The Innovation Cup


An innovation cup is an international competition inviting startups to answer to leading corporate and Government entities challenges, creating solutions with market potential. By helping corporate and government buyers address these challenges lucky startups could be in with the chance to win a variety of prizes. Startups from around the world are invited to participate. 

Note: Applications to enter the competition will open in 2018

What's new in 2018

Win a POD: Win an exhibition pod in one of our sponsored industry sectors of the show floor to showcase your startup along with x3 day passes.

More competitions: Each sector sponsor has the opportunity to host an innovation cup. More competitions = more winners!

Get noticed: Earn a collaboration with one of our high profile partners, which could include financing your prototypes, becoming commercial partners, or investing in your startup.

Variety of Prizes: Win cash prize and much more!  last year we gave away 100,000$ cash prize and a fully sponsored trip to Silicon Valley.

*How to apply: instructions on how to apply along with the schedule and key dates will be available soon. Stay tuned!  

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Application Guidelines

All entries are required to send a tailored application video. Please see below for criteria and guidelines:


  • Video must be a maximum of 3 minutes
  • Video must address guideline questions below
  • Video must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo
  • Video must be tailor made to the Innovation Cup. We will not accept any corporate or generic videos
  • Video does not need to be animated or require any significant production value – a high quality camera on a mobile phone is sufficient. Ie. It can be a ‘selfie’ styled video with a team member(s) addressing the guiding questions below or a PPT video.

Guideline Questions

  • Give a high-level summary of what your company does?
  • What is the problem you are looking to solve and why should your audience care?
  • What is the size of your market?
  • What is the size of your team ?
  • What do your customers need and why?
  • What is your sales and distribution model?
  • What are you trying to accomplish?

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Futurism by Dubai Tourism

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) held an Innovation Cup where startups pitched their solutions across two categories: Hospitality & the Visitor experience in Dubai. Thirty of the best and brightest start-ups out of hundreds of entries were selected by DTCM. The shortlisted entries received free pods at GITEX Future Stars and the top three startups in each category took home hard earned cash!

Meet the Dubai Tourism Winners 2017! 

Accenture Innovation Awards

In partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, Fintech Hive at DIFC and Etisalat Digital - Accenture provided an opportunity of a lifetime to startups that went the extra mile.

Shortlisted participants presented their ideas in front of a jury comprising of senior executives from Accenture, Expo 2020 Dubai, Fintech Hive at DIFC and Etisalat Digital. Startups from around the world applied for the inaugural Accenture Innovation Awards.

The winners not only got an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley with Accenture, but were also assisted for meetings with investors.

View the full gallery of 2017 winners



  • With the prize we were able to recruit a bigger team and thus get the product to market faster… All in all, winning at GFS gave us an incredible exposure in the region and a boost to reaching our next milestone.
    Startup shoutout - Ibrahim Ezzeddine
    Co-Founder & CEO, Cherpa

Where next?

For Sponsors & Partners


Meetings Programme

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Official and Exclusive Innovation Partner