Spark.me Startup Competition 

Spark.me continues its tradition of bringing together successful startups from all over Europe in its annual Startup Competition. Our competition is focused on innovation, the power of ideas, the startup’s potential to grow and team diversity. Participating in the competition enables startup founders to have access to advisers, mentors, workshops, and a network of investors, industry experts, and serial entrepreneurs.

This year, we have two amazing opportunities for the best-ranked teams! The grand prize for the winner of the Spark.me Startup Competition is the opportunity to exhibit in the TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2017 Startup Alley. The prize for the runner-up team is a 14-day-FREE stay for two entrepreneurs at Startup Embassy residence located in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley. Credits go to our sponsor – Startup Embassy.

In order to participate in the Spark.me Startup competition you need to apply by April 30, 2017, 23:59:59 UTC.

Eligibility

All startups founded after September 1, 2015, and that have received less than $2.5 million in funding, are eligible to apply, regardless of where they are registered. This is necessary in order to be eligible for the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 Startup Alley.

 

Application

You can apply for the Spark.me Startup Competition through the application form available on this page. After applying, the startups will have to pass the pre-selection round. In order to participate in the Spark.me Startup Competition you need to apply by April 30, 2017, 23:59:59 UTC. Please apply only if you are certain that you will be able to attend the event in person.

 

Pre-selection

The pre-selection process will end on May 11, 2017, when startups will be notified of jury selection. The 10 best startup teams will be invited to confirm their attendance by May 17, 2017. A list of Top 10 startups will be publicly announced on May 19, 2017. Selected startups will get to present at the Spark.me conference on May 29-30, 2017, in Hotel Mediteran, in Budva, Montenegro.

 

Competition

On the first day of the conference (May 29), all teams will present their project in front of a panel of judges. The allotted time for the pitches is 5 minutes, with additional 3 minutes to answer questions from the judging panel. After all 10 teams have presented, the judges will convene and chose 3 teams that will present in the final round. The finalists’ names will be released during the cocktail reception, at the end of the first day of the conference.

The final round will take place on the second day of the conference (May 30), when each of the 3 finalists will have 3 minutes to explain to the judges why they deserve the title of Spark.me Startup Competition winner. The winning team will get the unique opportunity to exhibit in the TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2017 Startup Alley, on September 18-20, 2017. This includes:

  • A return economy-class plane ticket to San Francisco (for 2 people),
  • Accommodation for three days (for 2 people),
  • Tickets for the TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2017 conference (for 2 people),
  • A Startup Alley booth at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2017.

The prize has an approximate value of $5,000, and a confirmed Startup Alley booth.

New in 2017! The runner-up team gets a prize as well – a 14-day-FREE stay for two entrepreneurs at Startup Embassy residence located in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, at the time of their choosing. This is made possible by our esteemed sponsor, Startup Embassy. Please note that the dates of the stay need to be confirmed with the Startup Embassy in advance, due to availability. The prize does not cover travel costs; travel costs fall on the team itself. 

Startup Alley

Startup Alley is jam-packed with early stage companies showing off their talent and technology to attendees. With different companies exhibiting for two days, Startup Alley hosts hundreds of exciting international companies in categories ranging from finance and security to e-commerce and travel. Many of these companies are launching at Disrupt for the first time. Disrupt is a great way to get in front of VCs and press.

Disrupt attendees vote for an Audience Choice Winner from the Startup Alley. The Audience Choice Winner receives the last spot to compete on stage as part of that day’s Battlefield contestants. If chosen, that company will be eligible to compete in the Battlefield for a chance to win the $50,000 grand prize and the coveted Disrupt Cup.  

Startup Embassy

Startup Embassy is the oldest entrepreneurial residence located in Palo Alto. They are a community of like-minded founders and provide collaboration, living, and workspace for international tech entrepreneurs that arrive at Silicon Valley. They only accept entrepreneurs working in their startups, so you get the benefit of sharing your time with like-minded individuals. Startup Embassy hosted entrepreneurs from over 50 countries and some of them have been accepted to Y Combinator, 500 Startups, and Singularity University.

Important Dates

 

  • April 30, 2017 – Spark.me Startup Competition application deadline
  • May 11, 2017 – Startups notified of jury selection
  • May 17, 2017 – Attendance confirmation due
  • May 19, 2017 – Top 10 startups publicly announced
  • May 29, 2017 – First round of the Spark.me Startup Competition in Budva, Montenegro
  • May 30, 2017 – Startup Competition finale and prize ceremony in Budva, Montenegro
  • September 18-20, 2017 – Winning startup attends TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why does the company have to be founded after September 1, 2015?
A: According to TC Disrupt rules, companies older than two years as well as those who had over $2.5 million in funding are not eligible to participate.

Q: Will the winner of the Spark.me Startup Competition get a cash prize?
A: No. The winning team gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in one of the most prestigious startup events in the world, TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2017. The prize has an approximate value of $5,000, and a confirmed Startup Alley booth. The runner-up of the Spark.me Startup Competition gets a 14-day-FREE stay for two entrepreneurs at Startup Embassy residence located in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley. 

Q: Who will be in charge of securing US visas for the winning team and the runner-up?
A: The winning and runner-up teams are required to provide all the necessary documents for securing the US Visa. The .ME Registry will assist in communications with the US Embassy or another institution in charge of granting the US Visa.

Q: Who will cover the travel costs for presenting at the Spark.me conference in Montenegro?
A: The travel and accommodation costs for attending the conference in Montenegro is to be covered by the teams themselves. The 10 teams that qualify for the Spark.me Startup competition will receive free conference tickets for all their team members.

Q: Should the startups be registered in Montenegro in order to participate?
A: No. The startups can be registered anywhere.

Startup application form

 

Verification