Washington, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) officially opened applications for the 2016 Startup Open today to identify, recognize and support promising new startups from around the world.
Now in its seventh year, Startup Open is a global competition that is open to entrepreneurs from any industry with a new business that has yet to raise any outside capital from angel investors, venture capital firms or other formal sources of seed funding.
“The world in which we live has become increasingly virtual as digital advances disrupt traditional industries across all sectors – and on all continents,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Network. “Startup Open helps next generation entrepreneurs realize their full potential and grow to scale.”
The top finalists will automatically gain membership in the GEN Starters Club, a community of talented founders with access to GEN mentors among its network in 160 countries, enhanced exposure and curated networking opportunities at special events around the world. Following a final round of judging, one global winner will receive a free trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, in March 2017, where they will pitch to thousands of delegates from the stage of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.
Finalists will be announced in November during Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 14-20) when millions of people will take part in activities, events and competitions in more than 160 countries. The grand prize winner will be announced in January 2017. Entrepreneurs interested in competing or learning more about Startup Open should visit startupopen.co. Applications are being accepted until September 30, 2016.
Previous winners – which include startups from Croatia, Ghana, Israel, United Kingdom and the United States – have shared a stage with world-reknowned entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and world leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama. They have also been featured by CNBC, CNN, Fast Company, Forbes and more.