We’re stoked about hosting our first Startup Battlefield in Beirut, where we’ll showcase 15 amazing early-stage startups across the Middle East and North Africa. There’s nothing we love more than learning about, reporting on and supporting creative entrepreneurs in a growing tech startup ecosystem.
TechCrunch Startup Battlefield MENA 2018 takes place on October 3, and we want to make sure every awesome startup in the region gets a shot at being named “the Middle East and North Africa’s Most Promising Startup.” But you only have until August 6th at 9 p.m. PST to submit your application. Don’t wait and risk missing the opportunity to launch your company to the world. Apply here today.
And what an opportunity it is. Since 2007, almost 750 early-stage startups have participated in Startup Battlefield and gone on to collectively raised more than $8 billion in funding and produce more than 100 exits. Battlefield alumni companies you might recognize include Mint, Dropbox, Yammer, TripIt, Getaround and Cloudflare.
Here’s how Startup Battlefield MENA works. TechCrunch editors will closely review and vet all eligible applications (we’ll talk more about eligibility in a moment) and select 15 startups to compete. Founders of each team receive free pitch coaching from pitch-savvy TechCrunch editors and, come game day, they’ll be ready to present with confidence to a panel of expert judges.
The competition starts with three preliminary rounds — five startups per round will each have six minutes to pitch and present their demo. After each pitch, the judges have six minutes to ask any questions they like. All of this takes place in front of a live, enthusiastic audience filled with startup fans, tech-heads, media outlets and investors.
The judges will choose a total of five startups to move on to the final round, where the teams will pitch a second time to a fresh panel of judges. One of those five teams will win the competition, be champions of the first-ever Startup Battlefield MENA and earn the designation of “the Middle East and North Africa’s Most Promising Startup.”
In addition to a boatload of media and investor attention, the winning team gets US$25,000 in no-equity cash, plus a trip for two to compete in the Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2019 (assuming the company still qualifies to compete at the time).
Now, here are the basics that all founders must meet regarding eligibility:
- Have an early-stage company in “launch” stage
- Be headquartered in one of these eligible countries: Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Yemen
- Have a fully working product/beta reasonably close to, or in, production
- Have received limited press or publicity to date
- Have no known intellectual property conflicts
- Apply by August 6, 2018, at 9 p.m. PST
If that describes your startup situation, we want to see you in Beirut. TechCrunch Startup Battlefield MENA 2018 takes place on October 3, at the Beirut Digital District Nassif Yazigi, Lebanon. That application deadline will be here before you know it, so stop whatever you’re doing and apply right now.
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