The Pioneers Challenge is such an important part of this year’s Pioneers Festival, everybody on our team is really pumped-up about it! I don’t mean: “Hey, by the way, what’s up with that?” kind of jazz, I’m talking about our going nuts clapping, high-fiving, screaming in the office, sending emails in the middle of the night, that kind of excitement!
We received more than 850 — that’s right — 850 applications from start-ups coming from all over the world. To be more precise: start-ups from 58 different countries and from every continent on the planet applied for the Pioneers Challenge. So we have every right to be going nuts and screaming our heads off — these numbers are freakin’ HUGE!
The time arrived to begin choosing the most groundbreaking, interesting, trendsetting and outstanding 50 start-ups out of the 850. Since there were way more than 50 awesome ideas, the selection process was painstakingly difficult, but it had to be done. We are honored and happy to present to you the coveted 50 start-ups which are going to compete in the Pioneers Challenge this October 29th -31st.
Simply brilliant — that’s the first thing that pops into my mind when thinking about ‘the outstanding 50’. It’s impressive how incredibly diverse the ventures of the 50 teams are. The business sectors represented are from e-commerce, fashion, education, to augmented reality, brain control, to 3d & satellite technologies. In addition to this diversity is the overwhelming fact surrounding HOW FAR these applications came to us. 20 countries are represented in the Top 50: eight teams are from Germany and seven from Austria. Both, the United Kingdom and Spain have four teams; Russia, France and the United States are represented by three teams each; Poland, Luxemburg, Italy and Sweden by two teams each. Furthermore, Israel, Finland, Ireland, Romania, India, Slovakia, Portugal, Switzerland and Ghana are in the Top 50 — represented by one start-up each, as well as one international start-up.
What’s going to happen next — all these 50 amazing start-up teams will be traveling to Vienna for the Pioneers Festival at the Hofburg Palace. On Investors Day, the first day of the Festival, they will pitch in front of a jury of investors. That’s their big moment to make an impression and convince the judges. After the major selection process has been finalized, we come to the ELITE EIGHT — the ones that battle it out in front of you and me for the glory of holding the Pioneers Award and €25,000 in cash. Fasten your seat belt — 2,500 of us are just about to take a ride at the coolest Festival you’ve ever attended!
This project has been supported by ZIT, the Technology Agency of the City of Vienna.