The Innovators Track

The .CO Innovators Track is calling all Startup Weekend teams that are launching their brilliant ideas on a .CO domain for the chance to win a prize package worth over $20k, including a trip to demo and pitch at The Next Web Conference: Amsterdam! That’s right all your team has to do is launch your business, company, or product on a .CO domain name, after all .CO is where big ideas belong on the web. 

After the celebration of winning concludes, that’s when the real fun begins. As the winning team of the Innovators Track you and your team will travel to Amsterdam. TNW Amsterdam is a gathering of immense scale that brings together 20,000 of the world’s top technology leaders, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs. We’ll fly your team to Amsterdam and cover the cost of the hotel so you can focus on making the most of TNW Amsterdam.  But that’s not all! As the winning team you will be awarded prizes such as annual WeWork Commons Memberships to help launch your company and much more! Any team that builds their idea on a .CO domain during a Startup Weekend event is eligible. See rules for full details (our lawyer made us say that).

About .CO

.CO is the domain name of choice for innovators and entrepreneurs all over the world. Since launching in 2010, more than 1.8 million .CO domains have been registered by people and companies in more than 200 countries. From startups and small businesses to big brands and multinational corporations, .CO is where big ideas belong on the Web. For more information about .CO, please visit or follow us on Twitter @dotCO.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Team must have their idea built on a .CO domain during the weekend

Important Dates: 

  • Nov 13 – Weekend 1 submissions open (8:00am PST)
  • Nov 17 – Weekend 1 submissions close (11:59pm PST)
  • Nov 22 – Weekend 2 submissions open (8:00am PST)
  • Nov 24 – Weekend 2 submissions close (11:59pm PST)
  • Nov 27 – Voting begins
  • Dec 4 – Voting ends
  • Dec 4-9 – Judging
  • Dec 9-10 – Scoring/Admin
  • Dec 11 – Winner Announcement

Judging Criteria:

Experience (how does the product look & feel):

  • Is your product easy and intuitive for the user to navigate?
  • Is your product engaging?
  • How does your product feel?

Execution (what was built):

  • How effective is your a “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend (be it software, hardware, etc.)? 
  • Were you able to incorporate customer feedback into the solution?
  • How much is built?

Validation (is this business feasible, do you have customers):

  • What is your key value proposition?
  • Who will be your users, who will be your customers (are they different)?
  • How many users have you engaged with?
  • How did you validate your problem & solution with customers, and what did you learn from them?
  • How do you plan on making this a successful business? (have you thought about competition, how to scale, acquiring customers, revenue model etc.)

The Innovators Track Prizes

The Next Web Conference: Amsterdam

Opportunity to attend, demo, and pitch at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam

Trip to Amsterdam

We got you covered as you travel and stay in Amsterdam and enjoy The Next Web Conference with a travel stipend up to $13,000 USD.

WeWork Space

Receive an annual Commons WeWork membership for each team member, up to five total.

Founder Institute Membership

Become a member of Founder Institute and get resources to help build your company.

LSTN Headphones

Each member of your team (up to five) will receive a pair of LSTN headphones! And with every pair of headphones, LSTN gives back by helping someone in need hear for the first time.

NewCO Festival Access

Get up to five Platinum tickets to NewCO Festival in the city of your team’s choice!

$120,000 in SoftLayer Credits

Admission into the SoftLayer Catalyst program, including $120,000 in credits for hosting on dedicated and virtual servers along with business and technical mentorship *Terms Apply 

Runner Up – SoftLayer Credits

Admission into the SoftLayer Catalyst program, including $24,000 in credits for hosting on dedicated and virtual servers along with business and technical mentorship to the Top 10 runner up companies *Terms Apply 

Track Judges

Lori Anne Wardi

from Neustar

Lori Anne Wardi is Vice President of Business Development at Neustar’s Registry Services Group. Previously, Lori Anne was a co-founder of the company behind the global launch and management of the .CO domain extension, which was recently acquired by Neustar.

Patrick de Laive

from The Next Web

Patrick is co-founder of and TNW, a leading global brand in tech with Media, Events and Data businesses. He is a frequently asked speaker at tech conferences around the globe and sporadically invests in startups. If you win this competition you’ll meet Patrick in his hometown Amsterdam during TNW conference where 20,000 hot shots in tech come together to do business. Lucky you that you will have a face-to-face meeting with him.

Sanjay Vijayakumar

from Startup Village

Sanjay Vijayakumar is an entrepreneur and Chairman of Startup Village, India’s first Public Private Partnership Incubator along with Government of India. He is on a mission India’s billion dollar campus startups by 2022 and rated by India today as one of the 37 Indians driving the future of the country.

Daniel Feld

from Techstars

Daniel is Vice President of Operations for Techstars, leading their powered by Techstars expansion efforts with corporate partners including Sprint, Disney, Barclays, Ford, MetroAG, Target, and more. Prior to Techstars, Daniel was Partner/COO of Slice of Lime, an award-winning website and application UX/UI design firm where he lead client project strategy, company strategy, sales and operations. Before that, he was VP of Delivery at StillSecure where he worked with some of the world’s largest public and government organizations to secure their networks.

Check out the 2015 Champions!

View the winning ideas and pitches of GSB 2015.