Kansas City, Mo. (Press Release – Oct. 19, 2011) – In the search to find tomorrow’s job creators, Startup Open, a competition that searches for startups with the greatest growth potential, unveiled the “GEW 50.” The GEW 50 is a list of the world’s 50 most innovative new companies. These elite startups will now vie for a host of prizes to be announced on Nov. 14, timed with the kick-off to Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2011. GEW is a global celebration of innovative and enterprising activity that was founded by the Kauffman Foundation.
Hundreds of applications from more than 60 countries were judged on concept, growth projections and knowledge of their industry. The search, which began in March 2011, sought to identify new ventures that have a “startup moment” between GEW 2010 and GEW 2011 (11/22/10 to 11/20/11). A startup moment is defined as any event related to launching a new business, such as securing outside funding or officially opening the doors for business.
“These 50 companies represent the best and brightest of today’s entrepreneurs—and they hold the key to spurring economic revival and sustained growth,” said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. “We hope that recognizing these promising startups will inspire other aspiring entrepreneurs to take chances and start new ventures.”
Startup Open is a featured competition of GEW, an initiative designed to spur new ideas, ingenuity and firm creation through local, national and global activities in more than 120 countries.
Aiming for Top Prize
The GEW 50 now have a chance to win several prizes, including an all-expenses-paid trip and VIP delegate credentials to participate in Liverpool’s Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March 2012. The Startup Open winning founder(s) will showcase the company’s business plan on a global scale, gain valuable insight from successful and experienced entrepreneurs and network with world leaders, economists and other experts.
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 (EO). 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 U.S. and revenues exceeding $1 billion.
The list of GEW 50 companies that have been deemed to have the greatest chance of growing into game-changing firms that will move markets and create jobs is available at www.startupopen.com.
GEW 50 companies are based in these states:
District of Columbia Illinois
New Jersey New York
South Carolina Tennessee
About 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.
About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people’s eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. In addition, the Foundation focuses on initiatives in the Kansas City region to advance students’ math and science skills, and improve the educational achievement of urban students, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, a college preparatory charter school for middle and high school students set to open in 2011. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation on Twitter at @kauffmanfdn and Facebook.