The north of England’s most promising startups are being invited to enter a global pitching
competition, which could see them travel to New York to compete for a cash prize against
74 other countries.

Manchester-based Entrepreneurial-Spark powered by NatWest has partnered with
Washington, D.C.’s Global Network for Innovation 1776 to host the UK’s Challenge Cup 2017 on Wednesday 27 September.

The annual global competition brings together more than 50 cities around the world to
identify the most promising startups with the best ideas to solve the world’s biggest

The event underscores Manchester’s vibrant startup community and the contributions its
innovators are making in tackling some of the world’s most complex challenges.

The winner of the UK round of the Challenge Cup will be taken on a one-week paid trip to
New York to compete in the worldwide final and be in the running to win a cash prize.
Evan Burfield, CEO 1776 said: “We’re thrilled to join with Entrepreneurial-Spark to bring the Challenge Cup to Manchester, home to an inspiring community of entrepreneurs who are focused on solving problems that affect millions.

“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 the North of England has to offer.”

Challenge Cup participants will compete for 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.

Samatha Harland, Enabler at Entrepreneurial Spark, said: “With each new innovation,
Manchester’s entrepreneurs are driving transformative change here at home and beyond.
“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.”

Gemma Kirby, Entrepreneur Development Manager at NatWest, said: “We are delighted to
host the Challenge Cup at our hub in Manchester.It’s a wonderful way celebrate the achievement of all the entrepreneurs involved. We look forward to hearing their success stories.”

Including Manchester, Challenge Cup 2017 will take place in more than 50 cities around the
world, ranging from traditional startup hubs to emerging cities.

Each of these cities will select one startup to advance to the Global Finals at Challenge
Festival 2017 in New York City in November for the chance to win prizes and the
opportunity to access the business insights, coveted connections and sophisticated
expertise they most need to grow and scale.

This is the fourth year of the Challenge Cup, following three enormously successful rounds
that resulted in 1776 investments in several startups from around the world. The winners of the previous Challenge Cups— HandUp, Twiga Foods—prove that tomorrow’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 critical industries and government entities are introduced to these innovators’ fresh ideas that have the potential to solve those complex challenges.

Entrepreneurial-Spark are still looking for contestants and applying couldn’t be easier.
If you’re a UK based startup and want to be in with a chance of winning, follow the link to apply: cup-manchester.

Applicants must work within cities, education, energy, food, health, money, security, transportation,blockchain, AI or robotics/automation. Deadline to apply is Wednesday 13 th September.


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