An estimated 20,000 aspiring start-up founders will take part in a Global Startup Battle in mid-November as part of Global Entrepreneurs Week, coordinated by entrepreneur training and education network Up Global.
The battle is made up of Startup Weekends all over the world. Attendees will pitch ideas and form teams around the most popular ones to create start-ups by the end of a weekend.
The team behind Australian ecommerce start-up Bigcommerce will lead the judging panel for the ecommerce focused component, known as a Circle, of the Global Startup Battle.
Founded in 2009, Bigcommerce is an online store platform, with teams in Sydney and Texas.
The winners will receive a mentoring and month-long internship at Bigcommerce (including $1500 per team member for up to four towards travel costs to Austin, US), their own online store and tickets to leading start-up conference South by SouthWest Interactive in Austin.
Kirsten Knipp, the vice president of marketing, product marketing and brand at Bigcommerce, told StartupSmart from Austin that they wanted to encourage entrepreneurialism beyond just tech and software.
“We’re most excited to see what they come up with. Startup Weekends typically tend to spawn technology or software companies, but we’re really hoping to encourage other kinds of ideas as well because entrepreneurship is not limited to technology,” she says.
She adds the team is already excited about having a young start-up team join them for a month.
“Getting to sit side by side gives us a chance to share our best practices, and we want that winner to go home and share those with the world. Whoever ends up being that winner will have a platform to make a big difference,” Knipp says.
Bigcommerce now hosts over 40,000 stores.
In a statement, Up Global chairman and chief executive Steve Case said the ecommerce focus space is increasingly accessible and attractive to start-ups.
“As access to the $250 billion global online marketplace for retailers and merchants is increasingly democratised, ecommerce provides a compelling opportunity for young start-ups to go toe-to-toe with giants in their space,” Case said.