EMERGE 2021 €10,000 prize to the most promising startup of the New East

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EMERGE, the top tech conference in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is opening a call for its annual startup pitching competition – EMERGE CHALLENGE, which will be happening during the main event online on 12 – 14 May 2021.

The main prize of the competition is €10,000 cash this year. There will also be an Awards ceremony to read founders in different nominations, this to be announced shortly.

EMERGE Conference is a top international tech conference that brings together the most promising startups, tech talents, investors and ecosystem players from the CIS, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Baltics.

It was founded by two young female entrepreneurs, Margo Lazarenkova and Alina Nilsson, and has been connecting great minds since 2018 in Minsk, Belarus. In 2020 the conference had to switch to an online format due to the pandemic. It attracted more than 4,300 like-minded people from more than 100 countries: startups, tech talent, investors, media and corporates.

EMERGE 2021 will take place online on 12 – 14 May. The official language of the conference is English.

EMERGE CHALLENGE helps startups to be discovered by investors and key-players of a startup ecosystem. The goal is to help startups scale globally and connect with the right people. During the competition, startups can showcase their project before the judging panel, which consists of international investors and media.

Applications for EMERGE CHALLENGE are open till 20 April 2021, 23:59 GMT+3. To apply one needs to leave a corresponding request on the page of a STARTUP TICKET purchase, which is required for participation. Once it’s submitted, the EMERGE team will go through all applications and contact each startup applied.

Which is:

  • having a global innovative tech product;
  • having a working prototype and first traction;
  • having received up to €250K in funding to date.

Scale-up startups will have a chance to pitch at an invite-only event Venture lounge. Startups will be chosen based on applications and interviews.

Pitching on a big stage is an amazing experience. It teaches you to prepare better, which results in a more detailed vision of your product

shares Sergey Budyakov, CEO Usedesk, EMERGE CHALLENGE winner – 2019.
Emerge day1_venture_investors_panel

Initially, EMERGE CHALLENGE was aimed at early-stage startups that just begin to have traction, but we’ve been noticing that more and more startup at later stages were joining too. Last year we tested a different format – themed pitch sessions with only international VCs on the panel that invest at Seed/Series A stage (e.g. Atomico, Notion Capital, Northzone, Microsoft’s M12). This format, Venture Lounge, is for more mature startups that are ready to scale beyond home countries. It might be a good step for EMERGE CHALLENGE alumni, who gained traction since their last pitch.

says a co-founder of EMERGE Conference Alina Nilsson.

In 2020 EMERGE was held online for the first time in history. EMERGE CHALLENGE pitches reached almost 2,000 minutes that year. 40 judges from the investment and startup ecosystem were deciding who was to win the prize at the competition. And more than 100 mentors held around 200 hours of mentorship sessions to startups.

As a result of participating in EMERGE CHALLENGE 2020, we have received a lot of requests from investors, either angels or VC funds who we would not have found otherwise. Most importantly, we found a lot of new customers who were passionate about using our solution. All in all, for us it was a highlight of 2020 since the EMERGE team managed to pull such an amazing online conference during tough times.

recalls Ilya Melkumov, co-founder Inovat, EMERGE CHALLENGE winner – 2020.
Emerge day2_unicorn_end_to_end

This year EMERGE conducts several side events for startups and talents. The first one – EMERGE U: ACCEPTEDa free online bootcamp for startups took place on 1 – 5 March 2021, gathering 167 founders and 10 experts from the tech industry. Check the Startup’s page on EMERGE website not to miss it and EMERGE blog to learn valuable insights from the latest bootcamp.

STARTUP TICKETS are available for purchase until May 11 and include a wide range of possibilities. All projects with STARTUP TICKETS will be featured in the EMERGE Startups catalogue. Also, the conference’s Matchmaking App will allow you to book 1-on-1 online meetings with investors/media/speakers and get experts’ feedback.