The 2015 Challenge Cup for Startups -$650,000 in prizes available.


The Challenge Cup  is a global competition in 16 cities around the world to identify and celebrate the most promising startups tackling the biggest challenges in four categories: educationenergy, health, and cities. The competition features a 2-day accelerator program; an exciting public competition with the most innovative companies in the four categories; and an opportunity to connect with prominent entrepreneurs, investors, customers and partners.

At each competition, up to 40 startups will present their 1 minute pitches, 8 will move on to the 5 minute pitch round and 4 will win a free trip to Washington, D.C. for the Global Finals where there will be over $650,000 in prizes available.

The Challenge Cup Global Finals will be held during the annual Challenge Festival in Washington, D.C. – a week of events focused on innovators from around the world and their transformative solutions to global challenges. The week includes panels, parties, galas, networking opportunities and the culmination of the Challenge Cup – the Global Finals – featuring the top 64 startups globally.

This year’s Challenge Festival will be held during May 2015. Check out the highlights from last year’s Challenge Festival – where almost 10,000 people participated. Whether you’re a startup, investor, corporate partner, policymaker or attendee, we’d love to see you at a Challenge Cup competition in your city or at the Challenge Festival – where you can become part of the startup movement to solve today’s most pressing challenges all around the world.



  • Scaleable product or service
  • Fit within one of the Challenge Cup categories (education, health, energy & cities)
  • Raised less than $1.5 million USD at the time of application
  • Generated less that $3 million USD in revenue at time of application
  • For-profit company



4 startups from each Challenge Cup competition, resulting in 64 winners from around the world, will win the following prizes:

  • TRAVEL: expense-paid (flight and hotel) 1 week trip to Washington, DC for the Global Finals during May 2015 where there will be over $650,000 in prizes available.
  • MENTORSHIP & CONNECTIONS: 5-day program including workshops, galas, roundtables, and private meetings with executives, corporate partners, investors, and entrepreneurs.
  • EXPOSURE:  significant PR & marketing, a dedicated 1776 writer covering all events, coverage through media partners, and distribution through global media channels. Last year, there were over 75 articles written about Challenge Cup and the competitors in global publications.
  • COMMUNITY: ties with growing startups in your industry & others from around the world.


Out of the 64 regional winners, the top 8 will win the following prizes:

  • CASH: 650,000 in total prizes; semifinalists will receive $50,000 in an investment from 1776 and the overall winner of the Challenge Cup will win $150,000 in an investment from 1776.
  • CONNECTIONS: several of the global sponsors will also award the top category winners with invitations and travel expenses for their annual conferences, where startups will be able to meet potential customers, partners, or investors.


Benefits of Competing:

  • 2 day accelerator program (sample schedule here) with mentors, corporate partners, and investors
  • Pitch coaching workshop
  • Get to know other startups and experts in your industry
  • Receive hands-on advice for growing your startup
  • Get exposure through international media channels (see samples articles from last year)
  • Get exposure through 1776 (a dedicated reporter will be at all events – see samples from last year)
  • Pitch in front of VIPs in your community
  • Opportunity to win a free trip to Washington, DC and up to $150,000 in the form of an investment (meet our winners from last year).

Application Deadlines:

  • Washington, DC (October 20-21) Application Deadline: 9/26/2014
  • Chicago (October 28-29) Application Deadline: 10/3/2014
  • Toronto (November 4-5) Application Deadline: 10/10/2014
  • Sydney (November 10-11) Application Deadline: 10/24/2014
  • New York City (November 19-20) Application Deadline: 11/7/2014
  • Tel Aviv (December 3-4) Application Deadline: 11/7/2014
  • Amman (December 8-9) Application Deadline: 11/14/2014
  • Shanghai/Beijing (January, 13-14) Application Deadline: 12/19/2014
  • Nairobi (January 21-22) Application Deadline: 12/26/2014
  • Mumbai (January 26-27) Application Deadline: 1/2/2015
  • Austin (February 3-4) Application Deadline: 1/9/2015
  • Santiago (February 10-11) Application Deadline: 1/16/2015
  • Boston (February 18-19) Application Deadline: 1/23/2015
  • Berlin (February 23-24) Application Deadline: 1/30/2015
  • Dublin (February 26-27) Application Deadline: 1/30/2015
  • San Francisco (March 4-5) Application Deadline: 2/6/2015

Apply Now for the 2015 Challenge Cup





One response to “The 2015 Challenge Cup for Startups -$650,000 in prizes available.”

  1. […] are now accepting Challenge Cup applications through 1776’s UNION network, a digital platform that offers your startup access to […]

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