Two Canadian startups in Vancouver’s Rosterbot and Whitby’s Enginuity Search Media have been recognized among 50 startups across the world among the “GEW 50”, or the 50 most innovative new companies participating in the Startup Open.
Sponsored by Global Entrepreneurship Week, the GEW 50 is a competition that recognizes startups with high-growth potential. These “elite ventures” will now vie for a handful of prizes with the winners announced during Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 18-24.
“The next generation of entrepreneurs looks increasingly diverse as startup ecosystems around the world strengthen and mature,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. “The programs and support available to these young companies at the earliest stages—during Global Entrepreneurship Week and throughout the year—are critical to their success and, ultimately, widespread economic growth and job creation.”
Rosterbot “seeks to help create a world where every person pursues happiness, health, and community through team activities.” Featuring former NHLer Bret Hedican as a team member, the startup provides tools to make the organization, enumeration, and conversation around team and community events more efficient. Meanwhile, across the country in Ontario, Enginuity is a search engine that helps find information that is socially relevant and deemed valuable by others through social shares across the web. It gives users the ability to find search results which resonate with people and in turn, share it with their social networks.
The companies recognized hail from 24 countries on six continents and represent a range of industry sectors—from enterprise tech and software innovations to health, life sciences and travel. Startups from Pakistan, Bolivia, Slovakia, US, Philippines, and more made the top 50. It’s unclear how many companies applied to be in the Startup Open, and thus how competitive the process was.
Startup Open applicants were judged on the concept and growth projections for their businesses as well as their knowledge of their industries. Each was required to have a “startup moment” between GEW 2012 and GEW 2013 (Nov. 12, 2012 to Nov. 18, 2013). A “startup moment” is anything that can be interpreted as the company is “open for business,” such as becoming incorporated, completing a first sale or securing outside funding.
The GEW 50 will now go through a second round of judging to select the overall winners, which will be announced on Monday, Nov. 18, the opening day of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The Startup Open Grand Prize winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Moscow where they will attend the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in March 2014. The GEC brings together entrepreneurs, investors, global leaders and startup champions from more than 100 countries to explore the best ways to build and strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems. As part of the experience, the Startup Open winner will have the opportunity to showcase his or her startup on a global scale and meet with potential collaborators, mentors and others to help the startup grow.
Additionally, one person from the winning startup will have the opportunity to stay for up to three months—rent-free— at the GEW Startup House in the Kansas City Startup Village (KCSV), where he or she will have access to one of the fastest Internet speeds in the world.