Kauffman Foundation Brings ‘Get in the Ring Startup Clash’ to U.S.; Application Process Now Open for Entrepreneurs

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International competition has grown to include 30 nations, recognized as a signature event of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Sprint signs on as U.S. national sponsor.

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This fall, U.S. entrepreneurs will have a chance to compete against the best startups in the nation and, later, the world, as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation hosts the first-ever “Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash.”

Get in the Ring is a pitch competition founded in 2009 by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands to bring the world's most promising entrepreneurs together with those who can help them succeed and to inspire others to start their entrepreneurial journeys. In just five years, the competition has grown to include 30 nations. The international finals are held each November during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).

The first-ever U.S. event is made possible with generous support from U.S. national sponsor Sprint.

The top finisher in the U.S. national finals on Nov. 18 will immediately embark on an expense-paid trip to the Get in the Ring global finals in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where he or she will go head to head with seven other international finalists for a chance to secure angel investment of more than $1 million.

The application process for Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash is open now through Sept. 3 at http://www.GetInTheRing2013.istart.org. Any U.S. entrepreneur meeting the following criteria is eligible to apply:

  •     the startup is less than 5 years old;
  •     the founder is an American citizen and proficient in the English language;
  •     the startup is a scalable and innovative business idea or model;
  •     the entrepreneur has a valid passport and is able and willing to travel to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the international finals being held Nov. 22; and
  •     the entrepreneur is seeking funding of $1 million or more that is available if he or she wins the U.S. competition and his/her startup is determined to be worthy of funding by the investor judges at the finals in Rotterdam.

The Kauffman Foundation also is partnering with selected entrepreneurship support and resource organizations across the country to identify and nominate outstanding startups. Partner organizations already confirmed include ASTIA, Austin Technology Council, Dream Big America, Georgetown University, Launch UNC, Silicon Prairie News and U.S.SourceLink. A full list of partner organizations, as of Aug. 5, appears at the end of this release.

Up to 40 U.S. semifinalists will be selected from among all applications received. Semifinalists will be required to submit a two-minute application/pitch video by Oct. 7. Judges will review the videos to select eight national finalists.

Those eight will travel expense-paid to the finals in Kansas City where they will receive educational presentation coaching, national and international exposure, and networking opportunities with leading entrepreneurship experts. The finalists will compete live at the Kauffman Foundation on Nov. 18 for cash prizes, additional benefits and the chance to proceed to the Get in the Ring international finals in Rotterdam.

An esteemed panel of entrepreneurs and business leaders will judge the U.S. finals, including Denmark West, an adviser to startups, specialist at Los Angeles-based K1 Investment Management and former president of digital media at BET Networks. James Digby, cofounder of the award-winning startup incubator Rockstart Accelerator in the Netherlands, will serve as emcee for the event.

For more information about Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash, visit http://www.kauffman.org/GITR .

To submit an application to compete, visit http://www.GetInTheRing2013.istart.org.

About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. For more information, visit http://www.kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation on http://www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and http://www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.

About Get in the Ring
For more information about the international competition of Get in the Ring, visit http://www.gitr.nl . Also follow Get in the Ring on Twitter @gitr_gew and Facebook/getinthering.gew.

Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash Partner Organizations
The following U.S. organizations have agreed to participate as partner organizations. The list is current as of Aug. 5, 2013:

  •     American Association of Community Colleges Center for Workforce and Economic Development (DC)
  •     Arizona State University (AZ)
  •     ASTIA (CA)
  •     Austin Technology Council (TX)
  •     Bizdom (MI)
  •     Brandery (OH)
  •     Catawba Valley Community College (NC)
  •     CODE2040(CA)
  •     Coloft (CA)
  •     Dream Big America (CA)
  •     Georgetown University (DC)
  •     Groundwork LABS (NC)
  •     HUB Ventures (CA)
  •     The Idea Village (LA)
  •     iTen (MO)
  •     Kansas City Startup Village (KS/MO)
  •     KCSourceLink (MO)
  •     LA Cleantech Incubator (CA)
  •     Launch Lab (MI)
  •     Launch TN (TN)
  •     Launch Chapel Hill (UNC-NC)
  •     Long Beach City College (CA)
  •     Lorain County Community College (OH)
  •     Minnesota Angel Network (MN)
  •     National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (MA)
  •     New York City Economic Development Corporation (NY)
  •     Packard Place (NC)
  •     Pipeline (MO)
  •     N.C. Rural Economic Center, Inc. (NC)
  •     Silicon Prairie News (NE)
  •     Kauffman Slingshot Group (National)
  •     StartOut (NY)
  •     Startup Texas (TX)
  •     StartX (CA)
  •     Tech Wildcatters (TX)
  •     U.S.SourceLink (National)
  •     Venture Hive (The Hive) (FL)
  •     Women Innovate Mobile (NY)

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Barb Schulte
Kauffman Foundation
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Barb Pruitt
Kauffman Foundation
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