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StartUp Cup News and Insights

StartUp Cup News and Insights

StartUp Cup Business Model Competition Launched in Santa Clara County

Silicon Valley County residents with an innovative business idea are encouraged to enter the competition

April 24, 2012, Silicon Valley County, CA – A new and unique business competition called the StartUp Cup Business Model Competition has been licensed for launch in Silicon Valley County in 2012. Local business persons and residents, Cynthia Nowicki and Alice Fenton have teamed up to bring this job producing program developed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Silicon Valley County. Local residents with a good business idea are invited to enter the competition via the StartUp Cup Silicon Valley County Website between April 24 and May 22, 2012.

StartUp Cup is a grassroots, locally driven, business model competition open to any type of business idea.  This local initiative has helped launch more than forty-six successful businesses in Tulsa, Oklahoma, its place of origin, since its creation in 2007.

“StartUp Cup offers a unique incentive to people with new business ideas,” said George Shirakawa, President of the County of Silicon Valley Board of Supervisors. Executive. “Furthermore, it will support our community efforts to create local jobs and help us in our efforts to address the void created by the demise of redevelopment in California.”

“I’m excited to see an approach that walks entrepreneurs through an extended process that provides coaching and feedback from others with proven success,” said Bruce Knopf, Director, Asset and Economic Development for the County of Silicon Valley Office of the County Executive. “This addresses a County-wide need to nurture creativity in all sectors, including but also reaching beyond our signature high-tech industry.”

The first phase of the judging process will begin June 27th and 28th followed by a coaching session for the Top 12 semifinalists on July 25th, 2012.

There is a significant difference between the StartUp Cup Silicon Valley County and other business-plan competitions. The StartUp Cup Silicon Valley County is designed to help the entrepreneurs with the best ideas get their businesses launched. The program includes hours of coaching and feedback from judges – at no cost.

“We are very excited that the StartUp Cup is arriving in Silicon Valley County,” said Sean Griffin, CEO  of BizXe, who founded StartUp Cup. “StartUp Cup exists to help communities grow their local economy, while providing the competitor with an amazing program of support throughout the process.”

StartUp Cup Silicon Valley County is also recruiting local entrepreneurs who would like to be part of the program as judges and coaches. Please visit the website for more information on how you can volunteer. We also invite everyone to “Like” the event on the Facebook page.


StartUp Cup is a community-based local business model competition. It is a proven model to build businesses and create jobs. It’s objective is to launch more than 50 local competitions resulting in a growth of 150 viable businesses with more than 20,000 jobs every year.

Entrepreneurs Submit Big Ideas Starting April 24, 2012

StartUp Cup | Silicon Valley County will begin accepting submissions on our website on April 24, 2012. There will be a form available to enter your Big Idea. We are excited to get this business model competition launched and look forward to meeting all of the budding entrepreneurs that will be part of this fantastic program.

The 98% Entrepreneurship Reality

Sean Griffin is the CEO of BizXe and the creator of StartUp Cup. He posted this article on his company website, and thought it should be shared here as well. With his permission we’ve posted it below.


An Entrepreneurial Renaissance

There is no question about it. It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur wherever you live in the world. There is more attention being given to entrepreneurialism as a viable career path and way to innovate than at any other time in history. We are at the beginning of a full-blown entrepreneurial renaissance.

Organizations and programs that support new technology companies to launch and gain access to the tools, resources, and capital that accelerate building scalable, high growth businesses are being introduced on a daily basis.

Startup programs like Startup Weekend, Lean Startup Machine, TechStars, and YCombinator are highly successful at filtering large numbers of technology companies with mentoring and funding designed to test their business models in an effort to grow big, fast.

Let’s face it, you are hard pressed to go a full day without being fed a news story about a technology company that has raised their first and second multi-million-dollar investment or the latest IPO making the founders into millionaires and billionaires. Very exciting times indeed. At least for those that are able to turn their startup into piles of cash.

Over Promoting Unrealistic Behavior

There is a dirty little secret behind every startup story that puts a newly funded company on a pedestal, and very few people are talking about it. What is this secret?

Only 2% of all startups are funded by angels, accelerators, or venture capitalists. Let me state this in a different way so that it will fully sink in. Only 2% of all startups have a business model, experienced team, connections, and scalability, usually technology based, to raise money from investors.

Funding is for the elite. More and more the funding is going to ivy league college graduates and teams that have a proven track record of generating huge returns for investors.

This means that 98% of all entrepreneurs and startups are not gaining access to the tools, resources, and financing opportunities that will give their new company the opportunity to grow.

It’s Not Always a Technology World

It is time to think different about what it means to be an entrepreneur. The myth is that you have to be a rock star and grow a technology company to be the next Facebook or Google. This does not reflect the true reality of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurialism is a lifestyle, a mindset, a way to live a life with greater purpose and meaning. If we are to overcome the economic challenges we face as a nation we need to focus more energy on supporting the 98% of entrepreneurs who are starting new companies.

The challenge is that the 98% do not meet the capitalistic nature of our economy today. That is to say, that they do not have a company that can grow big fast and generate handsome returns for investors. No wonder so many have so much anger towards Wall Street.

The World Needs Small Businesses

The entrepreneurial reality of the 98% is that they are low-tech or no-tech companies, have done little or no planning, are made up of unproven teams, have little to no experience starting a company, and are not graduates of ivy league universities. In addition these companies only require a few thousand dollars to start generating revenue and will only grow 2 – 20 jobs.

Startups do not need to be a technology company. They do not need to change the world. They just need someone with an idea and the passion to take that idea into the market place. Just think about how different the American economy would be if we were giving small business startups a similar level of access to networks, coaching, and team development as the 2%.

We are over promoting unrealistic behavior. Instead of focusing on raising lots of money let’s focus on the development of viable business models that connect with customers willing to pay for the value created by the startup. By focusing on the generation of revenue that drives profitability there is less and less need to raise money.

Small business is at the cornerstone of entrepreneurship. Some will become the next Apple and most will become the next corner drugstore owning their business for 20 years. Both deserve the same support and regard for making a difference in our lives.

BizXe is born out of this frustration to see entrepreneurs armed with any type of idea gain access to the coaching, resources, and tools that the 2% have access to.

It’s time to start celebrating the real heroes of our economy, the 98% who work to make our lives better each and everyday.