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Comment: Updated with 2021 rules


  • There is no fee for entry
  • Any startup throughout the world is welcome to apply and become an Applicant
  • Applicant(s) must be legally registered or planning to register in their country of residence
  • Applicant(s) must be less than seven (7) years old at the date of the Global Finals (October 2020)EWC 2019 Top 5 Finalists are not eligible to Finals 
  • EWC Global Winners from previous editions are not eligible to participate again in EWC 20202021
  • Employees of the Organizers, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotional agencies, suppliers and immediate family members are not eligible to participate in the Competition


  • Phase 1: Registration
    • Applicants are on-boarded automatically by the competition website and segmented into appropriate categories based on their stage: Idea, Early, Growth.
  • Phase 2: Accelerate 1
    • Applicants are invited to participate in Accelerate 1 and learn from a series of virtual training opportunities to sharpen their skills regardless of their stage (e.g. pitch training).
  • Phase 3: EWC Competitions
    • Applicants compete against others globally in EWC Competitions around the world. Winners are selected from nations around the world as “Global Finalists” and advance to Phase 4.
  • Phase 4: Accelerate 2
    • All “Global Finalists” are invited to participate in a structured virtual bootcamp comprised of two or three cohorts organized by Idea Stage, Early Stage and Growth Stage. Teams participate in weekly 90-minute cohort-level workshop and direct one-to-one mentorship sessions designed to explore unique challenges, uncover applicable solutions and refine their pitch and presentation. This phase is mandatory for idea stage startups but optional for early and growth stage startups.
  • Phase 5: Assess
    • Global Finalists are evaluated based on their performance in Phase 4 for Idea Stage Applicants, and due diligence. The top 100 are selected as the “EWC 100” and one representative per Team is provided with complimentary airfare and hotel accommodations for the Global Finals.
  • Phase 6: Global Finals
    • The EWC 100 are invited to participate in an intensive preparation bootcamp boot camp hosted at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) before competing live on stage for prize packages including $1 Million USD in cash and millions of dollars more in other services and support.
  • Phase 7: Post-EWC Support
    • All Global Finalists EWC 100 are enrolled in the GEN Starters Club, providing a global peer network, mentorship and other support services to help members, especially after the EWC, reach their full potential. Other partners may be engaged to provide post-EWC support.

Section 3: TimelineImage Removed

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  • Phase 1: RegistrationsFebruary through JulyJune
  • Phase 2: Accelerate 1February through JuneApril
    • Open Call and Registrations
    • A collection of educational curriculum and training opportunities is made available online to prepare Participating Teams to compete in the EWC Competitions around the world.
    • While participation in Accelerate 1 is not a mandatory requirement in countries where there is a National Final for judging and assessment, it is highly encouraged for all entrants.
    • Applicants, however, that are based in a country without a National Final Competition must complete Accelerate 1 to compete in the global pool.
    • Global Pool Applicants will be informed if they are have been selected to participate in a country without a National Final Pitch Competition between May 1st to and June 15th, 2020, providing a month for early entrants to remain eligible to 2021, to compete for a slot as a Global Finalist. Global Pool applicants are required to complete Accelerate 1 and will be given a deadline at time of notification (typically two weeks).
  • Phase 3: EWC CompetitionsMay through July through August
    • Once registered to participate in EWC, a National Organizer will be in contact with Applicants.
    • All information will be sent to the email address provided in the registration – applicants are responsible for ensuring that the email provided is functional and that correspondence is read on a regular basis.
    • The National Organizer reserves the right to extend or shorten the application period at its sole discretion within the global calendar and EWC guidelines.
    • Applicants who are from countries without a National Organizer and who complete Accelerates will compete virtually as part of an EWC Global Pool (see Accelerates 1).
    • Global Finalists will be announced on an ongoing basis as reported by National Organizers and the Global Pool judges on the EWC website and in social media.
    • Applicants selected by their National Organizers to represent their country are invited to register for Accelerate 2 in order to improve their chances of being selected as part of the EWC 100 that will compete at the Global Finals.
    • Global Finalists may be required to update and submit supplemental information including funding details about their startup on the application section of the EWC Platform.
    • The EWC Global Team will assign a number of Global Finalist slots to each nation, taking into consideration the following criteria: number of eligible entrants per category; whether there is one or more live national finals events in that country; and population. While most countries will graduate one winner as a Global Finalist, the nations with the largest competitions may graduate more for a maximum of 10 Global Finalists.


    • Accelerate 2 will be available from August through September 20202021, with early winners joining early cohorts.
    • Accelerate 2 is mandatory for all Idea Stage Applicants and optional for all Early and Growth Stage Applicants.


    • Based on Accelerates 2 activities and due diligence, EWC 100 teams may be reevaluated for stage placement. If Applicants participating in the growth stage are classified as “Hypergrowth”, they will be competing in this category at the global finals for a chance to receive a special recognition package.
    • Oct 1st4th: EWC Announcement of “EWC 100” invited to pitch live at the Global Finals.
  • Phase 6: Global FinalsOctober 18-20, 2020 November, 2021
    • The Global Finals will take place on October 18-20, 2020, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as part of the Misk Global Forum. All EWC 100 finalists will be pitching on stage before judges, investors, partners, industry experts and young leaders. The EWC Bootcamp at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), directly prior to the Global Finals and hosted at the KAUST campus near Jeddah, is designed for curated preparation support and networking.
  • Phase 7: Post-EWC Global Finals Support
    • All Global Finalists will be enrolled in the GEN Starters Club, providing a global peer network, mentorship and other support services to help members reach their full potential regardless of whether the Global Finalist advances to the EWC 100.

Section 4: Prizes and Awards for EWC



  • Travel to the EWC Global Finals: All EWC 100 finalists will receive a full travel scholarship for one (1) Team Member to participate in the Global Finals and pre-finals EWC Bootcamp at KAUST. 
    • The Team Member must be the Founder, Co-Founder or CEO. In special cases, with the approval of the Organizer, the CFO, COO, CTO would be eligible to participate at the Global Finals in their place.
    • The scholarship includes: a round-trip flight ticket, visa, hotel accommodation, meals, and local transportation.
    • Additional co-Founders and/or any other Team Members are welcome to join the EWC Global Finals at their own expense and must RSVP to requests for conference registration or other attendance requirements by stated deadlines as space is limited.
  • EWC 2020 2021 Awards and Cash Prizes: The EWC 100 will be eligible to receive their share of prize packages totalling more than US$70 million of in-kind services and more than US$1 million in cash. This will include:


  • Three (3) Stage Champions:
    • Idea Stage: $50,000
    • Early Stage: $50,000
    • Growth Stage: $50,000
  • Special Prize:
    • Social Enterprise: $50,000
  • EWC 100 2021 Service Awards for Global Finalists:
    • One hundred (100) awards of in-kind services valued at $700$750,000 each The remaining for the EWC 100
    • All Global Finalists will receive an in-kind service package valued at $100,000


  1. Global Organizers
    1. Three (3) organizations are considered the Global Organizers of the Entrepreneurship World Cup: Misk Global Forum, Global Entrepreneurship Network and The Global Education & Leadership Foundation.
  2. National Organizers
    1. There is only one (1) National Organizer per country coordinating national and regional competitions towards one global final. However, in the case of countries with a population of more than 200 million, there may be more than one national final competition driven by multiple organizers.
    2. National Organizers agree to be inclusive of different elements of their national ecosystem and, where possible, develop a National Leadership Team to ensure that there is a coordinated strategy for the country, and diverse communities and regions are represented.
  3. EWC Flagship Events
    1. Global Organizers will be leading EWC Competitions at special Flagship Events where global finalists will be selected. The calendar of activities and events will be available in the official webpage: https://entrepreneurshipworldcup.com
  4. Global Finalists
    1. Criteria for Number of Global Finalist Slots per Country: The number of applicants that advance beyond the first round will vary from country to country and is determined by the following:
      1. Number of entrants
      2. Population
      3. Maturity of ecosystem
      4. Whether countries had a live final
      5. Whether countries had regional finals within the country
      6. Whether countries achieved the minimum pool of applicants per category
      7. Whether countries have followed the EWC Guidelines
    2. Stage or Sector: Organizers reserve the right to focus on a particular stage or sector relevant to the country and provide national prizes accordingly. However, they must observe the following: 
      1. Countries with a minimum of 5 Global Finalists must guarantee representation of all stages – Idea, Early and Growth.
      2. Organizers must register Global Finalists within the deadlines to enter Accelerate 2.
    3. Guaranteed EWC 100 Slots: The top thirty-five (35) performing countries – based on the criteria outlined above in item III (a) – will have one (1) guaranteed slot at the EWC Global Finals and up to (3) guaranteed slots for larger countries with a population of more than 200 million.
      1. Global Finalists selected among the top performing countries must successfully complete the submission requirements in order to qualify for the Global Finals.
  5. Principle of Confidentiality
    1. The Organizers: Misk Global Forum, Global Entrepreneurship Network and The Global Education & Leadership Foundation; Mentors and Judges, and any other person involved in the Entrepreneurship World Cup, will maintain faithful enforcement of the Principles of Confidentiality of the projects presented by the teams for EWC in accordance with the Rules, Terms and Conditions.
    2. All information submitted by the Applicants is considered confidential. Applicants will be asked to provide a brief company description, pitch deck, logos, profile pictures and/or other material that will be made available to the public through the EWC official channels, Organizers’ websites and social media channels. Websites listed by Applicants will be considered public information. During all related competitions, pitch decks will be reviewed by the judges who have previously agreed to maintain confidentiality of the information presented.
  6. Tax and Legal Considerations
    1. The cash prizes awarded may have legal or tax implications for the Applicant’s domestic tax status in their country. Taxes will be entirely the responsibility of the winners. The Organizers hold no responsibility with these or any related tax or legal obligations of the winners.
  7. Acceptance of the Terms and Conditions of the Entrepreneurship World Cup
    1. Registration to the Entrepreneurship World Cup, constitutes acceptance of the Applicant(s) to the Rules and Terms and Conditions included at entrepreneurshipworldcup.com.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the EWC global community's safety, the global finals and all related events may be organized virtually at the Organizers' sole discretion.