Startup Open, a featured event of Global Entrepreneurship Week, is a global competition to identify and recognize startup companies founded between GEW 2013 and GEW 2014. It is open to any entrepreneurs who have just started, or are about to start, a new venture and have a “startup moment” between November 25, 2013, and November 16, 2014.

What is a startup moment? A startup moment can be when a business is incorporated; doors open for business; a first sale is completed; outside funding is secured; or something else that can be interpreted as the company is “open for business.”

Startup Open will announce and recognize the global ‘GEW 50’ – 50 of the most promising ventures from around the world, which will be selected by a range of criteria including strength of concept, growth projections, and knowledge of the market. Those 50 companies will then compete for a handful of prizes with the winners announced during Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 17-23, 2014.

Applicants will have from January 1 until September 16 to submit their startup. On October 15, the GEW 50 will be announced. Those companies will have until October 18 to review the judges’ comments and tweak their applications. The final round of judges will tally their scores and announce the winners during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014.



  • All applications must be submitted in English.
  • Applications will be accepted from January 1, 2013, until September 16, 2014.
  • Applications will only be accepted online through the iStart platform or through an officially approved National Competition.
  • It is not required that a startup be incorporated, but a company cannot be incorporated over 18 months to compete.


  • The GEW 50 and the winners will be selected by a panel of judges who are looking at a range of criteria including strength of concept, growth projections, and knowledge of the market.
  • There will be two rounds of judging.
  • Each judge’s score is weighed equally.


  • Prizes are nontransferable.
  • Prizes must be accepted as awarded.


  • This contest is subject to all federal, state and municipal laws.