Here are the top corporate competitions and challenges

Steven Loeb · October 19, 2017 · Short URL:

They include competitions from Facebook, WeWork, eBay, SpaceX and JP Morgan

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 the top corporate competitions and challenges:


Verizon & Intel Network Builders Innovation Challenge

Description: "The Verizon Network Visionaries Program and Intel Network Builders Program are collaborating to accelerate innovation using software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies. The united goal is to work with the Intel Network Builders ecosystem of partners to collectively drive solutions that address network and market opportunities. Part of this collaboration is the Verizon & Intel Network Builders Innovation Challenge aimed to stimulate innovation in SDN and NFV solutions that enhance the customer experience on Verizon's network, built on solutions that contain Intel ingredient technologies."

Prize: Each grand prize winner was awarded $25,000 in market development funds to apply to their co-marketing plans with Intel.

Previous winners: Artesyn Embedded Computing, Vantrix Corporation, Wipro


IBM SmartCamp

Description: "A global pitch competition for early-stage startups hosted by IBM and LAUNCH."

Prize: Ten semi-finalists are invited as VIPs to San Francisco's biggest startup conference, LAUNCH Festival for two days of exhibiting in a SmartCamp pavilion, mentorship, learning from top founders, and networking. Three finalists will win a spot to pitch on stage in the SmartCamp Global Finals and an interview with Jason Calacanis on his podcast, This Week in Startups. One winner will land a spot in the LAUNCH Incubator, which includes a $25,000 USD investment on a capped convertible note from the LAUNCH Fund.

Previous winners: AID:Tech




The Bots for Messenger Challenge

Description: "For many years Facebook has been promoting innovation across Middle East and Africa, providing startups with the tools they need to build, grow, monetize, and measure. Facebook grew out of a hacker culture, and we thrive on seeking out and promoting innovation on new platforms. That's why we are launching the Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge, a contest to recognize and reward developers who are able to create the most innovative new bots on Messenger in the Middle East and Africa across these three categories: Gaming and Entertainment, Productivity and Utility, Social Good"


  • Finalist Teams

From each region (i) Middle East and North Africa; and

(ii) Sub-Saharan Africa, 30 finalist teams (10 from each category) will win a Gear VR and mobile phone, one hour of Facebook mentorship, and up to $40,000 USD in tools and services from FbStart, a Facebook program designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their bots.

Note: All student teams or individual student entrants who make it to the finals will win an additional $2,000 USD (students will be verified against their registration via their government accredited school email accounts).

  • Runner Up Teams

For each region (i) Middle East and North Africa; and (ii) Sub-Saharan Africa; 3 runner up teams (1 from each category) will win $10,000 USD and 3 months of Facebook mentorship (1 hour per month). 

  • Winning Teams

For each region (i) Middle East and North Africa; and (ii) Sub-Saharan Africa; 3 winning teams (1 from each category) will win $20,000 USD and 3 months of Facebook mentorship (1 hour per month).

Previous winners: Trivoxx, Mr. Ink, MathHook, WoboT MWG, LangBot, MyTichaa


AWS Chatbot Challenge

Description: "The AWS Chatbot Challenge is your opportunity to build a unique chatbot that helps solves a problem or adds value for prospective users. The AWS Chatbot Challenge is brought to you by Amazon Web Services in partnership with Slack."


  • First Prize

$5,000 USD

$2,500 AWS Credits

Two (2) tickets to AWS re:Invent

30 minute virtual meeting with the Amazon Lex team

Winning submission featured on the AWS AI blog

Cool swag

  • Second Prize

$3,000 USD

$1,500 AWS Credits

One (1) ticket to AWS re:Invent

30 minute virtual meeting with the Amazon Lex team

Winning submission featured on the AWS AI blog

Cool swag

  • Third Prize

$2,000 USD

$1,000 AWS Credits

30 minute virtual meeting with the Amazon Lex team

Winning submission featured on the AWS AI blog

Cool swag

Previous winners: BuildFax Counts, Hubsy, PFMBot, ADP Payroll Innovation Bot


 ebay StartUp Cup

eBay StartUp Cup Challenge

Description: "If you have an idea for a product, service or any other type of business idea, competing in a StartUp Cup Challenge may be the motivation you need to make your dream a reality! If you have recently started a business, see how competing can help you to take your business to the next level."

Prize: Participants are rewarded with connections to industry leaders, world class coaching and mentoring, ongoing support through an intensive business incubation process, and the opportunity to build a game-changing business. First Place winners from each City will receive a $10,000 cash prize. Second Place winners from each City will receive a $5,000 cash prize and Third Place winners from each City will receive a $2,500 cash prize. A total of $70,000 will be awarded among the four eBay StartUp Cup Cities. Winners will be determined from all eligible entrants and announced at the eBay StartUp Cup Challenge Celebration to be held in each City. Winners must be present to accept awards. All finalists will be expected to participate in or attend their Cities eBay StartUp Cup Challenge Award Celebration and may be required to make a brief presentation about their companies during the celebration.

Previous winners: None yet


Financial Solutions Lab

Description: "The Financial Solutions Lab is a $30 million, five-year initiative managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. to identify, test and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets. The lab will launch a series of competitions to identify solutions to specific consumer financial challenges. It will provide incentives for entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits to enhance financial products and services that address these challenges and improve consumers’ financial health."


  • Access to the CFSI Network and partnership opportunities that can help innovators increase product reach
  • 1:1 ongoing mentorship and expertise provided by CFSI and JPMorgan Chase executives and other industry leaders, including FinLab’s own Entrepreneur-In-Residence and FinLab year-one member Tyler Griffin, founder and CEO of Prism (acquired by PayNearMe)
  • Professional services assistance from industry leaders including CFSI, ideas42,, Paul Hastings, Promontory Financial, Google and others
  • Peer learning opportunities via in-person retreats throughout the year and regular virtual working sessions

Previous winners: Blueprint Income, Dave, EverSafe, Grove, Nova, Point, Token Transit, Tomorrow


Hyperloop Pod competition

Description: "In order to accelerate the development of functional prototypes and encourage student innovation, SpaceX announced the Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2015, which challenges university teams to design and build the best transport Pod. The first two competitions were held in January and August 2017 and were the first of their kind anywhere in the world."

Prize: $150,000 in student prizes

Previous winners: WARR


Image result for uberpitch

UberPITCH competition

Description: "UberPITCH is a collaborative project that encourages innovation within local startup communities to provide entrepreneurs with the resources they need to accelerate the growth of their ventures."

Prize: The Refinery, Uber and the Kauffman Foundation announced the 25 semi-finalists from five U.S. cities who will be pitching to investors in the Fueling the Growth with UberPITCH competition on Wednesday, November 16, at the Stamford Innovation Center. The Top Ten will pitch at 7:00pm to split $120,000 in grant awards. All 25 semi-finalists will be showcasing their companies from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., just prior to the finals pitch.   

Previous winners: Liquidaty, Scouted, My Gene Counsel, FROTH, Corrie Health



WeWork Creator Awards

Description: "WeWork is the platform for creators. We provide not just workspace, but also community and services that support forward-thinking companies around the world. As the nature of work changes, more and more people are pursuing careers with intention. The Creator Awards is a way for us to support those who are leading the way."

Prize: At L.A.’s Demo Day, WeWork Gives $600,000 to 14 Startups.

WeWork is committing more than $20 million to innovative projects and the people behind them. This global competition is open to entrepreneurs, artists, startups, and nonprofits - anyone who embodies our mantra, 'Create Your Life's Work.'

Previous winners: None yet

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