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Bigcommerce ushers in new startup competition and plans to send the winner to the land of the weird, Austin, Texas, for SXSW


Here’s some big news for you, upstart Anthillians. Bigcommerce has announced that it will be hosting the first-ever E-Commerce Circle for the fourth annual Global Startup Battle (GSB), produced by Up Global.

GSB is an annual event that brings together a global community of entrepreneurs competing in a startup competition, with the winners bringing home a variety of loot. The competition will be held on 15 November and 22 November in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week, and is expected to attract 20,000+ entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches, special guests, celebrities, and more.

Bigcommerce: the big cheese

Bigcommerce will lead the judging panel for the E-Commerce Circle competition, working to single out the most innovative, smart, enthusiastic and promising team for a month-long e-commerce immersion experience at Bigcommerce.

The experience includes a personal e-commerce coach, collaborative office space, your own online store with built-in marketing tools to help you sell more, tickets to SXSW Interactive (yeah, the one in Austin, Texas, USA) and an opportunity to meet with execs from Bigcommerce to discuss and refine your business growth strategy.

Bigcommerce will cover travel and event expenses so the winner can hunker down to make their online startup a success with mentorship from the experts who work with online businesses every day.

“The Global Startup Battle provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to connect with and learn from each other, providing new ideas and opportunities to build their businesses in this fast-paced market,” says Steve Case, Chairman and CEO, Revolution and Chairman of UP Global.

“As access to the $250 billion global, online marketplace for retailers and merchants, is increasingly democratised, e-commerce provides a compelling opportunity for young startups to go toe-to-toe with giants in their space.”

“We know that every startup is a journey and every entrepreneur starts with an idea, a vision and a dream to make it big,” says Eddie Machaalani, founder and CEO at Bigcommerce. “E-commerce is one of the fastest ways to get your business off the ground and the E-Commerce Circle was created because we have the tools, experience and knowledge to help these online entrepreneurs become successful.”

Did someone say SXSW?

That’s right. The winners will head to the Lone Star State; in the good old USA. SXSW happens in Austin, a city that’s darn weird and dang proud of it. It’s the only place in the world (that we know of) with free parking for musicians. Really.

But aside for being super friendly for musicians, Austin also has SXSW Interactive, an incubator for cutting-edge startups and tech, held yearly.

How to get in the game…

If you’d like your shot at attending SXSW, you’ve first got to make your way to the E-Commerce Circle completion. Pay attention, here’s the skinny:

  • A Circle is a themed startup competition within Global Startup Battle.
  • Teams submit video pitches, get crowd votes, and winners will eventually be named by a panel of industry expert judges.
  • The first step to entering the E-Commerce Circle is to find a Startup Weekend taking place during Global Startup Battle. There are two weekends available to choose from: 15 November and 22 November.
  • At the beginning of the event, participants will pitch their ideas and teams will form around the most popular ones.
  • The teams then have 54 hours to build a company around the idea.
  • On Sunday evening, teams will present to a local panel of judges and event winners will be named.
  • From there, all teams will have 24 hours to submit a video entry describing their company to the GSB Circles of their choice.

Whatcha waiting on?

Register to attend a startup weekend event in a city near you. If you’re located in Bigcommerce’s neck of the woods, you can find details regarding the Sydney, Australia startup weekend right over here.

Get in the game, and take a shot at keeping it weird in Austin next year.