Founders' Valley

Founders' Valley Contest

Do you run a thriving startup in Asia, or do you have a visionary idea the world should know about? Then we want to hear from you! Send us your 5-minute video pitch by November 15 for a chance to win up to 10,000 euros.

DW Founders Valley Contest Your Story

Asia's entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking. Each day, new startups emerge on this vast continent, taking on intractable local and global challenges. Founders' Valley is on a quest for the most visionary new companies in Asia - those with the potential to leapfrog their competition and disrupt their entire industry. In the process, we hope to find the secret sauce that makes Asian entrepreneurs a special breed.

To kickstart our 10-part TV series that explores Asia's startup scene, we are launching the Founders' Valley Contest - a competition that rewards the most promising business pitches from the Asian continent. If you're a changemaker with a compelling business idea or a founder with a thriving startup, we want to hear from you! This is your chance to win one of two Founders' Valley prizes, up to 10,000 euros.

All you need to do is grab your camera and send us your video pitch!

Founders' Valley Contest prizes are a transparent recognition of entrepreneurial excellence on the Asian continent. Neither award represents any kind of present or future, financial or commercial interest of Deutsche Welle (DW) in the winners' businesses.

Submission Process

  • Fill out the form below and upload your video. All fields marked with an * are mandatory.
  • Upon submitting the required information, you will receive a confirmation email with next steps.
  • Questions? Email us at




  • The video must not be a work of fiction
  • ​Each participant can be a part of one team only
  • Employees of or consultants to DW or their immediate family members are not eligible
  • Each participant must submit its video pitch using DW's upload tool (available below)
  • Both existing businesses and business ideas are eligible
  • If a participant is pitching an expansion of his or her existing business, it must have been founded in the last two years and not have more than 15 employees
  • We will only consider only entries coming from the following Asian nations:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam


In your video pitch, make sure you answer the following questions:

  • What is your name?
  • Where is your business based?
  • What is the name of your business?
  • Your elevator pitch - what is your startup / business idea about?
  • What's your unique value proposition? How differentiates you from the competition?
  • What is your (proposed) business model?
  • How do you plan to invest the prize money?

How to stand out

  • Make your pitch as tangible as possible. We love to see visuals and context.
  • If you pitch an existing business, show your work place and samples of your product or service.
  • When pitching a business idea, try to include a sample of your product or service.
  • Overall, the potential of the business idea is the most important criterion. But remember: You need good storytelling if you want people to understand your pitch.

Additional information

  • Participants may use still photographs. Any third-party photos must be visibly listed in the credits, including the source.
  • Additional images, graphics or material used to enhance the film should be royalty free content. All creative commons material must be credited.
  • Animation and special effects are only allowed if they have been created during the submission period (August 7 - November 15).
  • Participants must only use royalty free music / background score to avoid copyright infringements. One such source is the YouTube Audio Library.

Language / subtitles

Even though the official language of the Founders' Valley Contest is English, participants can produce the video pitch in the language of their choice. However, English subtitles are mandatory - even if the video is in English.

Duration / file size

Video pitches should not be no more than 5 minutes long and must not exceed 180 MB.


Each video must include the name of the business (idea) and credits. Duration for credits is limited to 20 seconds. Participants using royalty free music or images must credit the artist or source.


Deutsche Welle (DW) retains the rights to the films submitted for the Founders' Valley Contest. Organizers will have worldwide rights to the finished videos; The videos will not be used for any commercial purposes. Participants will retain the right to show and exhibit their videos.


All registered participants agree to receive updates about the Founders' Valley Contest via their registered email ID.

Submission period (August 7 - November 15, 2017)

Entries will be accepted from August 7 until November 15 through the form above. See submission process details.

Evaluation (November 16 - November 28, 2017 )

There will be two rounds of evaluation.

Elimination Round

Of all submitted entries, 10 will be shortlisted and nominated for awards. Shortlisted participants/teams will be notified. The shortlist will be narrowed down by Founders’ Valley production team.

Final round

Category A - Founders’ Valley Award

The 10 shortlisted entries will be evaluated by DW and Founders' Valley host, German entrepreneur Fridtjof Detzner. The winner of this prize will receive 10,000 euros our its equivalent in local currency.

Once you’ve made it to this round, you automatically enter both categories. You can, however, only win one.

Category B - Popular Choice Award

Power to the people! The same 10 shortlisted entries will be invited to compete for the Popular Choice Award.

​The winner of the Popular Choice Award will receive 5,000 euros our its equivalent in local currency.

The Founders' Valley team will post an edited version of each of the nominees' video pitches on our Founders’ Valley Facebook page. The video with the most engagement, namely views, reactions, comments and shares, will be named the winner of the Popular Choice Award. Note: It will be the nominated participants' responsibility to generate as much engagement as possible.

Participants will need to get maximum engagement on Facebook – views, reactions, comments and shares – as they will be judged on traction.

Detailed rules will be sent to nominees via email.


Shortlisted nominees and winner of the Founders' Valley Award will be selected as per the sole discretion of the producers of DW's Founders' Valley. The organizers are not bound to justify, explain or to give account of their decision or the results.

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