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17 Greatest Hits of Challenge Cup

With just one month until Challenge Cup Global Finals & Festival, the culmination of 1776’s third time around the globe scouting top startups improving daily life, let’s look back at some of the greatest moments, entrepreneurs, keynotes, venues and celebrations.

The first two times around the Challenge Cup circuit garnered global involvement and attention, but the third time has already upped the ante with stunning venues and creatively localized branding.

The highlights are some of the best that Challenge Cup has seen so far in its lifetime, and the good times are about to get even better. Journey with us.

Challenge Cup 2014

challenge cup 2014 winners

The overall winner of Challenge Cup 2014 was HandUp from San Francisco, along with seven other inspiring startups that finished first or second in each category: EduCanon,, CancerIQ, MediSafe, Water Lens, Mellowcabs and PlugSurfing.


challenge cup 2014 steve case keynote

AOL founder Steve Case was our keynote for Challenge Cup 2014.


Gala at Union Market

Then Challenge Festival brought that global community together at some unique venues.


Startup pitches 1

The 2015 competitors filled venues with entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and startup community leaders eager to watch them pitch.


1776 challenge cup 2014

Unsurprisingly, some of our best Challenge Cup memories revolve around food.


Energy gala

And the galas following the competitions were just as spirited.


1776 challenge cup 2014

Given the impressive lineup of startups and leaders from around the world, we knew Challenge Cup 2014 was the beginning of something ground-breaking.

Challenge Cup 2015

The second time around, Challenge Cup was really cooking.

The second time around, Challenge Cup was really cooking thanks to the José Andrés team.


challenge cup 2015 winners

The winner of Challenge Cup 2015 was Twiga Foods, an m-commerce startup from Nairobi that’s working to make food supply chains in Africa radically more efficient. The other winning startups were LearnLux, Cognotion, Handsfree Learning, Radiator Labs, BaseTrace, Unima, ReliefWatch and EverCharge.


1776 challenge cup 2014

Challenge Cup would continue to grow from representing startups in four industries to eight.


1776 Challenge Cup 2015 Sydney

The competition venue for Challenge Cup Sydney was one to remember.


Washington, D.C. Mayor Bowser brought the Challenge Cup message home with her impassioned speech.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Bowser brought the Challenge Cup message home with her impassioned speech.



Challenge Cup 2015 celebrated creativity and community.


1776 challenge cup 2015

Hard to imagine that Challenge Cup 2016 will beat the heights last year reached, but rest assured the best is yet to come.

Challenge Cup 2016

1776 challenge cup 2016

We kicked off this year’s Challenge Cup in a gorgeous setting in Montreal.


1776 challenge cup 2016

Our friends at iZone Hub localized 1776 materials to fit Harare’s flare.


1776 challenge cup 2016

And our friends at YES Philippines created boarding-pass awards that have become a competition-wide phenomenon.

Now 70 startups will make the trip to Washington, D.C. (probably without the fake boarding-pass prizes) to compete for $175,000 in cash grants and up to $1 million in investments. Based on the first two years, we’re confident Challenge Cup 2016‘s pictures will be the stuff scrapbookers dream of.