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This article was published on January 25, 2012

Announcing: TNW Startup Rally 2012 at The Next Web Conference

Announcing: TNW Startup Rally 2012 at The Next Web Conference
Wytze De Haan
Story by

Wytze De Haan

Founder, The Hatchet

Wytze writes weekly career advice for employees of fast-growing startups and scale-ups on topics like how to negotiate a better salary, conv Wytze writes weekly career advice for employees of fast-growing startups and scale-ups on topics like how to negotiate a better salary, convincing clients to work with you, or how to be a great manager for your team. Prior to founding the Hatchet, he spent 9 years working as Director of Events for TNW.

Preparations for The Next Web Conference 2012 are well under way and we are eager to share with you our new plans for the TNW Startup Rally.

For the past 6 years, the TNW Startup Rally has been an incredible platform for the hottest and most promising startups to present their product in front of the most tech savvy crowd of Europe. The combination of fast presentations and sharp Q&A sessions with our expert jury provides you with an excellent overview of today’s hot new startups and the trends you should be looking out for. Many of our C-level attendees, investors and venture capitalists use The Next Web Startup Rally as the perfect opportunity to spot, meet and secure their new investments.

Moreover, as a startup, launching your new product during the TNW Conference gives you the coverage you need to rocket to success. In the last 3 editions more than 25 startups raised a total of 50 million+ in funding during or right after their launch at The Next Web Conference.

In line with the evolving format of the conference we decided to give the TNW Startup Rally a face lift. After last year’s success, we partnered with Microsoft BizSpark again to combine our strengths and increase the level of the presentations of the finalists and give our contestants even more exposure. We also professionalized the judging process of the whole competition by bringing in the awesome SaaS tool from YouNoodle.

Alpha Rally / Beta Rally

We found that the strict regulations for the TNW Startup Rally meant having to seclude some interesting companies that just didn’t fit the profile. That’s why we’ve decided to split the Startup Rally into an Alpha Rally and a Beta Rally. Our Alpha Rally is for new companies launching a new product. Our Beta Rally will be for existing companies who are launching new products. Eventually the 20 finalists will have the opportunity to present on one of our main tracks during the conference.

Preparation Day

Together with Microsoft BizSpark we have arranged for an official preparation day with all the Startup Rally finalists. In the time span of a day, the 20 finalists will be prepped by mentors, presentation coaches and former founders on how to pitch in front of a big audience with lots of investors.

The Finals

The finals of the TNW Startup Rally take place on the Thursday and Friday of the conference. We’re honored to have Werner Vogels as Chairman of the Jury during the finals. Werner will select a team of 6 experts that will help him give feedback to the startups and decide on the winners.

The presentations will be held in 4 time blocks of 5 startup presentations each. The Jury will also select the best presentation right after each session and that company will present a second time on the other stage as well.

We’re still working on the prizes for the winners of the competition – we will let you know in time. Expect at least tons of media exposure and a chance to show yourself to the world’s biggest investors.

How to submit your startup?

This year we will give 20 companies the opportunity to launch their new apps or services on main stage for zilch, nada, nothing. The catch is that it will be harder than ever to make it through to the final 20. The TNW Startup Rally will showcase only the best and most promising teams; those with great products and a bright future ahead of them.

The Procedure
1st Round: Submissions (deadline 1st of March at noon CET) – 60 companies selected for 2nd round.
2nd Round: 1 minute video pitch (deadline March 17) – 35 companies selected for 3rd round.
3rd Round: Interview (March 18 – April 5) 18 Companies selected for the finals.
Announcement Finalists: April 7th.
The Finals: April 26-27, at The Next Web Conference 2012.

Startups number 19 and 20 will be selected by the Jury during the conference from startups exhibiting their new services in the business area (get a startup booth or table here).

Do you want to rock the stage this year? Submit your startup now or find out more about the selection criteria here!

Follow all of our coverage of The Next Web Conference 2012 here.