ATP Innovations has again teamed up with Washington DC-based incubator 1776 to host the local finals of the 1776 Challenge Cup, a global competition that aims to identify the startups poised to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.
The event, to be held on 25 November, is one of 45 localised events taking place around the world. The top three startups pitching at each event will be sent to the regional finals, with five startups from each regional event then going to the final in Washington DC, to be held as part of a week-long festival in February.
Startups this year are being asked to tackle meaningful problems across categories including cities, education, energy, food, health, money, security, and transportation. Winners will share in $175,000 cash, while there is also over $1 million up for grabs in the form of potential investment.
But more than the cash, the Challenge Cup looks to offer participants important industry knowledge and connections on a global scale; the 1776 campus is located just a few blocks down from the White House and has seen visits and talks from the President. Regional and global competition participants will be given the chance to attend workshops, industry roundtables, and mentor sessions with top industry figures and 1776 staff.
The global winner of the 2015 Challenge was Twiga Fruits, a startup that has created a solution for the problem of rising food prices across Africa. Its solution offers farmers a formal guaranteed prices, handles the produce with care to eliminate loss, and delivers directly to thousands of independent kiosks.
The three other winners at the global event were Cognotion, a startup looking to decrease employee chrun rate using gaming and video tools designed for entry-level millennials; Radiator Labs, which improves the heating efficiencies of old buildings; and ReliefWatch, an inventory management platform for multinational NGOs operating health clinics in developing countries.
This is the second year ATP Innovations is hosting the Sydney event. The winners of last year’s local competition were Milaana, a startup connecting university students with project-based internships and opportunities from local organisations that increase both job preparedness and community engagement; Wattblock, which uses data analytics and big data to estimate a building’s energy consumption and how savings can be made; ResQdevices, a startup creating devices for smarter healthcare; and Propeller Aero, which helps companies understand the possibilities of drone technology.
Startups interested in applying for the Sydney competition can do so here.