Deadline: 1 month prior to the local event | Apply here
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Date: February, 2016
Locations: Kazan, Nairobi, Dubai, San Francisco, Warsaw, Milan, Tokyo, Singapore, New York City, Berlin, London, Tel Aviv

A worldwide tournament for the most promising, world-changing startups to win cash prizes, make international connections and share their vision on a global stage. #1776Challenge cup 2016

Are you a startup with big ambitions to solve a meaningful problem for our world? Pitch-coaching, industry advice, and connecting with the right people to scale in your industry, and  $175,000 in cash and over $1,000,000 in potential investments. Apply if you’re up for the Challenge.

Each year 1776, a global incubator and venture fund, hosts a worldwide tournament called the Challenge Cup.

Together, with our Startup Federation partners, Revolution, the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and over 50 incubator hosts around the world, we’ll discover the most promising, highly scalable startups that are poised to solve the major challenges of our time.

Startups advance through three rounds: Local, Regional and Global Finals.

All of the regional winners and a host of wild cards will be invited to participate in the Challenge Cup Global Finals next June in Washington, D.C. There, they’ll compete for over $1 million in prizes, as well as spend time with the investors, customers, media and other key connections that can help them succeed on a global scale. This year, 1776 has dramatically expanded the Challenge Cup so more startups from more places can participate!


  • Your startup must be working within one of the 1776 core industries:
  1. Cities
  2. Education
  3. Energy
  4. Food
  5. Health
  6. Money
  7. Security
  8. Transportation
  • Your startup must be a for profit business.
  • Your business must be a scalable product or service and in-market. (MVP or pilots are fine, but must fundamentally be beyond “idea stage”)
  • Your startup must be under $2.5MM USD in venture funding at time of application
  • Your startup must have less than 2.5MM USD in revenue booked to date
  • No proof of regional affiliation needed. (If you’re in Miami, but want to compete in Dublin, go for it).

The Competition


  • Each competing startup will present a 2-minute pitch of their business and then judges will have 1 minute of Q&A for each startup.
  • 3 winning startups receive flights and hotel to the Regional level.


  • Each competing startup will receive multiple pitch coaching sessions, introductions to industry leaders, and direct support from 1776 members before delivering a 2-minute pitch.
  • Each competing startup will present a 2-minute pitch of their business and then judges will have 1 minute of Q&A for each startup.
  • 5 winning startups receive flights and hotel (1) for the weeklong Challenge Cup Global Finals from June 5-11, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Global Finals:

  • Each competing startup will receive a tailored agenda of meetings with potential investors, partners, customers, or experts in their field. This will also include exclusive access to 1776’s full curriculum and mentor network
  • Startups will deliver a 2 minute pitch with 2 minutes of Q&A at the “Industry Semi-final.” 8 winners from those semi-finals will advance to the Global finals, where they will deliver a 4 minute pitch, receive 3 minutes of Judge Q&A, and be eligible for $175,000 in cash prizes and up to $1,000,000 in investment from the 1776 Seed Fund


If your startup is applying directly to a Challenge Cup Regional, the application will close 1 month prior to the competition, and all Competing Startups will be announced 2 weeks before the event.

If your startup is applying directly to a Challenge Cup: Local, applications will close 3 weeks before the event.

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