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Get In the Ring: The Sweet (Startup) Science

Jonathan Robinson

Jonathan RobinsonWe’re looking for a champion. A courageous entrepreneur with shoulders broad enough to bear the hopes and dreams of the entire country across the Atlantic to represent America at a global contest of pitching pugilism.

Come November, a storied arena and seven fearsome founders from around the world will await our challenger in Rotterdam, where they will touch gloves and go head-to-head in the fifth annual Get in the Ring Global Investment Battle, a startup pitch competition hosted by the Erasmus University Centre for Entrepreneurship during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013. The World Champion will have an opportunity to raise up to €1,000,000 in angel equity investment, and all global competitors will connect with and learn from an accomplished group of entrepreneurs from around the world.

We have enlisted an elite team of entrepreneurs and experts to join us at the U.S. national competition here at Kauffman to prepare our American pitching prizefighter for international founder fisticuffs. We’re fortunate to have in our corner a talented, experienced and diverse team of judges to help us send our best champion into the Rotterdam ring. Lisa Gansky, founder of Ofoto, is the author of a terrific book on building a startup in the sharing economy. Brand guru, entrepreneur and angel, Marc Ecko, is on our judging squad, and also has a new book out this Fall – Unlabel – that I’m excited to read. Denmark West is an investor, mentor to a number of startups, and was previously president of digital media at BET Networks, and Matthew Rubel is renowned as a turnaround CEO with extensive consumer brand experience.

And because the most talented entrepreneurs, like prizefighters, can be hard to find, we’ve partnered with 55 of the very best organizations training and supporting entrepreneurs in communities around the country. Organizations like the Brandery, The Hub, StartX, CODE2040, Bizdom, LaunchTN, and Coloft are our talent scouts, finding and prepping their best entrepreneurs for this startup slam.

We’ve got a great team in our corner, and so we’re confident that whichever scrapper startup we send in to don the American flag trunks and put up their dukes in the pygmachic pitchfest in November will be a contender. More info on the event and entrepreneur eligibility is here. The deadline for applications is September 3; submit yours here.

We want an American victor in Rotterdam in November, so American entrepreneurs, start your training montage now!

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