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Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash

Get in the Ring is a startup pitch competition founded by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands to bring the world’s most promising entrepreneurs together with those who can help them succeed and to inspire others to start their entrepreneurial journey. Five U.S. finalists will go on to compete against five finalists from Mexico and five finalists from Canada in the first-ever North American Startup Clash, held on November 7, in Kansas City, MO.

Any entrepreneur who meets the following criteria is eligible to apply for the U.S. competition:

  • The startup is not more than 5 years old and is based in the United States. 
  • The startup is a scalable and innovative business idea or model.
  • The entrepreneur must be a United States citizen or be legally present in the United States pursuant to a visa or other document that permits you to work for and operate your business.
  • The entrepreneur must be able to legally travel to Rotterdam, Netherlands, expenses-paid, to participate in the final event on November 21, 2014 (i.e.-, you have a passport, or if you are not a United States citizen, have the necessary visa or other paperwork required for citizens from your home country to travel to Rotterdam).
  • The entrepreneur is seeking funding that is available if he or she wins the North American competition and his/her startup is determined to be worthy of funding by the investor judges at the global finals.

To begin the application process, click the Log In/Register button at top left.

NOTE: If you are a U.S.-based startup but not a U.S. citizen, you can still participate in the international Get in the Ring competition.  Find out how here.

U.S. Competition Schedule

  • August 15: Online applications due
  • September 2: Up to 20 U.S. semifinalists announced
  • September 26: Deadline for semifinalists to submit a three-minute video
  • October 10: 15 North American finalists announced and invited to Get in the Ring in Kansas City
  • November 6-7: Finalists arrive in Kansas City to compete head-to-head in the North American Startup Clash.  Travel expenses are provided.
  • November 21: The winning North American entrepreneur will travel to compete in the international finals in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where he or she will compete against seven other entrepreneurs for a chance at more than $1 million in angel funding. Travel expenses are provided.

The 15 entrepreneur finalists who come to Kansas City will receive educational presentation coaching, national and international exposure, and networking opportunities with leading entrepreneurship experts. Details about additional benefits will be communicated when confirmed.

In an open event such as Get in the Ring, it is challenging to maintain confidentiality while sharing innovative ideas. Participants are advised not to disclose any information that may compromise their ability to secure protection of their intellectual property, since such information will be presented to all judges and possibly a worldwide audience, and possibly be published online.


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