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Start-up opportunity round-up: BT, ICC, Innovate UK and Polar Bear Pitching!

Here at 2Pears, we love a good start-up competition, especially one that offers something unique – either in terms of the winner’s spoils, the setting, or the concept. Here is our round-up of some of the latest opportunities for start-ups from across the board, both in the UK and further afield:

International Create Challenge 2017 (ICC’2017)

Do you have a start-up idea but don’t yet have something to show for it?

The ICC’2017 is open to anyone over the age of 18 who is a skilled developer, researcher, designer or entrepreneur, from any country. This free-of-charge 3-week immersive technology transfer accelerator program gives budding entrepreneurs the unique opportunity to develop their original idea towards a “Minimum Viable Product’’ (e.g., demonstrator, product prototype) in collaboration with groups of entrepreneurs and researchers.

The ICC’2017 combines the availability of state-of-the-art technologies, cutting edge research, mentor-led coaching, and micro-seed investment. The global value of the endowments and awards (cash as well as in-kind rewards) amounts to more than 100’000 CHF. The ICC’2017 can accommodate up to 30 participants, ideally split into 10 teams of three people.

How to enter

Step 1 of the process is to send your CV and a “motivation letter” by 1 May 2017.

Find out more.


BT Infinity Securing the Nation

Does your start-up thrive on technological innovation?

“Keeping our nation safe against an unprecedented number of security risks is arguably one of the biggest innovation challenges of our time,” says BT’s website. To promote new ideas and technologies, BT has teamed up with the Cabinet Office and TechHub to find small companies with big ideas that can help tackle the nation’s security challenges.

Securing the Nation is the latest in a series of competitions aimed at supporting the best digital talent, helping them to turn their ideas into reality. This is a unique chance to contribute towards the nation’s security by getting your ideas off the ground with the support of BT and TechHub.

The challenge has been split in the three categories: cyber security; data collection, mining and analytics; and digital innovation.

How to enter

SMEs with ideas should complete the application form and send a short video by March 6.

Find out more.


Innovate UK seeking green start-ups to send to Silicon Valley

Are you a green or clean-tech company wanting to take your business one step further?

San Francisco-based Clean + Cool is seeking 16-20 UK green and clean-tech start-ups to attend its week-long event. The start-ups selected will have the chance to pitch their business to venture capitalists.

A range of businesses are encouraged to apply, from areas such as energy supply and systems, urban living and smart infrastructure, transport and smart mobility, agriculture and food, robotics, advanced materials and manufacturing.

Backed by BEIS and Innovate UK, Clean + Cool is now on its sixth year.

How to enter

Go to Clean + Cool’s website and fill in a form, answering questions such as ‘What market are you targeting and why is it exciting?” You must also submit a 60-second film. The deadline for this first phase is 31 March 2017.

Find out more.


And last, but not least…


Polar Bear Pitching

 Want to shake up your pitch? How about doing it half-naked in freezing cold water?

If going through your PowerPoint deck while basking in fluorescent light is seeming a bit staid, then perhaps it’s time to shake things up a little.

Enter Polar Bear Pitching, where there is no time limit on your pitch, no fluorescent lighting, and no PowerPoint. The catch? The pitch is performed standing waist-deep in water carved in the frozen Baltic Sea.

The spoils are significant – the first-place winner is awarded 10,000 Euros, while the two runners-up are offered two-week stints in Silicon Valley.

How to enter

 We’ve missed the chance to lead you to this year’s competition, but there is always next year! Consider it time to build up your business plan, your pitch, and your stamina.

Find out more.

Our next pitching competition, TechPitch 4.5 will take place on 25 April 2017 at The Auditorium, Pinsent Masons, 30 Crown Place, London, EC2A 4ES. Get your tickets and apply to pitch here. The deadline to apply is 24 March 2017.


TechPitch 4.5 Fashion, Luxe & Retail will take place on 11 May 2017 at Irwin Mitchell offices, 40 Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1N 2PZ. The pitch application deadline is 7 April 2017.  Apply to pitch and get tickets on our website.