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Challenge Cup

Meet the 2015 Challenge Cup Champion and Global Winners

Six months after the search began, 1776 is proud to announce that judges selected Twiga Fruits as the 2015 Challenge Cup Champion.

Twiga has created a market solution to solve the problem of rising food prices across Africa. Its solution offers farmers a formal guaranteed prices, handles the produce with care to eliminate loss and delivers directly to thousands of independent kiosks

Of the 80 startups from around the world that competed this week at Challenge Festival, Twiga’s solution won over the judges in both the semifinals and at the Global Finals. Twiga wins a $150,000 investment from the 1776 Seed Fund.

In addition, judges also selected three Challenge Cup Global Winners from among the nine finalists. The Global Winners are:

Cognotion — Cognotion identifies talent, delivers functional utilization of knowledge, and decreases employee churn rate using gaming and video tools designed for entry-level millennials. They use emotion and context to teach hard and soft skills to entry level employees. New York, New York

Radiator Labs — Radiator Labs takes old, wasteful buildings and, via a unique patent-pending product offering, improves their heating efficiencies up to LEED standard levels. Brooklyn, New York

ReliefWatch — ReliefWatch is an inventory management platform targeted at multinational non-governmental organizations operating health clinics in developing countries. Chicago, Illinois

In addition, finalist LearnLux won the $10,000 Audience’s Choice award.


Challenge Festival is the culmination Challenge Cup, a 16-city, 11-country international pitch competition. The purpose is to identify the most promising startups in education, energy & sustainability, health and transportation & cities. 1776 identified four startups per city to make their way to Washington, D.C. for the Challenge Festival, where they are competing for the grand prize.

Each day of the Challenge Festival features an industry-specific semifinal to identify two startups per industry to advance to Saturday’s Global Finals. Be sure to see them pitch again in the Global Finals by grabbing your ticket here.

Since October 2014, 1776 has been traveling the globe in search of the most promising startups. By the end of Challenge Cup the event will have gone to 11 countries. In May the winning startups from each city compete in the Challenge Festival in Washington, D.C. for over $650,000 in prizes.

Melissa Steffan Headshot

Melissa Steffan

Melissa is the former assistant editor for 1776, where she worked on the media team to create compelling, idea-driven content and reporting. A Seattle native, she graduated from Seattle Pacific…

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