NYC to Host World Cup for Problem-Solving Startups This Month

"We’re not looking for the next Angry Birds or Yo."

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Who will triumph? (Screengrab: YouTube)

From standing out on Kicktarter to vying for VC, startups have to work so hard to get noticed that you could call the whole tech industry a competition.

On November 20, NYC will host a literal startup competition — Challenge Cup 2015, wherein startups focused on solving some of the world’s biggest challenges in education, energy and health care will compete for prizes and meet with mentors, partners and investors.

The NYU School of Engineering is partnering with 1776, the startup incubator behind the event, to make the Big Apple one of 16 host cities of the second annual global competition.

“We give these young companies the connections they need to grow, scale, and ultimately spark meaningful, positive change in entrenched, highly regulated sectors like energy, education, health care and cities,” 1776 co-founder Donna Harris told Betabeat.

During the competition, 40 startups will attend a two-day accelerator program before presenting their one-minute pitches. Eight semi-finalists will then move on to the five-minute pitch round from which four finalists will be selected to compete for the $650,00 grand prize in the global finals in Washington D.C.

Previous year’s winners included PlugSurfing, a Berlin-based mobile app that allows drivers of electric vehicles to quickly locate charging stations; eduCanon, an online learning environment that creates and shares interactive video lessons to help new teachers; and Lingual.ly, a new, free approach to digital language learning.

“We’re not looking for the next Angry Birds or Yo,” Ms. Harris said. “We’re looking for the next solution to traffic gridlock, a pathbreaking health care app or the next breakthrough in testing water for unsafe chemicals.”

NYC to Host World Cup for Problem-Solving Startups This Month