Spark the Fire Pitch Competition: Full Program and Semi-Finalists
In one week, the Spark the Fire Pitch Competition Final will kick off at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at Stanford University in the heart of American innovation — Silicon Valley. The competition is part of GES+, a day-long intensive program dedicated to 150 of 2016’s most dynamic global women and youth entrepreneurs whose businesses have the potential to scale and catalyze change. GES+ offers a diverse group of inspiring startups from across the globe an additional opportunity to learn from prominent entrepreneurs, compete for prizes and awards, and make valuable connections with investors and business leaders from around the world. Learn more about this exciting event and get to know the semi-finalists below.
The journey to the final
Each year, GES+ organizes a global startup challenge, the Spark the Fire Pitch Competition, to identify the most promising startups led by this select group of youth and women entrepreneurs.
Over 80 GES+ participants submitted 3-minute videos through Startup Compete for this year’s pitch competition. Already selected from a diverse pool of applicants, founders embraced the challenge to go beyond sounding great on paper and recorded their pitch for a panel of expert judges.
After the initial round of pitch videos, 36 startups have been selected to proceed to the semi-finals. At GES+, these selected founders will live pitch to a judging panel based on five categories:Agriculture, Technology and Health, Products and Services, and Social Impact. The top six founders will then advance to the final round later that day — where they will pitch on the main stage in front of the entire GES+ audience, including investors, and compete for a total of $65,000 in cash prizes, Dell products, leather goods from Shinola, and the opportunity to meet with key mentors to help prepare them for the next level of growth.
GES+ aims to connect global startups to the capital, talent, and expertise they need to get to the next level. The 36 finalists will participate in this one-day program in which they will meet with their fellow GES+ delegates, local startups, investors, and business leaders from around the world.
All semi-finalists will qualify to compete for selection into the GEN Starters Club powered by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). GEN Starters Club members have exclusive access to local networks in the 160+ countries in which GEN is active, a resource we hope will support and accelerate their journey to global expansion.
Meet the semi-finalists
- Coffee Tree — Tunisia — A product based startup making the only fertilizer on the Tunisian market that includes nutrients found in coffee grounds, as well as other essential elements found in competing organic products. Website
- Croper — Colombia — A web marketplace that allows farmers to buy farm supplies simply and efficiently. Website
- Cropital — Philippines — A crowdfunding platform connecting online users around the world to opportunities to help finance our farmers. Website
- Idvorsky Electric Tractor — Serbia — A highly efficient, eco-friendly solution for multi-functional applications in agriculture & farming, and for use in environmentally sensitive surroundings such as national parks and green city cores. Website
- Mobile Solar Water Pump — Egypt — Developing, building, and selling Mobile Solar Pumps to fulfill an existing need in the agriculture market. Website
- Siam Organic — Thailand — A social business that aims to solve the problem of farmers’ poverty through innovative organic products with global appeal. “Jasberry rice” is a new variety of rice that combines both the delicious taste of the world famous Thai Jasmine rice and the powerful nutritional and antioxidant benefits of berries. Website
Social Impact A
- Kingo Energy — Guatemala — A pre-paid solar energy service to the 1.3 billion people at the Bottom-of-the-Pyramid, who live without access to electricity. Website
- Memunatu — USA—A unique, community-driven magazine along with a teacher’s guide that are distributed through schools quarterly.
- Sesame Enable — Israel — Sesame created the world’s first Touch-Free Control technology for mobile devices, depending solely on the built-in front facing camera, expanding smartphone accessibility to those unable to use their hands. Website
- SWITCH S.A. — Haiti — Market-based solution to clean cooking energy in Haiti.
- The Bombchel Factory — USA — an African fashion wonderland that produces ethically made, high quality garments for sale in Monrovia, Liberia. Website
- Tibeb Girls — Ethiopia — An animated series about three young girls who use their superpowers to fight injustice and harmful practices towards girls in Ethiopia.
Social Impact B
- Carpolo — Lebanon — A platform that acts as a search engine for unused car space by incentivizing drivers to list their empty car seats on our app. Website
- GPSGAY — Uruguay — A secure and professional space for the LGBT community in Latin America, allowing users to find gay-friendly services and social media with curated content such as films, books, and events. Website
- iHUB Network — Ukraine — A network of innovation and entrepreneurship centres. Website
- Laboratoria — Peru — Empowering young women from low-income backgrounds with access to education and work in the digital sector, transforming their lives and bringing diversity to the industry. Website
- Miss Rizos Salon — Dominican Republic — A social enterprise that celebrates, educates, and provides top quality curly hair services to women, men, and children. Website
- NomadEd — Kazakhstan — An online learning system for people with disabilities and special education needs.
- Devinity — Poland — A SaaS (Software as a Service) for internal use of medium and large IT businesses such as software development companies, research & engineering departments, telecoms, or banks. Website
- Glazziq — Thailand — Providing customers a photo-rich e-commerce shopping experience supported by free eye exams and after-sales service, through our optical retail partners. Website
- Hakeem Health — Qatar — Mobile application to help people to find a home visit doctor in the fastest and easiest way. Just a few clicks and your doctor will be at the door! Website
- Sunvest — India — A rooftop solar company reducing the cost of power for homeowners in urban India and using the latest battery technologies. Website
- SaferMom — Nigeria — Providing maternal health information through the use of low-cost SMS, voice services and mobile app technology. Website
- Stolik — Uzbekistan — Mobile applications for automation of restaurant table reservations and guest relationship management. Website
- ChampionsID — Greece — Single meeting point for athletes & sports professionals and a live marketplace of talent and sports career opportunities. Website
- Gefi — Iran — People can share their WiFi connection and earn money. Website
- Immersive Education Solutions — Armenia — Producing a series of immersive (FullDome) educational movies and shows on astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, ecology, history, and more. Website
- Movivan — Peru — Connecting passengers with VAN drivers through a digital platform. Website
- BeConnections — Spain — B2B networking platform that enables small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across markets, groups, and industries to showcase their companies, search for prospects, and connect with local businesses online. Website
- Strauss Stima BIPV — Kenya — Offering 2-in-1 roofing tiles infused with solar cells to real estate developments. Website
- Cookies and cookies franchise — Colombia — A scientific theme for our customers to experience the “mad science” in our cookie products, offering 7 flavors of cookies and two seasonal cookies. Website
- Preschool education franchise — Kazakhstan — A new preschool educational center in one of the most fashionable locations of Astana as a benchmark for a whole network of such centers in all areas of the city, with a common concept and program. Website
- P2P Medication Support — Nepal — Improving the medical access of the bottom of the pyramid in Nepal by connecting patients directly with helping hands.
- ListenMi Interactive Story Textbook — Jamaica — Creating interactive digital textbooks that are culturally relevant, attention-grabbing, and inspire creativity. Website
- MemTalk — Armenia — Reinventing digital storytelling through mobile app that creates lightweight slideshows aligned with voice on the spot. Website
- SparkGig — Canada — A web/mobile platform, we compose affordable and standardized live performance packages that can be booked instantly through our platform. Website
Learn more about the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and ways to engage at www.ges2016.com. Join the conversation on social media with #GES2016 and follow us @ges2016, https://facebook.com/2016ges, and https://instagram.com/ges2016!
Steven A. Rodriguez is Startup Community Manager at the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). GEN is proud to be the implementing partner of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, working with the U.S. Department of State and other amazing partners to connect global entrepreneurs with the access and exchange needed to create and innovate, and unleash their power to change the world.