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24 Hour Countdown to Launch: Silicon Valley - The World Cup Tech Challenge

SVForum has begun the countdown to the kickoff of Launch: Silicon Valley 2014 - The World Cup Tech Challenge, which will be held Tuesday, May 20 at Microsoft's campus in Mountain View, CA. Modeled after the famous global soccer tournament, countries from around the world applied to qualify - and 30 startups were selected - for six spots in each of five different Tech Groups to compete for the honor of taking home the Cup in Digital Media-Mobile, Enterprise Software, EdTech, Next Generation Technology, and HealthTech.

Featured keynote speakers include Megan Smith, Vice President of Google[x]; Peter Arvai, CEO and Co-Founder of Prezi; and James Maiocco, Director at Microsoft Ventures.

The public may register to attend, and vote for their favorite startup, at the event by clicking on: To connect with the event online, include @SVForum #WorldCupTech and the country hashtag provided after each company’s info (#LSVCountry). Download the BizzaboTM app to continue to submit votes for your favorite startups on Launch Day. To see a live-streaming TweetWall of the event, visit on May 20.

This year, Launch: Silicon Valley has expanded its global reach with a special edition: The World Cup Tech Challenge. “SVForum is thrilled with the strong interest and response that we have received from startups around the world to participate in this rapidly growing global event,” said CEO Adiba Barney. “In addition to the competition itself, the interactive sharing of ideas and connections made throughout the day with fellow entrepreneurs, potential partner and funders will be invaluable for the participating startups, audience.”

For the last eight years, SVForum's Launch: Silicon Valley, hosted and co-sponsored by Microsoft, has given startups from Silicon Valley and around the world a chance to meet, present to, and get feedback from some of the most renowned VCs, angels, corporate venture firms, potential partners and customers. This year, the 30 qualified startups come from 14 diverse countries, ranging from Kazakhstan to Finland to Thailand. (The full list is included below.)

"Microsoft is proud to be hosting and sponsoring Launch: Silicon Valley," said Matt Thompson, General Manager of Developer and Platform Evangelism at Microsoft. "Launch is a great event for startups, and the 'World Cup Tech Challenge' theme adds an exciting new dimension."

How it works: Venue, voting, and agenda

The event takes place at Microsoft’s Campus in Mountain View, California, and runs from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The qualifying startups will showcase their product in the World Cup Tech Hall, and pitch on stage to a distinguished panel of investors and other tech industry luminaries. Winners will be selected in each Group, as well as one overall winner, based on both online votes and points from judges. The winning startups will receive prizes provided by the group and event sponsors, as well as one-on-one meetings with top VCs and corporate executives.

In keeping with the international theme, each startup will also be able to represent their country in style - country jerseys will be made for participating companies and attendees, and flags will be displayed; national anthems will be played as each country is introduced. The Launch audience will also be encouraged to participate in the process: in addition to voting for their favorite startups on each Group page, the audience can root for both companies and countries via dedicated hashtags.

Launch: Silicon Valley - The World Cup Tech Challenge is sponsored by Microsoft, Cooley LLP, SAP, SugarCRM, and IBM.


Some of the panelists will include Marlon Nichols of Intel Capital, Michael Pachos of Samsung Ventures, Bill Reichert of Garage Technology Ventures, Mohanjit Jolly of Draper Fischer Jurvetson, John McIntyre of Citrix Startup Accelerator, Fadi Bishara of Blackbox, James Maiocco of Microsoft Ventures, Busy Burr of Citi Ventures, Lynne Chou of Kleiner Perkins and many more.

Published Tuesday, May 20, 2014 6:23 AM by David Marshall
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