Startup World Cup shows how with right support tech can change the world [Opinion]


As a recent attendee of the Startup World Cup (held last week — Ed) in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to engage with some very interesting emerging technology startups, as well as attend the finals of the event.

The Startup World Cup is a global platform that creates innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for startup ecosystems all over the world.

Partnering with some of world’s largest conferences and tech events to host over 40 regional startup competitions across six continents — North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

The event is the world’s largest global startup gathering with investors joining from more than 27 countries. At its recent culmination, it offered one innovative startup a $1-million grand prize in investment.

What made the grand finale at the Startup World Cup so worthwhile, was the collection of some of the best minds in venture capital (VC), investors, CEOs and startup founders.

The Startup World Cup shows how with right support, funding startups can change the world

At the event, Ray Lane, the venture turnaround specialist that grew Oracle’s market cap by 65x to over $200-billion, and who was also an early stage investor in Nasdaq’s darling startup IPO, Beyond Meat, noted that venture capital is not just about raising a lot of money.

Said Lane: “You have to build a company and that involves people. What creates value for investors is building businesses, and not just great tech.”

Specials guests at the event also included Marcelo Claure, the COO of the SoftBank Vision Fund, the $100-billion venture fund, and prominent unicorns each of which shared some great insights, including startups Zenefits, Pandora, 23andMe and Netflix.

With an all-women judging panel for the finals, which was a move in the right direction in terms of gender diversity and women in tech, these were the top startups that pitched:

The grand prize of $1-million in investment was eventually taken by Abivin.

The startup offers an all-in-one solution for WMS and TMS with specialisation on inventory, route optimisation and machine learning. This is atruly innovative and ground-breaking startup that is now set to make sustainable strides in the future.

The Startup World Cup is an annual event and is sure to return next year on an even grander scale.

It is really amazing to have the opportunity to attend an event such as this and see the startup innovation showcased.

From supporting zero pollution and companies cleaning up oil spills, to AI and machine learning, to IoT sensors, healthtech and platforms connecting people, the variety has been fantastic.

It is also a case in point as to just how the right support and funding can launch a startup into a business that really can change the world.

Read more: Lagos-based digital publisher Publiseer wins Startup World Cup Nigeria finals
Read more: Meet the 10 startups pitching at the Startup World Cup 2019 Nigeria final

*Correction (22 May 2019): The initial version of this story had Rajeev Misra as the COO of the SoftBank Vision Fund. It is in fact Marcelo Claure. We regret the error. 

Featured image: Kingson Capital founder Gavin Reardon pictured in a selfie at the Startup World Cup in San Francisco last week (Supplied)

Gavin Reardon


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