Australian entrepreneurs have an opportunity to join the top 100 Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) finalists for a share of US$1 million in prizes, US$10 million in in-kind support, and access to global networks. At least 25 candidates from the global top 100 finalists will be fully sponsored to travel and pitch on stage in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia before judges, investors, partners, and industry experts.
The Entrepreneurship World Cup is a pitch competition that provides global exposure to over 400,000 entrepreneurs from 200 countries. With Australia hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in May 2023, the Entrepreneurship World Cup is also our opportunity to represent the diversity, capability, and scale of Australian entrepreneurs.
About the Entrepreneurship World Cup
The EWC is an annual pitch competition delivered by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and a supporting host country to provide entrepreneurs access to networks, investment, awareness, and scale.
Eligibility and Rules for Australian applicants
- There is no entry fee
- Applicant(s) must be legally registered or planning to register in their country of residence.
- Applicant(s) must be less than seven (7) years old as of November 2022.
- Team members must be 18 years old, except if applying to the idea stage category.
- Applications must be entered on platform.entrepreneurshipworldcup.com
Applicants compete within one of the three categories described below. Applications may be re-evaluated into categories through the review process. In addition, applicants in the Growth Stage category may be evaluated as a “hypergrowth” stage to receive a special recognition package.
Idea Stage: Building a team and initial product/prototype
- Does not have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and
- Does not have any revenue, and
- Raising funds to develop an idea, product or concept
Early-Stage: Building a product, establishing product-market fit and early revenue
- Has a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and
- Has not raised Post Series A, or
- Initially commercializing their product/service in one or more target markets, and
- Successfully incorporated/registered their venture
Growth Stage: Scaling customer acquisition and revenue
- Has raised Post Series A, or
- Generating recurring revenues (for the past 3 years) and experiencing solid growth, and
- Showing clear, growing and measurable user/market traction in a large or rapidly expanding market
Prizes on offer
The prizes below are based on the global competition. Additional Australian national prizes specific to applicants based in Australia may be added through the course of the competition.
EWC 2022 Top 100 Awards and Cash Prizes
- The top 100 EWC applicants will be eligible to receive their share of prize packages totalling more than US$10 million of in-kind services and more than US$1 million in prizes.
- The prize packages include EWC 2022 Service Awards for the EWC100 - One hundred (100) awards of in-kind services valued at $100,000 each for the EWC100.
EWC 2022 Global Finalists
- All global finalists (minimum of 25 applicants from the top 100) will receive a full travel scholarship for one (1) Team Member to participate in the EWC Global Finals.
- The Team Member must be the Founder, Co-Founder or CEO, or in special cases on approval the CFO, COO, CTO.
- The scholarship includes a round-trip flight ticket, visa, hotel accommodation, meals, and local transportation.
- Additional co-Founders and/or any other Team Members are welcome to join the EWC Global Finals at their own expense and must RSVP to requests for conference registration or other attendance requirements by stated deadlines as space is limited.
Applicants will be evaluated based on the following initial criteria:
- Traction: How is the company's market traction and organic growth? Is their growth accelerating?
- Customer Validation: Is there evidence that this company is delighting customers, building loyalty and retaining users?
- Value Proposition: Is there a clear product roadmap to increasingly provide excess value to users/customers?
- Differentiation: Does the company have a clearly differentiated and sustainable advantage or claim to fame?
- Exclusivity: Does the team own or have access to the intellectual property of the product or technology proposed for the venture?
- Market Need: Is there a clear market need presented?
- Market Potential: How big can this business get? Are they attacking either a massive addressable market or a small, but rapidly growing market?
- Tailwinds: Is the market opportunity being propelled by technology, economic or cultural tailwinds?
- Market Share: Is the company positioned to be the obvious leader in the market?
- Network Effect: Is the company positioned to benefit from network effects or natural virality?
- Competitive Advantage: Has the team articulated a clear competitive advantage –first mover advantage, network effect, etc.?
Predictability (Business Model): 20%
- Scalability: Is the business model scalable?
- Revenue: Does the company have a business model that generates recurring revenues or a formula that produces predictable operating results?
- Economics: Does the company’s unit economics make sense? How feasible is the company's roadmap towards profitability?
- Growth: How sustainable is their growth rate? What are the underlying assumptions to maintain such a rate?
- Experience: What is the experience and reputation of the Founding Team? Do they have a mix of experience, skills and vision to build a breakthrough company?
- Track Record: What is the team's track record? Does the founding team have experience solving problems and accomplishing things together?
- Talent: Has the company shown its ability to attract and retain top talent (as employees, advisors, etc.)?
Timeline and process
Phase 1: Registration (Close 15 August 2022)
Applicants register on https://platform.entrepreneurshipworldcup.com/. The application process can be expected to take between 30 minutes to two hours depending on your responses to the questions. You can also upload your pitch video and pitch deck. These are optional but recommended to help the judges assess your application.
Phase 2: EWC Accelerates
Once registered, applicants are invited to participate in EWC Accelerates and learn from a series of virtual training opportunities to sharpen their skills (e.g. pitch training). While participation in EWC Accelerates is not a mandatory requirement in countries where there is a National Final for judging and assessment, it is highly encouraged for all entrants.
Phase 3: EWC Australia Qualifiers (16 August to September - date TBC)
Applicants will be assessed against other Australian entrants for initial qualification to advance to the next stage. Assessment will be conducted by a panel of judges made up of leaders in the Australian entrepreneur ecosystem. National finalists will be supported with pitch training and feedback where desired. National winners will be selected, in addition to potential winners of subcategories based on state, sector, or technology as applicable and pending sponsorship. National winners join up to 250-300 contestants globally to advance past the EWC Qualifiers to the EWC Group Stage in Phase 4.
Phase 4: Bootcamp + EWC Group Stage (October)
All EWC Group Stage contestants are invited to participate in a structured virtual bootcamp comprising two or three cohorts organized by Idea Stage, Early Stage and Growth Stage. Teams participate in 90-minute cohort-level workshops and direct one-to-one mentorship sessions designed to explore unique challenges, uncover applicable solutions and refine their pitch and presentation. This phase is mandatory for idea stage startups but optional for early and growth stage startups.
Phase 5: Assessment + Global Finalist Selection (October)
EWC Group Stage contestants are evaluated based on the results of due diligence and other factors tied to the Bootcamp. The top 100 are selected as the “EWC 100” Global Finalists.
Phase 6: Global Finals (November)
The EWC 100 are invited to participate in an intensive preparation bootcamp before competing for prizes including a share of USD $1 million and millions of dollars worth of in-kind services and support. The Global Finals will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. All EWC 100 finalists are invited to participate in the quarterfinals and at least the top 25 will be fully sponsored to travel and pitch on stage before judges, investors, partners, industry experts and young leaders.
Phase 7: Post-EWC Support
The EWC 100 are enrolled in the GEN Starters Club, providing a global peer network, mentorship and other support services to support members after the EWC. Other partners may be engaged to provide post-EWC support.
Your unique opportunity for the EWC in Australia
Australia will host 5,000 delegates at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in May 2023. The Entrepreneurship World Cup provides a unique opportunity to not only support Australian entrepreneurs but also showcase Australian entrepreneurship to the world, create momentum for the focus areas of next year’s GEC, and profile the quality of Australian incubators, investment, and accelerator cohorts.
Calling on diverse perspectives to represent
The GEC program is being developed from diverse perspectives based on sector, technology, and impact. These include:
- Industry sectors (Education and schools, Food and Agriculture, Health and life sciences, Creative industries, Mining, resources, and energy, FinTech and financial services, Space and Defence, Sports);
- Technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Web3 / Blockchain, Advanced manufacturing, Quantum technologies); and
- Areas of impact (Female entrepreneurship, Indigenous entrepreneurship, Regional innovation ecosystem development, Youth entrepreneurship, Climate impact, Social enterprise, Sustainable development goals).
Through the Entrepreneurship World Cup, we want to discover and highlight emerging innovative Australian firms making a difference in each of these areas. How many entries can we see in Food and Agriculture or Creative Industries? How many applicants will leverage artificial intelligence or Web3? How many entrants can be profiled based on female or indigenous founders? How many young people can we get to apply for idea stage?
The diversity of entrants is shown in the results below from 2019 to 2021.
Australia can represent in each corner of the innovation ecosystem.
Incubators, funds, programs, and other Australian pitch events – send your cohorts
Australia has a growing an diverse field of incubators, accelerators, and investment funds that support founders in getting pitch and investment ready. We want to build on this great work and showcase these cohorts. A win for a member of a hub or fund portfolio is win for the Australian ecosystem. We are keen to share the journey of the participant as much as their success.
If you are running an incubator, program or fund, please share the opportunity with your cohort and alumni where you feel there would be added value.
We also want to align with the diverse range of grants, programs, and other pitch events happening across the nation. We know that founders and entrepreneurs can be time poor and cutting through the noise to find value can be a challenge. While some of the fields may be slightly difference, the effort made in preparing the application should be able to be shared across programs.
If you are running a grant program or pitch event, we are keen to cross-promote for a shared voice to make the application process as easy as possible for founders.
The Entrepreneurship World Cup is a great opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs across any stage of their growth. We also have a unique opportunity with the Global Entrepreneurship Congress to showcase Australia’s entrepreneurs to a global audience in preparation for next May.
If you are a startup entrepreneur in Australia with an idea or company that is less than seven years old, apply at https://platform.entrepreneurshipworldcup.com/.
If you are an incubator, accelerator, venture fund, or angel network, please share this post and the opportunity with your cohort and alumni.
If you are running pitch events in Australia in 2022, please reach out so we can align and cross-promote.