Let’s ‘Get in the Ring’ of global startups

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Suresh Nair

START-UPS will make a blinding debut as Singapore hosts the global ‘Get in the Ring’ start-ups competition for the first time from Wednesday to Friday.

The ‘Get in the Ring’ competition is a yearly signature event where start-ups compete with business pitches on a local level and go on to the international level, where they then compete against teams from all over the world through one-on-one challenges.

About 150 startups from 100 countries will be kicking the gimmicks at training tracks at venues all over Singapore, in an innovative event partnered by Singapore Tourism Board and Ventures.

“You can call ‘Get in the Ring’ cross-industry. We live by the rule that the future is uncertain and innovation comes from areas you can’t foresee. Through fruitful partnerships in over 100 countries, ‘Get in the Ring’ hopes to inculcate a hunger for great companies to capture markets across the globe,” says Mr Jochem Cuppen, Global Director, ‘Get in the Ring’ Foundation.

“Whether you are in robotics, software, agriculture or medtech, for us it’s all good. We do however have a preference for startups that are aiming to make a positive impact in this world.”

REAL SOLUTIONS

He says that the real solutions to future potential problems in Asia are in startups, creating economic value and employment. He adds: “Good to view that as oil prices decline and economies need to diversify further, the real solution to future potential problems in Asia is in startups. Global competitions like ‘Get in the Ring’, as well as the investment opportunities this would foster, will lead to a bright future.

“This also encourages investors to pay attention to startups in an innovative and dynamic setting.”

In a nutshell, the ‘Get in the Ring’ Foundation is a non-profit organisation that connects startups with leading investors and corporates to accelerate innovation. The foundation started in 2012 and is now organising about 150 events per year in over 100 countries, working together with thousands of startups.

Singapore is the big pick this year as the foundation hosts a global conference where the community gets together for training, networking and to award the best startups that participated in the Global Competition.

Mr Cuppen says more than 150 selected startups will compete for the final title of world

champion. ‘Get in the Ring’ is known for its unique pitching format where two start-ups face off in a ring.

HOW THE BATTLE STARTS

A battle between two startups consists of five 30-second rounds about the team, achievements, and business model. The competition works by bringing two startups within the same weight class based on startup valuation that battle head-to-head in the ring with their respective pitches. One battle between two teams consists of several rounds that include information about the team, the business model and its finances and more.

Even in India, the signature success of the start-up community has fired up immense enthusiasm. The emerging startups demonstrate their revolutionary business ideas, says Mr Anirudh Balakrishnan, the regional director of ‘Get in the Ring’ India.

“The success formula has been simple. First, always start with a problem you want to solve. Without a problem, it’s just a hobby or a vocation. Then comes community building. Communities span geographies, demographics, religion and race. And the start-up community is one thing that has belied everything in the world.”

Come Wednesday, the start-up fireworks will light up Singapore to bring the entire industry on one roof where the startups, future startups, investors, decision makers, corporations, and students who want to learn about creating their own startup.

The programme of the conference will take place at various locations throughout Singapore and is organised with the support of multiple local partners as well as the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau. As part of the programme, the participants of the ‘Get in the Ring’ will also be visiting TechinAsia Singapore, one of the leading startup events in the region.

The other major participating and supporting partners: Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau, YourSingapore, EY, ACE, theCo, JustCo, Bash, DHL, SGInnovate, Quest Ventures, Expara, VenturesOne, KK Fund, Life.Sreda, Golden Gate, East Ventures, 2Sherpa, Startup Autobahn, Coent Ventures, Reapra Ventures, OCBC and 500 Startups.

Mr Balakrishnan adds: “If there was an equivalent to a football-fanatic Premier League for startups, this would be it. In Singapore, we will see 150 startups gather from around the world. While we programme ‘Get in the Ring’ to be a global phenomenon. we also take extra effort to ensure a healthy participation from the local community.”

Come on, let’s simply ‘Get in the Ring’!