The Venture Cup is a Scandinavian competition in which entrepreneurs with unique business ideas compete for investment capital. There are branches in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Venture Cup is aimed at young people and universities, and has the aim of promoting entrepreneurship and generating startup companies.
Every year, the individual branches award over half a million euros across the four countries. Each country runs its competition differently.
The Swedish Venture Cup involves three stages that everyone must go through if they hope to be named the winner.
Before getting started, it is important to know which competition you should enter, as there are two versions of the Venture Cup in Sweden.
Idea Venture Cup
As the name implies, IDEA is a competition for a concept business idea. It should be in its early stage, and can even be purely a thought, as long as it can be presented adequately.
Competitors receive feedback on their idea, and their involvement creates awareness for their business idea. There is also the possibility for entrants to test their idea on potential customers.
The prize for the winning business idea is 5 000 SEK (£425), as well as a spot on the coveted Venture Cup list of the 20 best ideas in Sweden.
Startup Venture Cup
STARTUP is aimed at young startups in their early stages. In order to qualify, the business can not have a commercial revenue that exceed 1 million SEK (approximately £85 000).
Entrants are out of the idea-phase and most likely have a business plan of some sort. The organisers are looking for a startup with the potential for significant growth.
Startups who compete have the possibility of winning 500 000 SEK (£42 500). Aside from competing for the prize, entrants receive constructive feedback, and have the chance to develop their network.
There is great potential for good publicity for those who compete, and in particular for the startups that win prizes.
The first step
Once you know which competition you are entering, the first step is to apply. All the entrants are first judged based on their application, which includes submitting a pitch deck. At this stage, the competition is regional, and applications are made based on where the entrant lives.
The judges are looking at the company’s idea, the team, the potential for growth and the credibility. It is very important that the pitch deck covers all of the areas, to increase the chances of making it past the screening jury.
The Pitch Deck
In order to succeed, startups need to prepare a pitch deck. A pitch deck should be brief, and serve as a quick overview of a business plan. Entrants can be as creative as they wish, and this can be a chance to stand out early on in the competition.
The jury will decide which startups will go forward to the next stage. In this stage, the selected startups will each give a presentation to the jury. Following the presentations, the jury will decide on the regional winners.
The Regional winners are invited to the National Final, where they will compete for the titles of the various awards, as well as the grand prize of Startup of the Year. The awards that can be won include categories such as Impact Maker, Game Changer and Toptech. The startups are already put into these categories by the jury during step two.
The 2018 Final
The Venture Cup 2018 finalists have been announced, and the National Final will be held in Stockholm on 12 September. Applications will open again this Autumn for next years competition.
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