Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
The Dongsheng-ACBridge Cup U.S. Entrepreneurship Competition is hosted by the Dongsheng Science and Technology Park and Dao Ventures, a China-based company that looks to help small to mid-sized startups, and is co-sponsored by Arlington Economic Development.
“This competition will bring early/seed-stage or growth stage technology companies from around the globe together to pitch their products and services for the chance at cash prizes, significant investments and mentoring, and the chance for free office space in one of China’s top accelerators,” Dao Ventures said in a statement.
Early-stage startups with an international focus are encouraged to pitch their companies for the chance to win $15,000 and a chance to represent the United States in a global competition held in China. Winners of the global competition will receive $160,000 and the chance to bring the company to China.
Companies can submit applications until Nov. 6, and the top three U.S. companies will be selected on Nov. 13. Dao Ventures will hold the awards ceremony on Dec. 2 at the Arlington Economic Development building (1100 N. Glebe Road).
Companies will be evaluated on the company’s likelihood of succeeding, how its product or service helps solve a larger problem and the company’s potential growth.
Dongsheng and Dao Ventures — which has offices in Reston — decided to host the U.S. competition in Arlington after considering other D.C. area locales because of support from the county, said Mark Marangella, a spokesman with Dao Ventures. He added that AED Director Victor Hoskins’ knowledge of and experience in China helped win over Dongsheng.
“Having the opportunity to collaborate with one of the largest technology accelerators in China speaks volumes to the work we are doing internationally and the interest we are drawing from around the globe in the technology space,” Hoskins said.
The competition is the first of its kind, Marangella said, adding that Dongsheng Science and Technology Park has not held a competition in the United States before.
“Our objective at the end of the day is to create jobs,” he said.
By participating in the competition, companies have the chance to network with global companies, including those in China, and also get media attention. Even if a company does not advance to the final rounds, Dao Ventures is aiming to help companies find more networking and funding opportunities, Marangella said.
“The ones that are going to stand out, as you can imagine, are the ones with unique and compelling technology,” he said.
Competition logo courtesy of AED, Dongsheng Science and Technology and Dao Ventures