University Startup World Cup
Online startup courses
from May to July open for all university startups
Best 40 university startups
receive a grant of USD 1,000 and are invited to Copenhagen, Denmark
Finals in Copenhagen
October 30 to November 1, 2019. Meet investors, exhibit and compete to win USD 15,000!
Click the button below to know more about participating in the competition.
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.
Community of the best university startups worldwide
We’re inviting all university startups in the whole world to participate in the online startup course from May to July in which they’ll learn all they need to know about how to accelerate their startup.
We encourage everyone to join this international community of like-minded entrepreneurs - all we ask is that you’re affiliated with a university AND that you comply with one of the UN’s 17 sustainable goals. Other than that, it’s open for everyone to join and learn. Our vision is to create a network among international students in which they get inspired, benchmark their ideas and take their startup to the next level.
The 40 most diligent and promising startups will be given USD 1,000 to attend the Finals in Copenhagen from October 30 to November 1, meet investors, match with a mentor, exhibit their startup at the DTU High Tech Summit and compete to win USD 15,000!
More than a competition
The University Startup World Cup is organized by Venture Cup, a Danish non-profit organization founded in 2000 as one of the first entrepreneurial organisations in the country. We want to attract international talents to Copenhagen, while promoting Denmark as a leading startup hub for entrepreneurs.
The University Startup World Cup is more than just a competition, it is an opportunity to be part of an international network of experienced entrepreneurs and business professionals.
startups every year
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."
"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."
"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 1 - Online Application
Filling out this form is phase 1 of the application process and confirms the startups participation in the online program that begins in May. The deadline for this application round is due April 30th.
Phase 2 - USWC online business plan
The USWC online startup courses are phase 2 of the application process and will open May 1st 2019 and end July 20th 2019. The online program will consist of several workshops where each startup team will be required to submit mandatory assignments that will be added as an accumulated business plan for the final judging round.
- In order to advance to the finals in Copenhagen, all assignments must be completed and handed in by July 20th
- Startups will have from May 1st to July 20th to finish all assignments (estimated to be around 40 hours of work)
- Startups will be able to work on the online program at their own leisure, it is not a weekly program (we will be available with any questions or concerns)
Phase 3 - Judging Round
All startups who complete the online program will automatically get to phase 3, 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.
- In order for Finalists to receive the 1000 USD grant they must attend the finals in Copenhagen from Oct 30th - Nov 1st.
- Startups can use the grant to pay for their own flight and accommodation but funds will only be administered after the Finals in Copenhagen.
- All startups finalists will be announced on August 12th.
What do I get if I make it to the Finals?
- Access to other talented startups from Denmark and around the world
- Exhibit your startup at the High Tech Summit (4000 expected attendees)
- 1000 USD Grant with no strings attached
- Customized meetings with investors and/or mentors
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.
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.
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.