Startup Open Announces Top Prizes, Including Trip to Liverpool for Global Entrepreneurship Congress and Mentoring Program with Redbox Founders

Release Date: 7/27/2011

For information and interviews contact:
Barbara Pruitt                                                                       Matt Hantz
Kauffman Foundation                                                         M Booth & Associates
(816) 932-1288                                                                   (212) 481-7000
bpruitt@kauffman.org                                                       matth@mbooth.com

Startup Open Announces Top Prizes, Including Trip to Liverpool
 for Global Entrepreneurship Congress and Mentoring Program
with Redbox Founders

Select Startups Have Chance to Start Firms in Chile, Receiving $40,000 in Capital and a One-Year Work Visa

StartUp OpenKansas City , Mo. ( July 27, 2011) – Startup Open aims to answer a question plaguing economists, investors and Main Street alike: Who are the next generation of entrepreneurs that will grow to become tomorrow’s Google, Apple or Facebook? Startup Open is a competition that recognizes the “GEW 50,” a group of 50 companies deemed to have the greatest chance of growing into game-changing firms that will move markets and create jobs.

Startup Open today announced its top honors and prizes, which will be awarded during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2011. One winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip and VIP delegate credentials to participate in Liverpool’s Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March, 2012. The Congress will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, global leaders and startup champions from more than 100 countries. While there, the Startup Open winner will have the opportunity to showcase its business plan on a global scale, gain valuable insight from successful and experienced entrepreneurs, and network with world leaders, economists and other experts.

“Job creation rests in the hands of high-growth startups, those with the agility to navigate tough marketplaces while solving real-world issues through innovations that improve lives,” said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. “Startup Open is designed to identify these startups and give them the tools to make real, fundamental change.”

A second Startup Open winner will receive one year of mentoring from Redbox founding members and serial entrepreneurs Michael DeLazzer and Biju Kulathaka, courtesy of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. The program will include a trip to DeLazzer’s home in Marco Island, Fla., where the winner’s business plan will be scrutinized and market opportunities will be identified. Redbox is the second largest video rental company in the world, with more than 35,000 locations in the United States and revenue exceeding $1 billion.

“Participating in Startup Open deeply changed the way I think about my company and the impact it can have if we pick the right path. We were challenged to think bigger than ever before,” said Olivier Ceberio of Resolute Marine Energy, the 2010 Startup Open Grand Prize Winner.

Select startups from those named to the “GEW 50” will be invited to participate in Start-Up Chile, a ground-breaking program that attracts world-class, early-stage entrepreneurs from around the world and gets them to start their firms in Chile. Participating startups will receive $40,000 in equity-free, seed capital and a one-year work visa in Chile, along with access to the most potent social and capital networks in the country. The involvement of the “GEW 50” aims to help Start-Up Chile reach its goal of bringing in 300 participants to Chile in 2011.

Startup Open is a featured competition of GEW, an initiative founded by the Kauffman Foundation to spur new ideas, ingenuity and firm creation through local, national and global activities in more than 100 countries. The competition, now in its second year, is open to entrepreneurs who have a “startup moment” between GEW 2010 and GEW 2011 (Nov. 22, 2010 to Nov. 20, 2011). A startup moment is defined as any action related to launching a new business, such as incorporating a company; officially opening the doors for business; completing a first sale; or securing outside funding. The “GEW 50” will be announced on Oct. 15, 2011, with those companies then competing for the top honors and prizes to be announced at the start of GEW 2011 on Nov. 14.

Startup Open applicants will have until Sept. 15 to submit their “startup moment.”

For more information on how to enter and the 2010 winners, please visit www.startupopen.com.

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Global Entrepreneurship Week

During one week each November, thousands of activities around the world inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial action while connecting them to potential mentors, collaborators and investors. In three short years, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to more than 100 countries—empowering nearly 20 million people through 95,000 activities. Powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a growing network of 24,000 partner organizations. For more information, visit www.unleashingideas.org, and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.

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