Q: What makes this Startup Weekend Harare Different?

11/12/2014 | By Startup Weekend Harare

This post originally appeared on blog.up.co

Q: What Makes this Startup Weekend Harare Different?

A: Global Startup Battle!

Startup Weekend Harare is returning to Zimbabwe for round two, guaranteed to blow your socks off, this time bigger and better than before!  Kicking off at the end of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we are so proud to be at the forefront of technology and entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe.  Sure it’s the same concept as before, but for Startup Weekend Harare teams this November there is something more in store.  This time, in addition to winning local prizes, all the Startup Weekend Harare teams have the chance to go global and compete on an international level with countries all over the world and also some of the best and brightest from over 48 countries in the region including, Botswana, Cameroon, Angola, DRC, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia!

Introducing Startup Weekend Harare: Global Startup Battle!  Startup Weekends take place all over the world all the time.  This year, coinciding with Global Entrepreneurship Week which runs from November 17 - 23, Global Startup Battle invites Startup Weekend teams to compete with one another regionally or by theme via a global video competition.

How exactly does this work, you may ask?  Around Global Entrepreneurship Week there will be over 200 other Startup Weekends (including ours!) happening at the same time all over the world, and every team from those events is eligible to compete in Global Startup Battle (GSB).  Teams will compete by region (e.g. ours is Sub-Saharan Africa), or by theme ‘tracks’ by submitting their business idea/product via video online to a panel of international judges.  This means that whether you win Startup Weekend Harare or not, your team can still submit their business idea to compete in one of six tracks as part of Global Startup Battle for fantastic prizes!

How can you compete? There’s a track for every team!

Tracks are special categories which teams can compete in based on pre-specified criteria.  There are several themed tracks that offer different prizes, resources, and judges. Choose the one that fits your team best.  Everyone is eligible for each track regardless of Startup Weekend Harare placement. In other words, you don’t have to win Startup Weekend Harare in order to take part.  There are 6 Tracks in total, and GSB has announced the following tracks so far:

Champions Track

Featuring the best of the best, join a legacy of some of the all-time Startup Weekend greats as part of the Champions Track in Global Startup Battle.   To be eligible, first your team must compete locally at Startup Weekend Harare, then take your video pitch and go against others in your Region before advancing to the final global stage.  Probably the most fiercely competitive category, prizes for this track include:

  • A chance to take part in Startup Oasis at SXSW in Texas, USA including stage time, mentors, and free accommodation
  • a booth at CES Eureka Park amongst the best startups in the world
  • a Startup Launch Conference in Silicon Valley
  • a legal startup kit
  • and more! (full prize details available here)

Women’s Track

This track has been established to grow diversity worldwide and showcase the talents of women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. It is focused on women entrepreneurs and highlights their work and talents.  Find out more info about prizes here.


Education, Empowered Track

The Education, Empowered track is about elevating the next great idea in education.  This track is focused on empowering people to pursue the work they love by providing access to 21st century skills.   From improving the way we learn to increasing access to education, we’re looking at you to join us in creating a world where everyone is empowered to be a thinker and a maker.  Find out more info about prizes here.


The Innovators Track

The .CO Innovators Track allows all Startup Weekend teams launching their business ideas on a .CO domain to win a trip to Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH Festival – the best place to launch your startup, raise money and learn about starting a company. Any team that builds their idea on a .CO domain during a Startup Weekend event is eligible.  Find out more details here.

Do the KIND Thing Track

The KIND Movement has create a track called Do the KIND Thing, wherein contestants are invited to submit ideas for socially impactful business ideas, on the understanding that there’s more to business than just profit. Find out more details here.

Each track has its own specific criteria to qualify, to win, judges and prizes to be won.  Check out the Global Startup Battle Website as they reveal the last track in the lead up to Global Startup Battle in the next few days!

So if you were on the fence about coming through to Startup Weekend Harare a second time around because you already competed in May, think again!  This time, the chances for prizes, international exposure, team-building, and making your business dreams come true are greater than ever.  And if you have never competed in Startup Weekend Harare, come through for a life-changing chance of a lifetime to learn how to develop your business idea, network, and win loads of prizes.  BUY YOUR Startup Weekend Harare TICKET TODAY!


Important Dates

Nov 14-16 - Global Startup Battle weekend 1

Nov 21-23 - Global Startup Battle weekend 2*

Nov 26 - Voting begins (theme tracks)

Dec 3 - Voting ends

Dec 4-5 - Judging

Dec 6-7 - Scoring/Admin

Dec 10 - Winner Announcement

*Startup Weekend Harare participants will be part of Global Startup Battle Weekend 2