The winners of the 1776’s Second Challenge Cup from Left to Right: Radiator Labs' Meg Sutton, Twiga Fruits' Grant Brooke, Cognotion's Jonathan Dariyanani and Reliefwatch's Daniel Yu. Image Credit: Technical
The winners of the 1776’s Second Challenge Cup from Left to Right: Radiator Labs' Meg Sutton, Twiga Fruits' Grant Brooke, Cognotion's Jonathan Dariyanani and Reliefwatch's Daniel Yu. Image Credit: Technical

Startup Incubators Partnering to Identify Kampala’s Most Promising Startups As Part of International Competition Featuring $1M in Funding Opportunities

Global startup incubator and seed fund 1776 and Hive Colab today announced they will join forces in Kampala on 4th December, 2015 to host Challenge Cup 2016, an annual global competition spanning more than 50 cities around the world to identify the most promising startups with the best ideas to solve the world’s biggest challenges.

The event underscores Kampala’s vibrant startup community and the contributions its innovators are making in tackling some of the world’s most difficult and intractable social challenges.

“We’re thrilled to join with Hive Colab to bring the Challenge Cup to Kampala, home to an inspiring community of entrepreneurs who are focused on solving the complex, intractable problems that affect millions,” said 1776 co-founder Donna Harris. “More than just a competition, the Challenge Cup is a global movement to help identify the most promising startups and give them an opportunity to share their vision on a global stage. We can’t wait to see what Kampala has to offer.”

Challenge Cup participants compete for $1 million in prizes as well as the chance to connect with the investors, customers, media and other key relationships that can help them succeed on a global scale.

“With each new innovation, Kampala’s entrepreneurs are driving transformative change here at home and beyond,” said Barbara Birungi. “We are excited to partner with 1776 and the Challenge Cup to provide these leaders with a platform for accessing global resources that will help them grow their companies and achieve their full potential.”

Including Kampala, Challenge Cup 2016 will take place in more than 50 cities around the world, ranging from traditional startup hubs to emerging cities. Collectively, the cities will select 135 startups to participate in 9 regional competitions—Eastern North America, Eastern Mediterranean/Europe, Africa, Western North America, Western Europe, Eastern Asia, Latin America, Middle East/North Africa, and India/SE Asia/Oceania—during which the field will be winnowed down to 45 startup competitors. These 45 regional winners will join 45 additional wildcard slots to compete for $1 million in cash prizes and funding at the global finals in Washington, D.C. during 1776’s Challenge Festival, a week long festival in June 2016 exploring innovation in regulated markets. During the Challenge Festival, these startups will also have an opportunity to access the business insights, coveted connections and sophisticated expertise they most need to grow and scale.

To power Challenge Cup 2016, 1776 is partnering with two unique organizations whose combined reach will enable the Challenge Cup to be unlike any other global program. This year, the Challenge Cup is being presented in partnership with investment firm Revolution, an active champion for the emergence of entrepreneurial communities and startups outside of Silicon Valley. Additionally, 1776 has joined with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), which works on the ground in 150 countries to advance entrepreneurship around the world, to engage startup communities on every continent to participate in the Challenge Cup.

This is the third year of the Challenge Cup, following two enormously successful rounds that resulted in 1776 investments in several startups from around the world. The winner of the inaugural Challenge Cup was HandUp, a groundbreaking platform based in San Francisco that matches specific online donors to homeless people in need. The winner of Challenge Cup 2015 was Twiga Foods, a company that has created a market solution to solve the problem of rising food prices across Africa and is based in Nairobi—proving thattomorrow’s highly scalable success stories can and will come from all over the globe.

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 entrenched industries and government entities are introduced to these innovators’ fresh ideas that have the potential to solve big, difficult challenges.