Kenya StartUp Cup
Business Model Competition 2016
Official Rules


The StartUp Cup Business Model Competition is designed to stimulate entrepreneurial activity, grow jobs through startups, and increase awareness of the resources available to grow entrepreneurs in Kenya. All winners will be selected on an objective basis as determined by the criteria set forth below. You must read and comply with these rules to enter the Kenya StartUp Cup Business Model Competition (the “Competition”). This Competition is void where prohibited by law.


Who can enter the Competition?

The competition is open to all participants who meet the following criteria:

  • The model must be an original idea for a business from idea up to five years in operation.
  • Applicants must be based in Kenya and must be between 18 to 35 years old at the time of entry and be legal residents of Kenya.
  • Business members cannot be directors, officers, or employees of any of the sponsors, or associated college/university. Immediate family members of any of the above are also disqualified.
  •  NOTE: students who are not employed by the College or University (if a college is associated) are allowed to compete.
  • Not-For-Profit submissions will not be accepted.


How do I enter?

Fill out the official Kenya StartUp Cup Business model Competition short form. Your submission must contain the following information:

  • Your business idea
  • Need and/or solution being filled
  • Product and/or service
  • Market size
  • Target customer
  • Revenue streams
  • Management team
  • Marketing strategy
  • Funding requirements, if any


Submissions will be accepted between Thursday, 14 April, 2016 and Tuesday, 20th May 2016 at 2359hrs


  • Judges will review submitted Business Models and those selected to enter the Competition will be notified of their acceptance and invited for the first stage of the competition on or before Tuesday, 24th May 2016.
  • If selected for the Competition, a comprehensive Business Model and financial projections will be required for submission by 28th July, 2016 at 11.59 PM. Instructions and a link to an online Business Model long form will be sent to those invited to participate in the Competition.


All information will be kept confidential. The judges may require verification of certain information during the review of the business model. Only complete business model forms will be considered.


Any questions regarding submission of business models should be addressed to [email protected]. Organizers of the Competition will not respond to direct inquiries regarding the contest other than general administrative questions.


What can I win?

The winners will be determined from all eligible entrants. The winners will be presented awards at the Kenya StartUp Cup Competition Celebration to be held on 20th November 2016 (venue to be announced on this site). Winners must be present to accept awards. All finalists will be expected to participate in or attend the Kenya StartUp Cup Competition Award Celebration and may be required to make a brief presentation about their companies during the celebration.


The prizes to be won will be announced on this site. Other award distributions may be for the best business models in the following categories: (1) Agribusiness; (2) ICT; and (3) Manufacturing.


The First Prize Winner will represent Kenya in the Global StartUp Cup Competition next year!


In addition, the winning business model may receive entrepreneurial/ Strategic Partner support, and introductions to additional funding sources.


NOTE: There is no guarantee, expressed or implied, that any business will receive an award. Should no entries into the Competition meet the entry criteria, should no entry have a reasonable chance for success and should the selection committee determine no winner exists for that year of the Competition, no award will be made for that year and any award money will be used for the following years’ Competition. The odds of winning a prize depend on the skill of the entrants and the number of entries received. All taxes associated with the prize are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. Prizes are not transferable.


How will the judges decide on a winner?

Decisions will be made by a panel of judges consisting of representatives from the industries, business community and institutions of higher learning. The judging panel will evaluate the plans on the basis of:

  • Reasonable opportunity for success of the business model
  • Business meets an identifiable need and actively tests market response
  • Business has a strong execution strategy
  • Business has identified and allocated resources to be successful
  • Business utilizes resources effectively
  • Business has a believable competitive advantage
  • Business has a sound target market and customer base
  • Revenue and profit models that fit
  • Strong, coachable management team
  • Contribution to the uniqueness of Kenya
  • Realistic time-frame for business growth


The entrants to the Competition will be judged on the merits of their business models with presentations made to the panel of judges. The first presentation will include the best business models from each of the counties of Kenya (a total of 188 business models). The second presentation will include forty business models. The third presentation will include the top twelve business models, and the final round of presentations will include the top four business models.

In the event of a tie, the judges will select the model that has the higher score under “Reasonable opportunity for success of the business.” All decisions regarding the criteria will be made solely by the organizers and sponsors. All decisions of the judges are final. These Official Rules and the decisions of the judging panel are final and binding in all respects.



How do I find out if I won?

The final winners will be announced at the Kenya StartUp Cup Award Celebration on 20th November 2016 (venue to be announced on this site). In addition to complying with the conditions set forth, as a condition of receiving a prize, each winner must sign an affidavit of eligibility and publicity/liability release. Failure to sign and return all of these forms within 14 days following notification will result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected. Non-compliance within this time period may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. Return of any prize/prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. The Winners list will be available after the official awarding of prizes at the Kenya StartUp Cup Award Celebration.


What are the other conditions of the Competition?


Other Funding or Competitions

Teams that have already secured funding from any source must disclose the amounts and sources at the time of entry, or as soon as they become aware of any funding commitment during the duration of the Competition. Teams that have entered a model into any other business model or business plan Competition must disclose this at the time of entry or as soon as they enter their model in another Competition during the duration of the Competition.

Original Work of Authorship

All entries must be original and free from any claim of copyright or other restriction relating to the Competition.

Number of Entries

No individual may be included as a “team member” on more than one business model, and no business may enter more than one business model.

Payment of Prizes

The cash awards paid by the sponsors/judges do not constitute an investment in the winning business model. Sponsors/judges will not receive equity in the winning business in exchange for the prize money. Awards to the winners of the Competition will be issued in the name of the businesses set forth in the plan and the sponsors/judges do not assume any liability for any subsequent distribution.




No responsibility is assumed and entrants waive all claims for lost, late or misdirected entries, or for any problems of technical malfunction of any telephone or network lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or entry received by Organizers and/or Sponsors on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet, the website or any combination, thereof including, without limitation, any injury or damage to entrants or any other persons’ computer resulting from any causes, including without limitation downloading any materials in the promotion. Entrants who violate these Official Rules, tamper with the operation of the Contest or engage in any conduct that is detrimental or unfair to Sponsors, the Competition, or any other entrant (in each case as determined in Organizers’ sole discretion) are subject to disqualification from entry into the Competition. Organizers reserve the right to lock out any entrant whose eligibility is in question.


Release and Waiver


By entering, participants, without limitation, release and hold harmless Organizers, Sponsors, Judges, Coaches, and their respective directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, or damage of any kind in connection with the Competition. By entering this Competition, you agree to waive any right to claim ambiguity or error in these Official Rules or in the Competition itself. If you have any questions about these Official Rules or the Competition, please contact [email protected]