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Five East Asian Startups Chosen to Advance to Global Finals in the 1776 Challenge Cup Competition


Winners selected from finalists from city competitions held across East Asia; win trip to global finals with  $1M in Funding Opportunities

Washington, D.C. and Tokyo — Tonight 1776 and JIN announced the five winners from the East Asian Challenge Cup Regional Finals. These startups, chosen from hundreds of competitors from cities across the region, now move on to represent their countries on the worldwide stage at the Challenge Cup Global Finals in Washington, D.C. taking place in June.

Challenge Cup is an annual global tournament spanning over 50 cities and covering every continent, to find, fund and spotlight highly-scalable startups with potentially transformative solutions our world’s most pressing challenges. Held in partnership with Revolution and Global Entrepreneurship Network, the competition takes place in three levels — local competitions, nine regional finals and the global final to be held in Washington, DC in June 2016. High-growth startups compete for $1 million in cash prizes and funding, media opportunities and curated connections to mentors, corporate partners, policymakers, and potential investors.

The Tokyo event showcased both the city’s most compelling startups and the companies that advanced from local competitions held in Bangkok, Beijing, Manila, and Seoul.  In addition to participating in the pitch event, competing startups also joined a two-day, pop-up accelerator program delivered by the 1776 CEO, industry partners such as IDB, Philips and AWS,  and other key executives where the entrepreneurs receive pitch coaching and participate in roundtables with industry experts and one-on-one mentoring sessions.

“East Asia is increasingly home to so many inspiring entrepreneurs who are building high-growth startups to bring solutions to some of our world’s biggest challenges,” said Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776. “I’m so pleased that we can give these extraordinary companies an opportunity to present their vision on the global stage and connect to the resources and relationships they need to be successful.”

The winners are as follows:

DOT Incorporation (Seoul, South Korea): DOT is a smart watch that outputs text in braille. The DOT application transmits information to the smart watch via Bluetooth and outputs the information in braille.

Horsepower (Manila, Philippines): Horsepower is a FinTech startup company that empowers self-employed freelancers and small to medium-sized enterprises with the following services: bill payments, online government contributions, co-working spaces, healthcare plans, insurance plans, accounting, and more.

Molcure (Tokyo, Japan): With a deep knowledge of next generation sequencing, bioinformatics, and molecular biology, Molcure provides high-speed and high-quality antibody discovery.

Pickatale (Beijing, China): Pickatale is a digital publisher of premium interactive storybooks for children. Pickatale’s books are highly interactive and help children improve their English literacy skills.

SKOOTAR (Bangkok, Thailand): Skootar amplifies scooter messenger services and facilitates scooter services for small businesses. Skootar’s goal is to connect businesses with local reliable scooter messengers and on-demand, same day delivery services.

For more information about the Challenge Cup, click here.  

About 1776

1776 is a global incubator and seed fund that uncovers promising highly-scalable startups focused on solving the world’s most fundamental challenges and helps engineer their success. 1776 focuses on startups in the most broken, entrenched industries and sectors that impact millions of lives every day – specifically education, energy, health and cities. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., it is sparking a global movement of high-growth startups driving meaningful innovation through its Challenge Cup and Startup Federation, the premiere network of incubators throughout the world. For information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @1776.

About JIN

Japan Innovation Network is a non-profit innovation platform to assist companies to create value through global collaboration, disruptive thinking and out-of-box approach. We aim to create 100 innovative companies through global collaboration. JIN plays a role of Catalyst with strong advisory capabilities as a hub function to foster innovation in Japan.