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Challenge Cup Local Host FAQ

Thank you for your interest in hosting a Challenge Cup Local competition. What’s involved? We’ll take you through what you’ll need to do as a host in your city:

What is the Challenge Cup?

Challenge Cup is a worldwide tournament connecting hubs around the globe in a search for the most promising, game-changing startups. Together with over 60 hubs around the world, we’ll discover the most promising, highly scalable startups poised to solve challenges across critical industries.

The event offers startup hubs the opportunity to showcase their local innovation ecosystem on a global stage. Each hub hosts a qualifying-round pitch competition to identify one winner that will advance with a free trip to the final round, which will take place during fall 2017 at the Challenge Festival conference held in New York City. There, the finalists will compete for the grand prizes as well as spend time with the investors, customers, media and other key connections that can help them succeed on a global scale.

The Challenge Cup is part of a larger initiative to create connections and foster collaboration among incubators, accelerators, and startup programs around the world. 1776’s software platform, Union, hosts that network for hubs to support their entrepreneurs, optimize their operations, and broaden their reach.

What are Challenge Cup Locals?

Challenge Cup Locals are the qualifying-round pitch competitions that local hubs host to identify one winner that will advance with a free trip to the global final round, which will take place during fall 2017 at the Challenge Festival conference held in New York City. There, the finalists will compete for the grand prizes as well as spend time with the investors, customers, media and other key connections that can help them succeed on a global scale.

Why host a Challenge Cup Local?

Hosting a Challenge Cup Local is a way to shine the spotlight on your city and startup ecosystem for the world to see. As a Challenge Cup host organization, you’ll have the opportunity to pilot Union, a global startup management platform to streamline your work and tap into a global network of mentors, content, and opportunities for your startups and partners.

What resources does 1776 provide to Challenge Cup Local hosts?

As a host, you will be among the first startup programs to pilot Union and will receive access to our full Challenge Cup program and playbook. Through specialized features on Union, you’ll be able to recruit, track, and manage feedback for startup applicants, judges, and mentors throughout the competition.

We include everything from sample social media content and email templates to talking points and branding assets to help you every step of the way. You’ll also receive a full breakdown of our judging criteria and instructions on how to select the startups that will have the best chance of advancing and representing your startup ecosystem!

You will also receive:

– Support from 1776’s social media in sharing and spreading the word about your Challenge Cup Local to our entire network

– A dedicated page for your Challenge Cup Local on 1776’s website, highlighting the location, sponsors, judges, startups, and the team that made it possible

– An exclusive Union experience, including the platform’s seamless features to review, accept, manage, and track startups while connecting them to the world’s top mentors and content

– A full access badge to the Challenge Cup Global Finals at the Challenge Festival conference in New York City during the fall of 2017

– The opportunity to make the event your own, showcasing your organization’s leadership within your ecosystem

What resources do startups participating at the Challenge Cup Local event get from 1776?

1776 provides resources — all conveniently located on the Union platform — to startups participating throughout the Challenge Cup. Startups selected to present at a Challenge Cup Local receive pitch coaching, entrepreneurial curriculum, and instructions on preparing for the competition.

The startup that wins the Challenge Cup Local receives a free flight and hotel to the Global Finals in New York City, where startups will receive incubator programming and face-to-face access to mentors, industry experts, influencers, investors, and policymakers. The startup competitors will also gain exposure on 1776’s website and social properties.

What is required of an organization to host a Challenge Cup Local event in its city?

In order to host, the organization must be a leading incubator, accelerator, or startup hub.

If you commit to hosting a Challenge Cup Local in your city, you will be responsible for planning, organizing, and funding your competition. 1776 will provide you with customized Union access, including a comprehensive planning guide that will take you through all steps necessary to host a successful competition.

Once an organization has been chosen to host a Challenge Cup Local, it will be responsible for all of the event production, which includes:

– Organizing and funding the competition, including scheduling the event, booking a venue, providing catering if needed, and other details of the event

– Providing staff to run the event

– Marketing the startup applications and the event to the public

– Finding the strongest startups in your area

– Grading the startup applications and selecting which startups will compete

– Selecting 3-5 judges from venture capital, critical industries, or entrepreneurial backgrounds for the competition

– Determining the winning startup that will represent your community at the global Challenge Festival

What are next steps if I’d like to organize the Challenge Cup Local for my region?

Please fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours. We look forward to hearing from you!

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