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Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash

The Kauffman Foundation is bringing the international competition Get in the Ring to the United States for the first time as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013.

The first U.S. national finals of Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash will give America’s most outstanding entrepreneurs an opportunity to compete against founders from around the country, and potentially, the world.

Get in the Ring is a startup pitch competition founded by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands to bring the world’s most promising entrepreneurs together with those who can help them succeed and to inspire others to start their entrepreneurial journey. The U.S. champion selected in Kansas City on Nov. 18 will fly to the Netherlands to compete at the global finals for a shot at more than $1 million in angel funding. The U.S. Get in the Ring competition is generously sponsored by Sprint.


  • The startup is not more than 5 years old
  • The founder is a U.S. citizen and is proficient in the English language
  • The startup is a scalable and innovative business idea or model
  • The entrepreneur has a valid passport and is able and willing to travel expense-paid to Rotterdam, Netherlands, for the international finals being held Nov. 22, 2013
  • The entrepreneur is seeking funding of up to $1 million that is available if he or she wins the USA competition and his/her startup is determined to be worthy of funding by the investor judges at the Rotterdam finals

To begin the application process, click the Log In/Register button at top left.

NOTE: If you are a U.S.-based startup but not a U.S. citizen, you can still participate in the international Get in the Ring competition.  Find out how here.

U.S. Competition Schedule

  • Sept. 3: Online applications due
  • Sept. 17: Up to 40 semifinalists announced
  • Oct. 7: Deadline for semifinalists to submit a three-minute video
  • Oct. 23: Eight finalists announced and invited to Get in the Ring in Kansas City
  • November 17-18: Finalists arrive in Kansas City for the live-streamed competition at the Kauffman Foundation. Travel expenses are provided.
  • Nov. 19-20: The winning American entrepreneur will travel to the international finals in Rotterdam, held on Nov. 22, where he or she will compete against seven other entrepreneurs for a chance of at more than $1 million in angel funding. Travel expenses are provided.

The eight entrepreneur finalists who come to Kansas City will receive educational presentation coaching, national and international exposure, and networking opportunities with leading entrepreneurship experts. Details about additional benefits will be communicated when confirmed.

In an open event such as Get in the Ring, it is challenging to maintain confidentiality while sharing innovative ideas. Participants are advised not to disclose any information that may compromise their ability to secure protection of their intellectual property, since such information will be presented to all judges and possibly a worldwide audience, and possibly be published online.


Get in the Ring Partners

1 Million Cups Cedar Rapids/Iowa City (IA)

1 Million Cups Denver (CO)

American Association of Community Colleges Center For Workforce and Economic Development (DC)

Anchorage Economic Development Corp. (AK)

Arizona State University (AZ)

Astia (CA)

Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (OH)

Austin Technology Council (TX)

Bio Business Alliance (MN)

Bizdom (MI)

Brandery (OH)

Catawba Valley Community College (NC)

Center For Emerging Technologies (MO)


The Collaborative (MN)

Coloft (CA)

Dallas Entrepreneur Center (TX)

Dream Big America (National)

Georgetown University (DC)

Groundwork LABS (NC)

Houston Community College (TX)

HUB Ventures (CA)

The Idea Village (LA)

Indian River State College (FL)

iTen (MO)

Kansas City Start Up Village (MO)

 Kauffman Slingshot Group (National)

KCSourceLink (MO)

LA Cleantech Incubator (CA)

Launch Lab (MI)

Launch TN (TN)

Launch Chapel Hill (NC)

Long Beach City College (CA)

Lorain County Community College (OH)

Minnesota Angel Network (MN)

Mississippi Development Authority (MS)

Mott Community College (MI)

National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (MA)

New York City for Economic Development Corporation(NY)

North Carolina Rural Economic Center, Inc. (NC)

Nutrition Capital Network (CA)

Packard Place (NC)

Pipeline (MO)

The Research Triangle Park (NC)

Rocky Mountain Innosphere (CO)

Silicon Prairie News (NE)

Spark Lab KC (MO)

StartOut (National)

Startup Texas (TX)

StartX (CA)

Teach For America (National)

Tech Wildcatters (TX)

Think Big Partners (MO)

UA Center For Economic Developement

Venture Hive (The Hive) (FL)

Women Innovate Mobile (NY)


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