Since 2019, over 300,000 companies across idea, early, and growth phases hailing from 200 countries, commonwealths and territories have thrown their hats in the ring to make Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) the most globally diverse startup competition in the world.
With such an expansive participant pool, contenders often wonder, “How do I stand out?”. These are some tips from the EWC Global team.
Participate in EWC Accelerates for a Stronger Application
EWC Accelerates, available on the EWC platform, helps founders tackle the burning questions asked in the EWC application form, ranging from pitching and executive presence, unique value proposition, business model, target market, team, and company overview. It is open for all would-be applicants immediately after registration on the platform. You will have 24/7 access to EWC Accelerates resources during the entire application phase. These curated resources will help you think through more substantive and detailed answers.
With the potential for tens of thousands of applicants in the pipeline for consideration in 2022, this simple, yet potentially overlooked suggestion to use EWC Accelerates, might be the critical component to help you shine brighter.
Consider the reality that you, as an entrepreneur, are involved in your passion project, and you’re so close to the nitty-gritty details on a path to solve key needs for your market. Nobody reviewing your application will be able to gauge those details (which in your mind make perfect sense but are likely overlooked by others) unless you clearly frame your thoughts and de-emphasize technical language usually used when building your case. While succinct and clear answers are appreciated (clean and clear communication is always celebrated!), we have seen many founders fall short in applications with matter-of-fact answers that are overly generalized or too ambiguous. We’d hate to pass on a great company or founding team simply because of one-line answers that create a black-box of details.
Review the Application Questions Before You Start
Notice the application includes a series of questions (some mandatory and some optional) that cover many of the topics in EWC Accelerates. Also consider that you might want to complete the application with a member of your team. Strategize how to tackle the questions before diving-in. Be deliberate in delegating (if necessary) to ensure the right person is tasked with substantiating answers at a standard that fits the requirement(s).
Set High Expectations
Your company strives for excellence in how it develops, markets, and engages prospective and current clients. In a similar manner, make sure your application reflects the high bar you seek to instill in your work.
Dismissive answers, sarcasm, humor, and overly abrupt or vague answers might not sit well with the person reviewing your application. Your evaluator might be a member of the global programs team, an investor, a seasoned entrepreneur, or some well-connected ecosystem player. How might they interpret your answers?
Skipping optional questions won’t disqualify you from advancing beyond the application phase, but consider how much stronger your application will be if you complete them. The pitch deck, pitch video, and other optional questions will give a multidimensional perspective to your company, your team, and its ability to execute. Those who complete these fields will stand out.
We’ll conclude with another important detail - be ethical and honest. The application you submit should be a fair and true assessment of the current status of your company. Embellishments or any purposeful misrepresentation of the facts will eventually be caught as the company moves closer to the Top 100, where technical and investor lenses are added to further judge candidates, and your application would automatically be disqualified.
Mind the Deadlines
Every year, we receive emails from applicants who miss the deadline and ask for extensions. While we wish we could extend a grace period to late entrants, due to the sheer volume of incoming applications, we must adhere to strict timelines. In that spirit, we encourage would-be applicants to closely monitor the deadline and work backwards from that day to set an application completion plan.
Set a buffer time of several days before the application deadline to also avoid possible platform interruptions that might arise from large influxes of incoming applications.
Remember Your Purpose
If you are not selected to advance further in the competition, it’s not an indictment on you or your company. No matter the outcome, don’t be deterred. As is the norm in this life as an entrepreneur, resilience is the compass on a winding journey toward success. Keep persevering to make your dreams a reality and stay focused on the true mission of your work. This is why EWC seeks to curate free resources, perks, and other network connection opportunities so you can holistically develop your team and learn from some of the best minds in the business.
It’s our pleasure to welcome you to EWC 2022! Good luck to all prospective applicants. Access the Entrepreneurship World Cup platform here and apply today.
The Entrepreneurship World Cup is presented by the Global Entrepreneurship Network and Monsha'at. The Misk Foundation is a founding partner.