Startup Competition Guide


Startup competitions seeking IoT companies

They include IoT Stars, TechStars, Antwerp Pitch Competition and Connax

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
October 5, 2017
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If you're a startup seeking opportunities to get funded, educated or connected, startup competitions are a great resource.

Vator has been holding its own competitions, using VatorX, to find and filter for the best startups. We've had some very successful and notable winners in the past that have gone on to raise big funding rounds including Thumbtack, DogVacay, Pokitdok, Grovo, Udemy and Apartment List, to name a few.

Anyone can list their program as VatorX is one of the most comprehensive listing guides to startup competitions, challenges, accelerators and programs. Click here to list your program!

As part of our weekly series, we'll look at top competitions with big cash prizes, as well as competitions that have teed up the most promising startups, to finding popular startup competitions you need to know about. 

Here are some of the startup competitions that are focused on the IoT space:

Internet of Things World 2018 | World's Largest IoT Event

The Innovation of Things Award

Description: "The Innovation of Things Award competition provides a platform for our participating startups to present a short pitch showcasing their product/service to a panel of investors and the event audience."

Prize: The winner of the 2018 Innovation of Things Award will receive the following:

  • 1 subscription to Ovum’s Knowledge Center
  • Opportunity to showcase at your choice of Internet of Things World 2019 or one of our Fall IoT events, includes:
    • Table top stand
    • 30-minute showcase within the conference
    • Pre-event and onsite interview
    • Featured article on IoT Institute (
    • Promoted as 2018 Innovation of Things Award Winner
    • Travel stipend

Previous winners: Pozyx Labs, Distrix Networks


IoT Stars

Description: "10 startups will be pitching in front of a top-notch jury at the amazing Antiga Fàbrica Estrella Damm in Barcelona on Monday, February 27, 2017. It’s a unique opportunity to meet and network with C-level industry leaders, entrepreneurs, designers, developers, investors, press & media working in the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: Insulclock, Vayyar


IoT Revolution|Connect: IoT Startup Pitch Competition

Description: "This event will feature 10 of the most promising IoT startups as they compete in a pitch competition to win a membership in Readwrite Labs Alpha Program."

Prize: Not specified 

Previous winners: Not specified



Best IoT startup idea competition

Description: "Internet of Things is the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data that is used in various applications.

...In simple words, if your dog is having a GPS tracker embedded in a collar and you can track it while walking together in the forest and it also sends alarms on your cellphone if dog is too far away from you - this is a good example of what is IoT and how it works."

Prize: 1000€ 

Previous winners: None yet



2017 Internet of Things Startup Competition

Description: "The competition, the second of its kind, will be held in four places, namely Hanoi, Da Nang, HCM city and Can Tho City, from April to October, 2017. It is expected to discover and assist outstanding projects."

Prize: The prize pool of the competition is worth 100 million VND (4,400 USD), with half of the amount going to the first prize winner.

Previous winners: Not specified


TechStars IoT and Wearables Pitch Competition

Description: "Startups are everywhere. But what makes a startup stand out? Learn how to connect with local startup ecosystem, how to finance your startup and attract diverse employees. Join Techstars to learn how novel products and technologies came into being, why they have a shot at making it, and how they are progressing?"


  • Winners of the Startup Stage will be invited to join IBM Global Entrepreneur and will be eligible for up to $120,000 of cloud credits, which can be applied to servers and services on IBM Bluemix, including SoftLayer servers, Watson API's and many more services. In addition, the IBM Global Entrepreneur team provides business mentorship, technical expertise, and go-to-market support. To learn more, visit
  • Twilio is offering the chance for four teams to win $5,000 worth of Twilio credit to build the future of communications in the programming languages you know and love.
  • BB8: Meet BB-8™ - the app-enabled Droid™ that's as authentic as it is advanced. BB-8 has something unlike any other robot - an adaptive personality that changes as you play. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and even perk up when you give voice commands. Set it to patrol and watch your Droid explore autonomously, make up your own adventure and guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings.
  • Swag from Echo Dot and Techstars

Previous winners: Sphericam


The Chatbot Summit Startup Competition

Description: The Chatbot Summit Startup Competition is an amazing opportunity to gain extra exposure for your startup, especially with investors and corporates looking to find the next promising Chatbot startup.


  • 4-7 hours of free legal advice in either German, English, French or Italian law from the tech experts of international law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (all top three winners).
  • 7 consulting hours from the experts of Deloitte (1st and 2nd place only).
  • 2-4 Complimentary tickets to the next Chatbot Summit (all top three winners).
  • Complimentary startup booth in the next Chatbot Summit (1st place only).

Previous winners: Hu:toma


Antwerp Pitch Competition

Description: "Canadian startups are invited to attend the Antwerp Pitch Competition taking place at the Antwerp Breakfast Seminar in Toronto on Tuesday October 24th 2017."

Prize: The winning startup will be invited to Antwerp for up to one month, to explore business opportunities in the city and in the Flanders region. Accommodations and travel expenses will be provided free of charge. The city of Antwerp can actively generate business leads and market insights tailored for your company.

Previous winners: Best Brain


SAP Startup Focus

AR & IoT in the Enterprise


Prize: The best applicant will receive a SAP Startup Focus Fellowship to participate in the Montreal Founder Institute program for free ($1650 USD value).

Previous winners: Mnubo

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