Startup Competition Guide


Here are the biggest corporate innovation competitions

They include prizes from AT&T, Amazon, Uprise and WeWork

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
November 2, 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 biggest corporate innovation challenges:


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


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


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


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


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