Business

‘Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash’ set to showcase knockout entrepreneurs

This sponsored post is produced by the Kauffman Foundation.

This fall, U.S. entrepreneurs are seizing the opportunity to compete against outstanding startups across the nation and around the world as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation hosts the first-ever “Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash.” The final round of the U.S. competition is on Monday, Nov. 18, and it’ll be streamed live from the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, giving viewers a ringside seat to all the exciting entrepreneurial action.

That night a panel of five high-profile judges will decide which U.S. entrepreneur’s pitch packs the biggest punch – and that entrepreneur will immediately be on his or her way to compete in the Get in the Ring international finals on Nov. 22 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Making it to the (boxing) ring at the Kauffman Foundation will be a big accomplishment for the final eight entrepreneurs. They will have made it from the initial round of 283 startups who applied, through the semifinal round of 40 of the nation’s best founders, to center stage. While in Kansas City, these “elite eight” entrepreneurs will immerse themselves in educational presentation coaching, bask in the national spotlight, and network with leading experts in the field. They’ll compete live for cash prizes, additional benefits and, of course, the chance to continue on to Rotterdam.

Once in Rotterdam, the U.S. champion will spar with seven other international finalists for a chance to secure angel investment from a potential pool of more than $1 million.

Get in the Ring is a pitch competition founded in 2009 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 journeys. In just five years, the competition has grown to include 30 nations. The international finals are held each November during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The esteemed panel of entrepreneurs and business leaders confirmed to judge the U.S. finals includes Marc Ecko, the founder and chief creative officer of Marc Ecko Enterprises; Steve Felice, the president and chief commercial officer of Dell; Lisa Gansky, the chief instigator of Mesh Labs; Matthew Rubel, a private investor and senior adviser to TPG Capital; and Denmark West, a specialist at Los Angeles-based K1 Investment Management. James Digby, a cofounder of the award-winning startup incubator Rockstart Accelerator in the Netherlands, will serve as emcee for the U.S. event.

VentureBeat joins Sprint, boxing equipment company Combat Brands/Ringside Inc. and Kansas City PBS television station KCPT as a sponsor of the event.

For more information about Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash, visit www.kauffman.org/GITR.

For information about the international competition in Rotterdam, visit www.GITR.nl


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