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Startup Contest Landscape in Europe

Startup competitions can be very valuable for entrepreneurs, especially at the beginning of their journey. Most of the contests offer substantial prize money or vouchers for supportive services. This can be of high importance to get the product development to the right level and to make first investments in marketing activities. But startup contests offer much more than money:

  • Coaching & mentoring: During the process of contests, startups receive a lot of valuable feedback from coaches or the jury to refine their business. Some contests offer in addition mentoring programs as part of the prize.

  • Market exposure & publicity: There are several contests & awards that were able to build up a high level of awareness and therefore have an extensive media reach. Winning such a competition leads to a high media exposure for the startup. Some of the prizes additionally include a communication campaign with partner organisations in the news and advertising sector.

  • Door opening & network extending: Participating in a contest gives an entrepreneur the opportunity to meet peers from other startups and industry experts. During and after the contest there is plenty of time for fruitful discussions and valuable exchange of thoughts.

Our Overview

To make sure that you don’t miss your opportunity to benefit from the above mentioned advantages, we would like to give you an overview of upcoming startup competitions in Europe:

Germany/Switzerland/Austria

  • The Venture: The Venture offers a new competition format. Instead of applying with an own idea, candidates must select a project out of a repository of technical patents. Afterwards they develop a business case based on this patent. The application deadline is the 15. August. More information...

  • Be.Project: This idea competition is open for students in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The winning team receives 8'000 Euros and one year of consulting service. The next round of application starts in spring 2016. More information...

Switzerland

  • De Vigier-Preis: This competition is for startups with an innovative product or service. The top 5 projects will receive 100’000 CHF each. The application deadline is end of September 2015. More information...

  • Swiss Technology Award: Inventors & Startups can apply for the Swiss Technology Award until the 31. August. It is the leading Award of the Swiss technology sector and the winners will benefit from an advantageous support package. More information...

  • Venture Kick: This is a 3 stage funding model where startups have the possibility to receive up to 130’000 CHF. Every month 8 projects are selected for the first stage to present in front of the jury. More information...

Germany

  • start2grow-Gründungswettbewerb: Business plan competition that consists of five sequential events, starting at the 27. November. There is 37’000 Euros prize money for the top 10 business plans. More information...

  • Senkrechtstarter Gründungswettbewerb: 6 month program to develop ideas into business plans. The top 10 projects are going to receive total prize money of 50’000 Euros. The program starts on the 22. October. More information...

Austria

  • I2b Businessplan Wettbewerb: Prizes with a total value of 160’000 Euros can be won in this business plan contest. The submission deadline is the 18. August. More information...

Netherlands

  • Get in the Ring: The Netherlands: Startup competition with 6 local finals in different cities of the Netherlands and one final round in Rotterdam. More information...