Startup Open 2011 Kicks Off Search for Most Promising New Companies


Attention startups: Now’s a good time to be on your best behavior. The entrepreneurship-focused Kauffman Foundation nonprofit is officially on the hunt for the 50 most promising startups from around the world for its second annual “Startup Open” competition.

The Startup Open is a part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), a Kauffman Foundation initiative aimed at fostering new business innovation through events in more than 100 countries. Applicants have from now until Sept. 15, 2011 to submit their startups for consideration for this year’s GEW, which will kick off on Nov. 15, 2011.

Any entrepreneur worldwide who has had a “startup moment”– defined by the Kauffman Foundation as any action related to launching a new business — since the last GEW on Nov. 22, 2010 is eligible to apply for Startup Open 2011. The top 50 startups will be chosen based on their concept, growth projections, and demonstrated industry knowledge.

The 2010 Startup Open’s first place winner was Olivier Ceberio, founder of Boston-based startup Resolute Marine Energy, which is developing technologies to produce clean energy from ocean waves. Ceberio received a trip to visit Richard Branson’s Necker Island for a day-long networking pow-wow with Branson and other entrepreneurs. “The day flew like a dream: a race in hobby cat with Sir Branson as personal pilot; a trip around the island in the Necker Belle, a catamaran that looks more like a floating resort than a sailboat; a casino night; and several networking sessions where I could mingle with some of the brightest people I ever met,” Ceberio wrote in a blog post.

This year’s grand prizes haven’t been announced yet, but if you have a brand-new startup, it could pay off to throw your hat into the ring.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Simon Peckham

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