scalable the technology is
  • How innovative the pitch is
  • Global reach
  • Human impact

Dates for Africa:
Cape Town, South Africa – September 5th
Nairobi, Kenya – September 7th
Kigali, Rwanda – September 12th
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania – September 14th

Anyone wishing to apply can do so on the Startup World website.

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