Global incubator 1776 selects Vilnius Tech Park to host Challenge Cup startup competition
Aug 04

Global Network for Innovation 1776 and Vilnius Tech Park today announced they will join forces on 22 September in Vilnius to organise a local round of Challenge Cup 2017, an annual global competition around the world to identify the most promising startups that solve the world’s biggest challenges.

This year Vilnius is one of 75 cities, where the competition is taking place, including Dublin, Athens, Dubai, Osaka. The local event, organised in partnership with the world’s leading independent IT services company DXC Technology, will highlight a vibrant startup community of Lithuania and its neighbour countries as well as the contributions that innovators are making in tackling some of the world’s most complex challenges.

“We’re thrilled about partnering with Vilnius Tech Park in bringing the Challenge Cup to Vilnius, home to an inspiring community of entrepreneurs who are focused on solving global challenges,” said Antanas Uršulis, Managing Director of DXC Technology in Lithuania. “More than just a competition, the Challenge Cup is our way of helping identify the most promising startups in the region and give them an opportunity to present their vision on a global stage. We are excited to collaborate with participants of the Challenge Cup, to share our knowledge and we are eager to hear their original ideas.”

Challenge Cup Vilnius participants will pitch their startups to the jury and compete for a free trip to the Global Finals in November 13-17, 2017. There, the finalists will compete for the grand prizes and have a chance to connect with the investors, customers, media and other key relationships that can help them succeed on a global scale. “Together with global innovators, Lithuania’s entrepreneurs are driving transformative change at home and beyond,” said Darius Žakaitis, Managing Director of Vilnius Tech Park. “We are excited to partner with 1776 to give these leaders a chance to share their ideas on the global stage and to access global resources that will help them grow businesses. Also, recognising a huge startup potential in the region, we encourage participation of startups from the Baltics, Belarus, Russia, Poland and Ukraine.” According to D. Žakaitis, Vilnius is a perfect location to host a local round of Challenge Cup due to its vibrant startup ecosystem and its convenient international traveling links. Furthermore, Vilnius Tech Park can offer a unique event location and the organisation’s experience in organising startup events.

Startups within certain criteria can submit an application via 1776’s UNION content platform by September 8. In total up to 20 startups will be selected to present in a live pitch competition in Challenge Cup Vilnius. Including Vilnius, Challenge Cup 2017 will take place in more than 70 cities around the world, ranging from leading startup hubs to emerging cities. Each of these cities will select one winning startup per local to advance to the Global Finals at Challenge Festival 2017 in New York City in November. 1776’s Challenge Festival is a multi-day conference exploring innovation in regulated markets. This is the fourth year of the Challenge Cup, following three enormously successful rounds that resulted in 1776 investments in several startups from around the world. The winners of the previous Challenge Cups— HandUp, Twiga Foods—prove that tomorrow’s highly scalable success stories can and will come from all over the world.

Through Challenge Cup, entrepreneurs are not only connected to the investors and mentors they need to succeed, but corporations and policymakers in some of the world’s most critical industries and government entities are introduced to these innovators’ fresh ideas that have the potential to solve those complex challenges.

Ready to pitch your startup on a global stage? Join Lithuania’s Vilnius Tech Park, in partnership with DXC Baltic and Go Vilnius, for a local edition of 1776 Challenge Cup in September 22. Up to 20 startups will have a chance to pitch for the chance to win a ticket to the Final round in New York in November! Teams from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Ukraine are welcome. Find out more and apply by 8 September.