WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 15, 2012 – In the search to find some of the best and brightest new startups around the world, Global Entrepreneurship Week today announced the “GEW 50” —a list of the 50 most innovative new companies competing in the Startup Open, a competition that recognizes startups with high-growth potential. These elite ventures will now vie for the grand prize—an all-expenses-paid trip to Rio de Janeiro to serve as an official delegate to one of the world’s largest gatherings of startup champions, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, in March 2013.
Selected out of a field of nearly 400 applicants, the GEW 50 represent a range of industry sectors—from cleantech and life sciences to agriculture and transportation—and hail from 17 countries. The 50 were judged on concept, growth projections and knowledge of their industry. Each of the competing startups was required to have a “startup moment” between GEW 2011 and GEW 2012 (Nov. 22, 2011 to Nov. 18, 2012). A “startup moment” is anything that can be interpreted as the company is “open for business,” such as becoming incorporated, completing a first sale or securing outside funding.
“These new startups serve as models and inspirations to aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide who hope to unleash their ideas and start new companies,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. “Young companies need encouragement and recognition at the earliest stages. They are emerging heroes who will eventually generate jobs and economic growth for their communities.”
The 50 will now go through a second round of judging to select the overall winners, which will be announced on Monday, Nov. 12, the opening day of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
In addition to the trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Rio, the grand prize winner will also be featured in a Kauffman Foundation animated “sketchbook” video. Other winners will receive one year of mentoring from successful entrepreneurs, including Redbox founding member Michael DeLazzer, courtesy of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
The 17 countries represented by the GEW 50 are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Ghana, Israel, Liberia, Mexico, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Slovakia and the United States.
For a complete list of the GEW 50, visit startupopen.com/gew50.
Startup Open is organized by Global Entrepreneurship Week and supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Startup Digest and Startup Weekend.
About Global Entrepreneurship Week
During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions around the world inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. In four years, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to 125 countries—empowering nearly 20 million people through 95,000 activities. Powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and sponsored by Dell, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a growing network of 24,000 partner organizations. For more information, visit unleashingideas.org, and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.
About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a founding sponsor of Global Entrepreneurship Week. It is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. For more information, visit kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation on twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.