VentureOut Challenge


infoDev at the World Bank and CRDF Global are announcing VentureOut, a new initiative to propel expansion-ready mobile entrepreneurs into enticing international markets. The program will run from August to November 2013 and help hundreds of entrepreneurs through hands-on training, virtual learning opportunities, mentorship, international exposure, and seed funding. Entrepreneurs will come from the entrepreneurial ecosystems developed by six local technology community partners located in six countries: Armenia, Kenya, Macedonia, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa.

This program also identifies advanced entrepreneurs during the VentureOut Challenge mobile app competition - applications accepted between August 9 and September 2, 2013. The top 12 entrepreneurs from the competition will meet in Moldova this October 30-31, 2013 for the Dragon’s Den, a pitching exposition to compete for $10,000 in seed funding. Thanks to a great partnership with TechCrunch, one selected VentureOut entrepreneur will also be attending TechCrunch’sDisrupt Europe event in Berlin this October 26-29, 2013.  

Competition Eligibility

Competition applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible to participate in the 2013 Competition: 

  1. Application must be written in English.
  2. All members of a team can only enter the competition once with one submission.  
  3. Each team must select a member who will be the applicant for the team in this competition. This member does not have to occupy a particular position on the team, i.e. CEO. That member is hereafter referred to as the applicant.
  4. The applicantmust be affiliated with local partner organizations (listed above)and residents or citizens of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia,  Moldova, Montenegro,  Poland,  Romania, Rwanda    Senegal, Serbia,  Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan,  Uganda, Ukraine or Uzbekistan.
  5. Each mobile app must meet this criteria: 
    • Venture is for-profit and less than three years old from date of launching startup
    • Entrepreneur is interested in expanding their app into new geographies in the future 
    • Product or service is currently in a user testing stage, pilot stage, or available on the market 
    • Venture is either self-funded or has external financing (either from public or private sources) 
    • Mobile app ventures can be B2C, i.e. targeted towards retail distribution, for use on individual handsets; or B2B, i.e. enterprise solutions powered by or using or enhancing mobile technology.
  6. The applicant must be at least 18 years old and able to both read and speak English proficiently.
  7. The applicantshould be ready and available to present her/his technology idea or startup during trainings and business pitch presentations in Chisinau, Moldovaon October30-31, 2013.  
  8. Theapplicantmust hold a valid passport and be eligible to travel to Chisinau, Moldova to participate in the workshop and pitch session if selected as a finalist. (Visas will be obtained by finalists).
  9. All awards will be granted to the applicantonly.
  10. Applications that fall under the following categories will not be accepted: 
  • apps with no demonstrable commercial potential 
  • apps based on charity or foundation (not-for-profit) organizations
  • apps that are not yet functional or existent (apps have to be beyond the idea stage)

Application Instructions

In order to participate in the competition, eligible applicants must submit an application online that consists of a Mobile App Internationalization Summary to


App Competition




Phase 1:


& Trainings

August 9, 2013


September 2, 2013

Entrepreneurs are invited to apply for VentureOut Challenge.

Local partner organizations provide in-person trainings.

CRDF Global provides a webinar on applying for the competition

Date: Aug 26-29, TBD.

Applications are submitted.

Phase 2: Review/Semi-finalist Selection

September 3, 2013

September 16, 2013

18 semi-finalists selected by CRDF Global judges.

Phase 3: Semifinalist announcement and training

September 17, 2013

September 24, 2013

 All applicants are invited to join in for the TechConnectVentureOut on September 17, 2013 and to hear the announcement of top 18 entrepreneurs at the end of the program.  

Top 18 entrepreneurs will have an online internationalization training and Q&A session.

(Date: Sept 18-23,TBD)

One of the top 18 will be selected by judges to attend TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin.

Phase 4:

Pitch Showdown

September 24, 2013

October 1st, 2013

18 semi-finalists submit PowerPoint presentations (template here) by September 24, that are then rated by a panel of judges who select the top 9 who will travel to Moldova.

Phase 5:

Business Model Creation and Preparatory Mentorship

October 1, 2013

October 29, 2013

9 entrepreneurs receive training on Lean Startup Methodology and Business model canvases.  Then they create business model canvases on LaunchPad Centralplatform. 

They then meet with their mentors to discuss business model basics and refinements to their pitch, which will help them in the upcoming Dragon’s Den Pitching Competition.

Phase 6:  Dragon’s Den & Awards Ceremony in Chisinau, Moldova

October 30, 2013

October 31, 2013

Finalists give oral presentations and Q&A with panel of judges.

Winners are selected and announced.

Prizes: One award of $10,000 for the top entrepreneur of each participating continent

Phase 7:

Ongoing Mentorship 

November 1, 2013

November 30, 2013

The finalists receive continuous mentorship from a seasoned entrepreneur on the LaunchPad Central platform. Entrepreneurs may continue to use LaunchPad Central platform for up to 10 months as they wish.

VentureOut Challenge