Startup Competition Guide


Startup competitions, accelerators, programs this week

Southwest Venture Madness Competition, Microsoft Ventures Innovate AI,The H/F CO-OP Accelerator

Innovation series by Kristin Karaoglu
November 16, 2017
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Here's a list of 10 startup competitions, open enrollments for accelerators/incubators or angel groups all listed on VatorX, the biggest list of startup opportunities.

Want to list your startup competition or accelerator? List on VatorX. If you're a startup looking for competitions, bookmark the listing or join Vator to get a weekly update on what's happening around the world or near you.

Alibaba Cloud Smarter Project Awards

Enter the Smarter Project Awards to win up to $10,000 USD cash! 

Description: We want to reward innovative ideas that can make the Olympics smarter. Your idea could win up to $10,000 in cash!

How can Cloud Computing or AI help make the Olympics Smarter?
Share your ideas on social media to win a Smart Training MP3 Player now!

Smarter Olympics: Projects in this category should be relevant to making the Olympics smarter with technologies, such as VR, interactive viewing, and smarter Olympic events operations.

IoT & Smarter City: Projects in this category should be relevant to making people's lifestyles or cities more intelligent using technologies such as smart home, the Internet of things (IoT), smarter transportation, and smarter city infrastructure.

Environment Monitoring and Protection: Projects of this category should be relevant to environment detection and protection with new technologies, including projects that help to assist in monitoring and predicting natural disasters.

Life Sciences & Healthcare: Projects in this category should be relevant to making life science and healthcare smarter using technologies like cloud computing, big data, and AI.

Benefits: Selected companies will win up to $10,000 USD cash! You can also share your ideas on social media to win other amazing prizes.

Categories: SportsInternet of Things (IoT)EnvironmentalLife sciences, Healthcare


Microsoft Ventures Innovate AI: A Global Startup Competition

The 3 winning startups receive a $1,000,000 USD investment, with a total prize pool valued at $5,500,000 USD.

Description: Innovate.AI: a Global Startup Competition Presented by Microsoft Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, Notion Capital, and Vertex Ventures Israel A global competition for startups harnessing the power of A.I. & machine learning. Helping high-potential startups gain access to capital and further the development of A.I. to solve problems and improve people’s lives. 

Benefits: The 3 winning startups receive a $1,000,000 USD investment, with a total prize pool valued at $5,500,000 USD.

Categories: Artificial intelligence (AI)



2018 AngelPad Cohort

"Your Success is Our Success"

Description: AngelPad is a seed-stage accelerator program based in NYC and San Francisco. Since 2010 we have launched more than 130 companies. Every 6 months we select about 15 teams from a huge pool of applicants (usually around 2000) to work with us. AngelPad is ranked the Top U.S Accelerator by MIT's Seed Ranking Project 3 Years Running.  

Benefits: Starting a company costs money and we don’t want you to worry while you are at AngelPad. We provide funding for each company that enters AngelPad. Not a lot, but enough to get through the first year. By then you likely have probably “proper” funding.


[Re]Verse Pitch Competition

An Event Series in Austin, Texas for Social Entrepreneurs Where We Pitch To You

Description: Entrepreneurs are used to pitching their business idea to investors, partners, and anyone they might share an elevator ride with. In this competition, the tables will turn. The [Re]Verse Pitch Competition is a social innovation program to help turn valuable raw materials that are currently leaving local businesses, non-profits, and institutions as waste into the foundation of new social enterprises.

Benefits: Competitors work with mentors & advisors to develop repurposing business ideas and compete for Innovation Prizes to help start this new venture.

Categories: EntrepreneurEnvironmentalFashionClean technology 


Description: The competition starts with a bracket of 24 startup companies. After two online elimination rounds in which the advancing companies are chosen by a selection panel, the top 16 companies will advance to the live-demo portion of the contest, held January 30, 2018 at Galvanize Phoenix.  There they’ll get a chance to grab big cash prizes and even better, network with the regions most active angel and accredited investors.

Benefits: Companies that present at the conference will not only meet people who’ve been in your shoes (which is invaluable in a startup’s journey), you’ll meet mentors and industry influencers who can help mentor your team and accelerate your growth. You’ll also have the opportunity to network and spend quality time connecting with some of our region’s most active angel and venture capital investors, get mentorship from successful entrepreneurs and past contestants, and connect with other competing companies.

Categories: Business Plan, Startups 

Student Startup Madness 2018

Description: Student Startup Madness is an exciting nationwide tournament for college student digital media startups, culminating with the “Entrepreneurial Eight” national finals at South By Southwest in Austin, TX on Monday, March 12, 2018.

Benefits: The national finals then take place at SXSW Interactive — with the “Entrepreneurial Eight” pitching to a panel of celebrity entrepreneurs and investors.


Freedom From Cancer Startup Challenge

Win $2K cash prizes and potential to pitch for up to 1.2 million in startup seed funding

Description: The Center for Advancing Innovation and MedImmune have partnered to launch the Freedom from Cancer Startup Challenge (FCSC). The FCSC will feature risk mitigated, and commercially viable inventions from leading research organizations. The goal of the challenge is to accelerate and increase the volume of commercialized cancer inventions by launching new startups. Funding is provided by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

Benefits: In addition to the licensing opportunity, 100 FCSC winners will receive invaluable networking, marketing assistance, enrollment in CAI's recognized accelerator program, mentorship from experts, and exclusive webinars from top industry professionals. FCSC winners will get access to these valuable resources and more beyond the challenge. 

Categories: Life sciencesCancer 


Honda Xcelerator

The program offers funding for rapid prototyping, a collaborative workspace, and pairing with Honda mentors.

Description: Honda Xcelerator is a program designed for tech innovators across all funding stages who seek to transform the mobility experience. Honda has created this program to engage innovators in an open and friendly environment. 

Benefits: We provide you with nre funding to help you develop a rapid prototype. You will gain access to our unique collaboration workspace located in the heart of silicon valley. All xcelerator companies are paired with our network of honda mentors. You will have access to xcelerator vehicles and vehicle data to develop, test, and refine your prototype.

Categories: Automotive, Hardware, accelerator, Artificial intelligence (AI), Cyber Security, Virtual Reality (VR), Voice technology



TMCx team’s goal is to quickly and effectively connect entrepreneurs to stakeholders.

Description: Located in the TMC Innovation Institute, the TMCx accelerator program provides startup companies with shared workspace, a curriculum tailored to the needs of health care entrepreneurs and the guidance of over 120 advisors from the front lines of the industry.

Benefits: Participants work with the TMCx team to refine strategies and build relationships across the Texas Medical Center. Companies network with key thought leaders and mentors during the Advisor Pitch Event, the TMC Expert Forum and other scheduled sessions. The four-month program culminates with TMCx Demo Day, an exclusive presentation to hundreds of investors, corporate partners, hospital stakeholders, media and other guests.

Categories:  Healthtech , Healthcare, Health and Wellness




THE H/F CO-OP Accelerator

H/F Co-op portfolio companies have a net worth of over $400 million and have raised over $60 million.
Description: The Hackers/Founders Co-op coaches startup founders through a personalized 100+ item checklist. The agenda points founders toward product and pitch development to prepare them for fundraising.

When fundraising launches, the Co-op team works with you to set up meaningful contacts with our large curated pool of investors.

Benefits: As a member of the Co-op, you get dedicated time with H/F team members to help you perfect your business plan and pitch deck. With regular pitch practice throughout the program, you'll be in top form when the introductions take place with potential investors or acquirers.




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