The UK government is to invite 300 international entrepreneurs to London's Tech City during the 2012 Paralympics to take part in the StartUp Games – a competition to find the world’s most promising start-ups.
During a three-day event run by UKTI's Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO), participants will have the opportunity to compete against each other in categories such as product development, protecting IP, brand, marketing and sales, and business development. The full list of categories will depend on the start-ups that apply
They will also be able to take part in a range of interactive business-led activities, and hear from some of the UK's top technology entrepreneurs including Dan Crow, CTO of Songkick, and Paul Birch, Co-Founder of Bebo.
Initial applications will be judged by a panel of experts from UKTI on criteria including the stage of the business, ability to articulate competitive differentiation and a summary of the company’s business plan.
Successful applicants will then be invited to the Games at Hackney House, with the qualifying rounds commencing on 29 August. Seven “torch bearers”, representing the most compelling initial applications, will then be selected to co-host sessions during the next day’s competitions.
Category winners and an overall champion will be announced on the final day. TCIO said there would be no cash prizes or investment, but that the winners would benefit from publicity and recognition among peers.
Commenting on the initiative earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron said the Olympics were a chance for companies from across the globe to interact and do business in the UK.
“Entrepreneurship is incredibly important to the growth of the global economy, and the innovation that comes from start-ups has the potential to fundamentally change the way we work, live and socialise,” said Eric van der Kleij, chief executive of TCIO.
“By hosting the Start-Up Games, we want to spotlight the great potential of these entrepreneurs and young companies.”
TCIO announced yesterday that it has appointed Benjamin Southworth – one of the founders and organisers of Digital Sizzle and Silicon Drinkabout – as Deputy CEO.
The news comes after Eric van der Kleij announced last month that he would step down as Chief Executive of TCIO when his two-year contract comes to an end this summer.
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