USA Startups Advance to Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) Global Finals
Startups selected from 100,000 registrations in 200 countries will compete for a share of US$1 million
4 Oct 2021

United States — October 4, 2021 — Three USA-based startups will compete in the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) Global Finals, organizers announced today. They are among the 100 startups known collectively as the “Entrepreneurship World Cup 100 (EWC 100)” that advance to the next stage of the competition. 

The USA startups joining the EWC 100 are:  

  • Hera Health Solutions, a Memphis, Tennessee-based startup developing the world's first biodegradable drug delivery implant platform. 

  • Bansen Labs, a Pittsburg, Pennsylvania-based startup enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating technology that promotes inclusion, access, and social opportunity. 

  • Orbillion Bio, a San Francisco, California-based startup bringing healthy, ethical and flavorful meats with a complete farm-to-table story to the modern consumer. 

"Entrepreneurship is becoming more accessible across the United States as companies are launching and thriving beyond the typical startup hubs,” said Jonathan Ortmans, founder and president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. “Silicon Valley, home of Orbillion, is still the world's epicenter of entrepreneurship but our top two finishers -- Hera Health Solutions and Bansen Labs -- are located in Memphis and Pittsburgh -- two rapidly expanding startup ecosystems.” 

In 2021, 100,000 EWC registrations were received from 200 countries. One thousand startups pitched at National Finals organized and judged by local entrepreneurship organizations across six continents plus the Middle East.  

Hera Health Solutions, Bansen Labs and Orbillion Bio won top spots at the USA National Final in September, organized by GEN USA. Each of the top three national finalists received access to free virtual training services and up to $100,000 in perks to help them take their ventures to the next level. Thanks to global investment company KKR, each finalist also received a $10,000 Small Business Builders Grant as part of their prize package. 

"We are grateful for our partnership with KKR, who provided grants to these three winners to help them scale,” said Ortmans. 

As part of the EWC 100, the startups will compete for a share of US$1 million in cash prizes – US$500,000 for first place, $250,000 for second place and $100,000 for third place. Cash prizes of US$100,000 will also be awarded to the top-scoring startups in the idea stage and social enterprise categories.  

The EWC 100 will attend a virtual bootcamp on Oct. 10-11, hosted by the Entrepreneurship Centre at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, with experts on hand to help them hone their business and pitching skills. A second virtual component will take place in late October and the top 25 startups will advance to the final stage of the competition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the Misk Global Forum (Nov. 17-18).  

The Entrepreneurship World Cup is one of the world’s largest and most diverse pitch competitions and support programs for the next generation of entrepreneurs. Since launching in 2019, EWC has supported more than 300,000 participants from 200 countries, awarded $2 million in cash prizes and provided in-kind support and services valued at $150 million. 

The EWC is hosted globally by the Misk Global ForumGlobal Entrepreneurship Network and The Global Education & Leadership Foundation. It is supported by global partners including One ValleyEntrepreneurs’ Organization, the King Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyGAN and Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs.  

The Global Finals will be held on the heels of Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 8-14), when 40,000 events and activities will take place in 180 countries to inspire and empower entrepreneurs.  

For interviews and further inquiries please contact:  

Kathryn Forrest 

Media Relations, Global Entrepreneurship Network 

About the Misk Global Forum  

The Misk Global Forum (MGF) is the flagship international platform of the Misk Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic foundation established by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discover, develop and empower Saudi youth to become active participants in the future economy. Since its launch in 2016, MGF has extended Misk’s mission to young people across the globe. Through international events, research and global initiatives, MGF brings together emerging and established leaders, innovators, and creators to explore, experience and experiment with ways to meet the challenge of change. MGF focuses on three core areas across its activations: skills for the future economy; entrepreneurship and employment; and active global citizenship. Website:    

About the Global Entrepreneurship Network  

The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates a platform of projects and programs in 180 countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business. By fostering deeper cross border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organizations, GEN works to fuel healthier entrepreneurial ecosystems that create jobs, accelerate innovation and strengthen economic growth. Website:   

About the Global Education & Leadership Foundation   

The Global Education & Leadership Foundation (tGELF) is a non-profit that seeks to identify and nurture leadership skills in individuals who are rooted in the values of ethics and altruism, and have a bias for action. tGELF was officially inaugurated in 2008 by the then Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh. In the last decade, tGELF’s flagship school curriculum on ethical leadership and entrepreneurship has expanded from just six schools in India to over 3000 schools across 14 countries touching more than 3 million students. tGELF’s community of future leaders and change-makers have also undertaken numerous high impact projects that have collectively impacted the lives of over 500 million people and raised over $6.38 bn dollars in commitments from governments, philanthropists, corporations and multilaterals for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Website:   

Ellen Erickson

Director for U.S. Ecosystems | Global Entrepreneurship Network

Ellen is the Director for U.S. Ecosystems with the Global Entrepreneurship Network. Her primary responsibilities include supporting the… More