What is StageTwo?
Stage Two is the first pan-European competition for the best startups spinning out of leading European universities. The first local stage of the competition will take place at WHU on September 8th, with the top two teams traveling to Berlin on October 29th for the finals. During Stage Two, the WHU startup teams selected will compete against teams from 28 other universities from across Europe! Also, as the competition aims to connect founders across national borders and provide them with access to international markets, funding, and resources, there will be over 25 venture capital firms and industry leaders present. To find out more, visit the website here.
What are the prizes in the final stage?
In total, there are five prize categories. They are:
- Best Tech Startup
- Best Business Startup
- Best Female Founder Award
- 5k Sustainability Award
- 5k Digital Business Award
Who is eligible to apply?
All WHU students and alumni. At least one member of the startup team should have affiliations with WHU.
How can you apply?
Step 1- Submit your application here: https://forms.gle/2VLJqguprCCFPL4t5
Please submit only one application per team.
To apply, we ask that you thoroughly answer the questions asked. Additionally, please provide a pitch deck (pdf format). You may also submit a short video introducing the founders and startup (optional). You will not be assessed by the production quality of your video, so keep it short and use a simple tool such as Zoom, smartphone, or laptop webcam. If you have a product demo video, please submit that as well (optional). Post all videos on YouTube or Vimeo as unlisted and provide the URL in your application.
The deadline to apply is Sunday, July 18th, at 11:59 pm.
Step 2- Selection Committee Review
After we receive all applications, we will thoroughly review applicants based on the following criteria:
- Team composition – Does the team have the pieces they need to go from idea to MVP and potentially to market?
- Traction - Has the team made sufficient progress in developing their new venture? Is there a clear idea, value proposition, business model? At what stage is their MVP? Has any customer discovery or research been undertaken? Is this a serious business that has received some time and effort or just a last-minute application?
- Idea – Is the business idea well-defined and well-researched? Is it innovative and potentially disruptive at some scale? Can the business model impact thousands or millions of people’s lives? Is it a small business or an investable business model (think TAM/SAM/SOM)?
Step 3- Interviews & Team Selection
Shortlisted teams will be asked to participate in a 30-minute video interview. Interviews will take place from July 26th- August 6th and will include an additional 5-10 minutes for founder Q&A.
Selected teams will be notified of their acceptance no later than August 23rd.
Do you have questions? Feel free to reach out to us over email (startup(at)whu.edu)
Also, be sure to follow the WHU Entrepreneurship Center on social media to stay up-to-date!