Startup Competition Guide


Startup competitions seeking e-commerce and retail companies

They include Retail Startup Awards, eCommerce StartUP Competition and Shoptalk Startup Pitch

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
July 10, 2018
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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 e-commerce and retail companies:


Description: "We look for solutions that address a major problem in retail or ecommerce, are unique in their approach to solving that problem, and have the ability to scale.:

Prize: Two $25,000 prizes

Previous winners: SHOP, ZigZag Global


Description: "We are seeking innovative ideas and technology solutions for the fashion and retail industries that will drive growth and revenue."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: 42 technologies, VNTANTA, Bombfell


Description: "See the best of robots, 3D printing, IoT, and every other emerging technology that fits that sweet spot of both TECHNOLOGICALLY POSSIBLE and ECONOMICALLY VIABLE. The future of commerce is created right here."

Prize: Startups compete to be a featured solution on CART, pre-qualify for potential $25,000 cash investment from CART partners and $25,000 in free CART services. Most importantly the forum provides exposure to potential customers, strategic investors and the media.

Previous winners: udelv, Local Roots


Description: "Do you have an innovative Retail product that could be the next big thing?Find out at the Pitch Competition, emceed by John Hill, the Techstars Network Catalyst and judged by a panel of industry executives and investors."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: Not specified



Description: "The eCommerce StartUP Competition is a Regional Initiative of the eCommerce Institute with the objective of promoting digital entrepreneurship and provide support to projects in Latin America with the greatest potential for development in the E-Commerce and Internet Business ecosystem."

Prize: For each eCommerce StartUP Competition a select jury will evaluate the candidates and select the winner, who in turn will compete during the year for being the best entrepreneurship of the competition in Latin America.

Previous winners: None specified 


Description: "EGI Booster, the first vertical accelerator dedicated to SaaS Commerce Tech (Ecommerce+Retail) startups and we are hosting our semi-annual Pitch Competition!"

Prize: A Startup Pack (valued at over €15,000) to participate in the next Digital 1to1 event

Previous winners: Beam HR


Description: "Connecting the corporate world with the AI start-up world is the mission of 42A a market network that helps enterprises to design AI experiments and to evaluate different AI solutions. The 42AI Start-up Competition for Retail 4.0 offers three start-ups the chance to pitch their solutions to an audience of +300 AI experts and business decision makers during the annual Predictive Analytics World for Business conference on the 13-14th November in Berlin."

Prize: Each invited start-up gets two combi pass tickets for the conference with two days of 7 parallel tracks, +60 sessions and +650 participants (worth up to 1.595€ per ticket). Recent Predictive Analytics World events include speakers and participants from the following companies: Rewe, S. Oliver, Unilever, Breuninger, Zalando, Otto, Douglas, Lidl and many more. In addition the winner of the pitch competition will receive special prizes from our sponsors.

Previous winners: Not specified


Description: "Entry to the Retail Recharged Breakthrough Innovation competition is free and provides startups with an opportunity to present your innovation to an audience of key decision makers within the retail industry."


  • 5 minutes on stage pitching your innovation in-front of an audience of 200+ retailers.
  • An opportunity to network with senior retail decision makers, including brand founders, CEOs, Ecommerce, Digital, Brand and Marketing Directors.
  • Have a chance to win your category and be invited to a half-day workshop of free consultancy and advice from a mix of brand, marketing and ecommerce experts from within the retail industry.
  • Chance, in 2018, to be awarded the winner of our 2017/18 Retail Recharged Breakthrough Innovation Award.

Previous winners: Divido


Description: "The Retail Startup Awards for Game Changers is a pitch competition for tech-retail startups and entrepreneurs. We will have 5 finalists, chosen to pitch their ideas to world retailers, venture capitalists and investors, industry experts, media, and potential clients in the iconic city of New York."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: Anaya Retailers, Nascens Enterprises, Retailworx India

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