The Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) is open for 2020, and is accepting applications from around the world – aiming to expand far beyond the 102,000 contestants from 187 countries who participated in its first year. Building on last year’s success, the program offers a chance to pitch on a global stage for a share of US$1 million in cash prizes plus additional investment opportunities and another US$75 million of in-kind support.
With physical events impossible at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organizers are taking the EWC online with virtual national finals taking place throughout July and August. One hundred entrants will progress to the global finals at the MGF annual gathering in October. Our new digital platform will make EWC 2020 more accessible, more diverse, and more inclusive than ever before.
The EWC is more than just a global pitch competition with a shot of having life-changing prizes. It elevates entrepreneurs from all stages — idea-stage, early-stage, growth-stage or beyond – by providing them with tools and resources to grow their venture. There is also a new social entrepreneurship category for the second edition.
Last year’s 100 finalists pitched their ideas before thousands of people at the EWC Global Finals in Riyadh. The overall winner was NERv Technology from Canada, with an innovative monitoring system for post-operative medical patients. Reflecting on his company’s experience last year, NERv Technology’s COO Amr Abdelgawad said: “Since the EWC, NERv has successfully completed feasibility clinical studies and testing the device on 10 patients. The EWC has generated a tremendous amount of PR coverage for NERv, allowing it to attract clinical partners and investors to continue developing its medical device.”
This year’s program of support is bigger and better. EWC Accelerates is a virtual training and mentorship program that helps entrepreneurs hone their skills and increase their chances of winning their national competitions – as well as those who advance to the Global Finals. Through the EWC platform, participants will have access to an exclusive content library with relevant information to their current stage of the journey, including:
- Pitching and deck creation;
- Customer feedback and product development;
- Team building and company culture.
In 2020, the EWC platform also offers all contestants who complete their applications an access to a wider range of ‘perks’ than last year, with online resources available to an unlimited number of people, provided by partners such as Google Cloud, Hubspot, Stripe and more, up to an estimated non-cash value of US$25,000.
Other innovations for 2020 include a new social entrepreneurship track, new standalone prizes for categories such as ‘best idea’ or ‘best growth’.
The Entrepreneurship World Cup is hosted by the Misk Global Forum, Global Entrepreneurship Network and The Global Education & Leadership Foundation. It is supported by a range of global partners, including GSVlabs, TechCrunch, Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, WebCongress and organizations running EWC National Finals on every continent.
“For the EWC’s second edition in 2020, we want to take last year’s successes and magnify them. ‘Bigger and better’ has been our simple mantra, but in the current circumstances we have now added ‘different’” said Abdulrahman Al-Suhaymi, Misk’s EWC lead. He added: “The virtual platform that we’re developing means that the EWC 2020 will be more accessible, more diverse, and more inclusive than ever before as we target 200,000 startups taking part. Whatever the coronavirus throws at us, our ambition remains undimmed. Because at Misk, we believe that young people are not a problem to be solved, but the world’s greatest problem solvers and now, more than ever, we need to empower their entrepreneurial spirit. The EWC encourages as many young entrepreneurs as possible to get involved.”
“Entrepreneurs are risk takers and industry disruptors, accustomed to facing challenges head on,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Network. “Now more than ever, the world needs more entrepreneurs to unleash their ideas and develop innovative solutions and make the world a better place.”
Shiv Khemka, Executive Chairman of The Global Education & Leadership Foundation said: “EWC is the Champions League for entrepreneurs, the World Cup for the world’s best ideas, bringing the excitement and competition of sports into the world of entrepreneurship. EWC is not only reimagining entrepreneurship, but providing a platform to spur global collaboration to create jobs and solutions for the challenges humanity faces now and in the future.”
The deadline for applications for this year’s edition is August 2, 2020. Up to 25 virtual competitions will be held throughout the summer. The Global Finals will take place at the Misk Global Forum annual gathering in October 2020 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.