Applications for the 2016 edition of Startup Open, a competition aimed at recognizing some of the most promising new startups from across the world, have opened.
The competition is open to entrepreneurs from any industry with new startups that haven’t secured any outside capital from angel investors, venture capital firms or other formal sources of seed funding.
From the applications received, the top finalists  selected will gain instant membership in the GEN Starters Club, enhanced exposure and curated networking opportunities at special events around the world.
After a final round of judging, one global winner, who will receive an all expenses paid trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Johannesburg, South Africa in March 2017, will be announced .
At the GEC, the entrepreneur will showcase their startup on a global scale, gain valuable insight from successful and experienced entrepreneurs, hear and meet world leaders, receive one-in-a-lifetime mentorship with established entrepreneurs, and experience all Johannesburg has to offer that makes it an emerging hub for innovation and creativity.
“The world in which we live has become increasingly virtual as digital advances disrupt traditional industries across all sectors – and on all continents,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Network.
He added, “Startup Open helps next generation entrepreneurs realize their full potential and grow to scale.”
Entrepreneurs from across the world interested in the competition should apply by September 30, 2016.
Startup Open is organized by the Global Entrepreneurship Network and supported by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Past winners of the competition have shared a stage with world renowned entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and world leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama, and featured by CNBC, CNN, Fast Company, Forbes and more.
 The finalists will be announced in November during Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 14-20, 2016).
 The grand prize winner will be announced in January 2017.