Application Deadline Nears for ‘Get in the Ring Startup Clash’; Kauffman Foundation Encourages U.S. Entrepreneurs to Apply by Sept. 3

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Entrepreneur, investor, author Lisa Gansky confirmed as fourth judge for U.S. finals on Nov. 18 in Kansas City.

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U.S. entrepreneurs have one week left to apply for a chance to compete against the best startups in the nation and, possibly, the world.

Tuesday, Sept. 3 is the deadline for eligible founders to apply at to compete in the first-ever “Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash.”

Hosted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and sponsored nationally by Sprint, the Get in the Ring U.S. pitch competition is a new showcase event of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013.

Select entrepreneurs have been nominated by 55 entrepreneur support and resource organizations across the country that agreed to serve as Get in the Ring partner organizations. However, any entrepreneur meeting the following criteria is still eligible to apply through Sept. 3 as an at-large candidate:

  •     the startup is less than five 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 up to $1 million 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.

From the first-round applicants, up to 40 will be selected to move on to the competition’s semifinal round. Semifinalists will be notified in mid-September and required to submit a two-minute application/pitch video by Oct. 7. Judges will review the videos and initial applications to select eight national U.S. finalists.

The final eight will travel expense-paid to the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City to deliver their best business pitches on Monday, Nov. 18 in front of a panel of high-profile judges, live spectators and a global audience via video live stream.

The newest addition to the judging panel is Lisa Gansky, entrepreneur, angel investor, adviser, speaker and author of the bestseller, The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing. Gansky has extensive experience in technology startup ventures. She co-founded and served as CEO and chairman of Ofoto and, post-acquisition, was general manager of Eastman Kodak Co.’s Digital Imaging Services division. In the 1990s, she was an executive with AOL. Previously announced judges for the final U.S. clash are global fashion mogul Marc Ecko, consumer brand “turnaround” CEO Matthew Rubel, and broadcast and digital media guru Denmark West. James Digby, cofounder of the award-winning startup incubator Rockstart Accelerator in the Netherlands, will serve as emcee for the event.

The top startup slugging his or her way through the U.S. competition on Nov. 18 will board a flight to Rotterdam, the Netherlands shortly thereafter and travel expense-paid to the Get in the Ring international finals. The U.S. winner will compete against seven other international finalists on Nov. 22 for a chance to secure angel investment from available funds of $1 million or more from the international judging panel.

For more information about Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash, including schedule, partner organizations and judges’ bios, visit

To submit an application to compete, visit

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, and follow the Foundation on and

About Get in the Ring
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). For more information about the international competition, visit Follow Get in the Ring on Twitter @gitr_gew and Facebook/getinthering.gew.

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Barb Schulte

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