Web Summit to hold Europe’s largest start-up competition

Technology conference signs sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola for Pitch competition

Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave said the Pitch start-up competition is going to be bigger and of a higher quality than ever this year with 200 finalists pitching this November.

Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave said the Pitch start-up competition is going to be bigger and of a higher quality than ever this year with 200 finalists pitching this November.

Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 16:43

The Web Summit is set to host Europe’s largest-start up competition this November, with 200 start-ups from around the world competing.

The technology conference has signed a sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola for the Pitch competition, and the two winning teams will be flown to the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, where they will meet with executives for strategy sessions. They will also receive funding from the drinks giant.

Coca-Cola’s chief technical and innovation officer Guy Wollaert, vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship David Butler and Emmanuel Seuge, vice president of global alliances and ventures, who are all speaking at this year’s Web Summit, will judge the Pitch competition.

“The world is changing all around us, and we therefore must change with the world to continue to thrive as a business,” Mr Wollaert said.

Last year, start-ups based in more than 90 countries submitted thousands of applications to compete for a chance to win a €75,000 prize. The winner was Import.io, a data extraction company from London.

The competition’s 2012 winner, home automation start-up SmartThings, was recently acquired by Samsung for $200 million.

Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave said the competition is going to be bigger and of a higher quality than ever this year with 200 finalists pitching this November.

“Some of these start-ups are fundamentally changing the world with their ideas,” he added.

Previous judges of the competition include Phil Libin of Evernote, Michael Birch of Monkey Inferno, Kevin Rose of Google Ventures, Shakil Khan of Spotify and YouTube founder Jawed Karim.