University Startup World Cup

Best 40 University Startups from around the world come together from October 30th to November 1st 2019 to network, exhibit and pitch for a chance to win $15,000 USD.

Each finalist receives $1000 USD grant. Apply and join our online application program today.

Submit for the online program

If you're a university, accelerator or incubator and want to learn more about becoming a country partner, add your details via the button below.

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Community of the best university startups worldwide

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University Startup World Cup has been running for five years. Our goal is to feature university startups from around the world that are making an impact. That's why we've made sure to incorporate the SDGs within the foundation of our program.

We've set up the application process differently this year. We've designed an online program teaching basic Nordic style methods to ensure all of our participants have an equal chance. The program begins from May to July where startups will work at their own leisure, and submit mini assignments which will be added to their application for the judging round. 

As a finalist, startups receive $1,000 USD. In order to receive the grant, startups must fully complete the application process and attend the finals from October 30th to November 1st. 


startups every year


finalists participating




students reached


country partners


say USWC led to future business growth


would recommend others to participate


would consider using Denmark as a test market


would consider moving to CPH to work on their startup


reached on Social Media



"The week in Copenhagen was very inspirational – full of new ideas, knowledge and amazing people. And we are extremely grateful to the USWC team for all the help and support that they have been providing all though the event. USWC pushed our team to reach new limits."

Laava Tech, Estonia - USWC 2018 Winner


"We loved meeting teams from across the world particularly those working on hardware! The week was a great mix of worthwhile activities to network with company mentors, work on our pitches and expo our company."

Tekuma, Australia


"USWC was our first competition outside of our university so we didn’t know what to expect! But in a short week, we had enough feedback to completely redesign our pitch, fine-tune our presentation, and were able to meet professionals in our field with valuable thoughts on our startup, willing to help us in the long run. It was an amazing launchpad of an experience overall."

Sunthetics, U.S.A.


"The USWC isn’t just a platform to showcase your business, establish networks and compete in a competitive environment. It is an opportunity to make lasting friendships and establish impactful business links that have the capacity to forge the future. It is an experience."

RAB-Microfluidics, UK - USWC 2017 Winner

How does it work?

Phase One - Online Application

Phase one of the application is a simple form asking typical startup questions, and to confirm participation for phase two that begins in May. Please click here to submit. The deadline for this application round is due April 30th.

Phase Two - USWC online program

The online program is a mandatory part of the application process. In order to advance to the finals in Copenhagen, all assignments must be completed and handed in by July 20th. Startups will be able to work on the online program at their own leisure and we estimate around 25 hours of work. We've made sure to give everyone a lot of time to complete the program, and we promise we've made it simple, easy, and fun.

Phase Three - Judging Round

All startups who complete the online program will automatically get to phase three, which is the judging round. All applications will be reviewed by internal experts. Only the top 40 startups will be selected to attend the finals for a chance to win $15,000 USD.

A little less conversation, a little more action!

UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals will be the backbone of this year’s USWC!

The implications of not meeting the SDGs have real-world consequences that will touch the lives of everyone. Youth in particular will suffer the most if the SDGs are not met, simply due to the reality of longevity. The fact is not meeting the SDGs is our problem, so involving and motivating youth to participate in achieving the SDGs is essential – especially given the high proportion of youth populations around the world, such as in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).


USWC 2018 Winners

Products & Design and Overall Winner

Laava Tech – Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia

Laava Tech develops artificial lighting systems for greenhouse operators to decrease energy consumption and increase yield. We have developed a combination of hardware and software, which gives each and every plant the perfect growing conditions.

With our proprietary software we are able to decrease energy consumption by 3 to 10 times compared to current systems as well as increase quality and quantity of yield by 10-20%. We offer a monthly subscription service where we provide access to our hardware, software and database of the optimized growing conditions.



Sunthetics - New York University, United States of America

Sunthetics provides an alternative path to manufacture a chemical intermediate for nylon that is emission-free, more efficient, and cost-effective. There are current shortages in nylon intermediates due to increasing demand, complex reactions, and production interruptions. In consequence, there is an opportunity to significantly improve the chemical manufacturing industry with better, more sustainable and modern technology.

Sunthetics offers a solar-powered reactor that uses 50% less energy, less raw material, and produces less waste, while removing 20% of carbon emissions from the entire manufacturing process.

FinTech, AI, ICT

ImagiCase – Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

imagiCase is working to inspire the next generation of female technologists and increase the proportion of women studying and working in the STEM fields. imagiCase started as a research project where we co-created ideas with young girls. We learned that self expression is extremely important to teenagers, as well as their cell phones.

This is how the idea of imagiCase was born: it is a phone case with embedded LED lights that can be programmed to display any text, design or color through programming with the imagiCase mobile platform. The platform also provides tutorials of coding concepts guiding the user through the journey of learning to code in a gamified way. It also fosters an online community through the possibility of sharing one’s creations on a design feed.



VulCur MedTech – University of Copenhagen, Denmark

VulCur MedTech is a medical device development company focusing on wound healing, using a novel combination of existing technologies. Our method of treatment uses laser technology to kill bacteria within wounds, which is a treatment breakthrough.

Service Innovation

Choose Your Future – University of Turku, Finland

Choose Your Future is helping people (such as refugees, students and employees) find the best place to live and integrate them to their new home cities. Our award-winning digital tools enhance different stages of integration processes resulting in a better well-being and reducing costs of various organizations such as universities, cities and companies who are responsible for these new citizens.


NextGen Logistics

Tekuma – University of Technology Sydney & Macquarie University, Australia

Drones, robots and other devices have been revolutionised over the last 80 years but the two-joystick control interface has not. Tekuma has built a one-handed six-degrees-of-freedom tactile controller that is intuitive, universal and robust. It reduces the time, cost and personnel required to get the job done.

Testing through Michael’s mechatronics honours thesis has found it reduces the learning curve for new users and increases user confidence. We’ve tested it with over 600 users with drones but our controller also works with robots, submarines, rovers and other devices. We want to improve the way humans interact with technology.

See the winners from the previous editions here.

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