Startup Competition Guide


Top corporate innovation competitions to know

They include competitions from Cartier, Mercedes-Benz, General Electric and AT&T

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
October 26, 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 the top corporate innovation competitions to know:


Cartier Women's Initiative Awards

Description: "The Cartier Women's Initiative Awards are an international business plan competition created in 2006 to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs."

Prize: The 18 finalists, representing the top 3 projects from each of the 6 regions, will receive:
• One-to-one personalized business coaching prior to the Awards week
• Series of entrepreneurship workshops, knowledge sessions and networking events during the Awards week
• Media visibility
• A place on the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship 6-Day Executive Programme (ISEP)
• Networking opportunities through the Cartier Awards community


Trade Tastemaker Awards

Description: "Trade members can submit projects for consideration in five categories that spotlight excellence in both residential and commercial design."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: Terracotta Design Build, High Park Renovation by Designtheory, The Hivery by Design Renegades, The Drexyl by Aline Architecture, Amy Kartheiser Design


PITCH: Powered by Mercedes-Benz

Description: "Three days, four stages. Join 200 of the best startups at Web Summit in a battle to be crowned winner of PITCH 2017."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: Rorus, Hazel, Kubo, AirHelp, Connecterra


ASEAN Digital Startup Competition

Description: "A 3-month long regional competition where you, as a group of university students, compete by submitting a viable startup proposal on a digital technology or app using the Predix platform as the solution provider."


All applicants :

  • Invitation to attend informative kickoff session and Predix training
  • Certificate of training & participation

Top 10 (in country) :

  • Certificate of accomplishment

Top 5 (in country) :

  • Certificate of accomplishment
  • Chance to pitch proposal to a venture capitalist* and/or related enablers for potential investment
  • Mentorship by GE leaders
  • Potential internship offering or interview session for leadership programs

Top 3 (in region) :

  • All expense paid trip to finale in Singapore
  • Certificate of accomplishment
  • Chance to pitch proposal to a venture capitalist* and/or related enablers for potential investment
  • Mentorship by GE & VC* reps
  • Potential internship offering or interview session for leadership programs

Champion (region)

  • Title & bragging rights as 1st ever GE ASEAN Digital Startup Champion
  • Guaranteed internship offering or pass through to final round interview for leadership programs

Previous winners: None yet


The UPRISE Festival Pitch Battle

Description: "UPRISE Festival Europe in association with Microsoft is searching for European competitors for it’s ‘Pitch Battle’ to be held during the UPRISE Tech festival on April 20th in Pakhuis West, Amsterdam. The UPRISE Festival Pitch Battle will put the power in the hands of the audience as they vote for the startup best able to pitch it’s business. Now in its fifth edition, UPRISE is one of Europe’s foremost festivals for Growth Stage companies, enterprise and investment."

Prize: The Final Winner will be awarded 20,000 worth of Stripe transactions fees.
The main runner-up will be awarded 10,000 worth of Stripe Transaction fees. The winning company will receive a stand at this year’s event with the potential to showcase their business to attendees.

Previous winners: None yet


SDC 2017 Elevator Pitch Competition

Description: "Join us for a fun-filled startup pitch competition! Some of Silicon Valley’s most promising startups will be pitching their ideas to judges and the audience – you! Vote for your favorite and win them a big prize!"

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: Not specified


AT&T Hackathon Invitational

Description: "We invite developers to embrace mechatronics, the art of mixing mechanical engineering with electronics and wireless connectivity. Use your technical prowess and innovative know-how to build IoT solutions that cross multiple subfields of engineering for smart cities, healthcare, sports, sustainability, or home."

Prize: If you are a finalist, we'll send you to Las Vegas for the 2017 AT&T Summit conference. 

Grand Prize - $20,000 
2nd Place - $10,000
3rd Place - $5,000

Previous winners: MendMe, CoffeeWatch, Raise the Bar

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