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A global competition for the world’s most promising startups tackling complex, regulated challenges to share their vision on a global stage, engage with industry leaders, and win grand prizes.


Want your startup to compete in the Challenge Cup? Apply today!


Interested in hosting a Challenge Cup event?
Let us know!

Host a Competition

Challenge Cup hosted by 1776 and Revolution

1776 Challenge Cup in partnership with Revolution is much more than a competition — it’s a movement of startups bringing world-changing ideas to life and solving meaningful problems on a global stage.

1776 started Challenge Cup four years ago to discover the most promising, highly scalable startups poised to solve complex challenges across borders, regulated industries and emerging technologies.

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This year, Challenge Cup is presented in partnership with investment firm Revolution, an active champion for the emergence of entrepreneurial communities and startups outside of Silicon Valley. This partnership reinforces 1776’s and Revolution’s core belief around startups and innovation: great companies can start and scale anywhere.

Challenge Cup takes place in 75 cities. In each of these cities, 1776 partners with a leading local startup program to host a Challenge Cup experience on 1776’s UNION Network, a digital platform that connects startup ecosystems around the world.

These qualifying competitions identify one winning startup from each city to advance to the Global Finals at Challenge Festival. Challenge Festival convenes investors, policymakers, and innovators from across the globe convene to examine and discuss pressing global challenges. This year’s event will be hosted November 13-17, 2017, at 1776’s newest campus in New York City.

Follow the Competition

Over 1,000 startups will compete in the first round of Challenge Cup in 75 cities across six continents. Many Challenge Cup competitions will take place in state or country capitals, a critical component to engaging governments and stakeholders with the startup ecosystem so they can support startups working in complex, regulated industries. Currently, confirmed cities include:

Accra, Ghana — iSpace Foundation
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — iceaddis
Athens, Greece — Found.Ation
Buffalo, NY — 43North
Caracas, Venezuela — ECOEM
Cochabamba, Bolivia — Novus
Denver, CO — Downtown Denver Partnership
Dubai, UAE — 1776 Dubai
Dublin, Ireland — NDRC
Durham, NC — American Underground
Houston, TX — Station Houston
Islamabad, Pakistan — Invest2Innovate
Kampala, Uganda — Hive Colab
Mérida, Mexico — Startup México
Mexico City, Mexico— Startup México
Milan, Italy — Talent Garden
Nairobi, Kenya — iHub
New York, NY — 1776 NY
Osaka, Japan — Japan Innovation Network
Philadelphia, PA — Benjamin’s Desk
Phoenix, AZ — StartupAZ
Pittsburgh, PA — Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
Portland, OR — PIE
Quito, Ecuador — IMPAQTO
Salvador, Brazil — REDE+
Seoul, South Korea — D.CAMP
Tampa, FL — Tampa Bay Wave
Tokyo, Japan — Japan Innovation Network
Tunis, Tunisia — BIAT
Washington, DC —1776 DC
Wilmington, NC —TekMountain

Click on the map below for information about how to compete and RSVP for the Challenge Cup competitions that are already scheduled. Check back often as more Challenge Cup Locals will appear every week!


Venue Name

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Why Challenge Cup

Whether it be Prima-Temp in Denver or MyPeegu in Bangalore, startups are solving some of our world’s most complex challenges. Challenge Cup breaks down the barriers to access, resources and funding that most startups experience outside of Silicon Valley.

The last few months have been all about learning from other entrepreneurs, from the mentors, from people at 1776, and what I take with me is the experience, which will make us succeed in the future.

Sweta Mandal, MUrgency, 2016 Challenge Cup Champion

Challenge Cup Champions

At 1776, we believe entrepreneurs have the power to change the world. Need more convincing? Learn about previous Challenge Cup winners!

Twiga Foods, 2015 Challenge Cup Champion

This startup won Challenge Cup Global Finals 2015 and further proved that innovation is everywhere — like Nairobi, Kenya! Twiga is a mobile-based supply platform for Africa’s retail outlets, kiosks, and market stalls.

Learn more about Twiga Foods
challenge festival

HandUp, 2014 Challenge Cup Champion

For the very first Challenge Cup Global Finals in 2014, a startup tackling a truly complex challenge took home the grand prize. HandUp makes giving to nonprofit organizations and their clients easy, secure and transparent — and your donation goes directly to the cause.

More on HandUp here

Want your startup to compete in the Challenge Cup? Be the first to know when applications open.

Interested in hosting a Challenge Cup event?
Let us know!

Host a Competition