40 Startups Advance to Semifinal Round of ‘Get in the Ring’ U.S. Pitch Competition Hosted by Kauffman Foundation

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Dell President Steve Felice Rounds Out Five-Person Judging Panel for Final Round of U.S. Competition on Nov. 18; VentureBeat Is Newest Sponsor

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The field of competitors looking to battle it out for the title of most promising U.S. startup has been narrowed to 40 semifinalists. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announced today that the companies selected to proceed to the second round of “Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash” hail from all corners of the nation and represent industries ranging from bioscience and internet technology to food production and consumer goods.

The semifinalists, who emerged among 283 applicants judged in the competition’s first round, now have until Oct. 7 to produce and deliver their best video pitch of their startups’ readiness to scale and succeed.

Second-round judges will review the semifinalists’ original applications and their video submissions in crowning eight finalists. Those eight entrepreneurs, to be announced Oct. 23, will travel to Kansas City to kick off Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) with a live final competition Nov. 18 in front of an audience – and five judges who definitely know a thing or two about business success.

Steve Felice, president and chief commercial officer of Dell, is the latest high-profile name to be added to the esteemed list of judges for the competition’s final U.S. clash. Felice joins previously announced final-round judges Marc Ecko, Lisa Gansky, Matthew Rubel and Denmark West.

The finalist deemed the top U.S. entrepreneur will leave Kansas City and travel expense-paid to the Nov. 22 Get in the Ring global finals in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. There, he or she will compete head on with seven other international finalists for a chance to secure angel investment from a potential pool of more than $1 million.

Get in the Ring was 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.

The Kauffman Foundation serves as host of the first-ever U.S. Get in the Ring competition, and Sprint is the U.S. national sponsor. Leading online tech news publication VentureBeat has come aboard as a media sponsor. Other sponsors include boxing equipment company Combat Brands/Ringside Inc. and Kansas City PBS television station KCPT.

For a list of the semifinalists and information about Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash, visit http://www.kauffman.org/GITR.

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.

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