What is SilkRoad ?

Silk Road Startup will be the first ever invite-only startup and entrepreneurship event in Iran. The event aims to gather the best startups from around the country in one place next to European leaders for a two-day conference in Kish Island.

Prior to the main event in Kish Island, a team from Silk Road Startup along with the local and international jury team will take a 10-day bus tour around 8 cities of Iran from October 22nd to 31st to organize local pitch competitions. Top 10 selected teams from the cities of Tabriz, Zanjan, Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd, Shiraz, Mashhad and Rash twill be present at the finals in Kish Island for a 2-day summit.

Which startups can apply to SilkRoad pitch competition?

This Silk road event will consider all IT startups active in different sectors.

Selection criteria for these early stage startups are having a working product and a scalable and robust business model and willing to grow internationally.

What does Early Stage startup mean?

A startup with a proper team and functioning product which has raised less than 1M USD or its revenue is less than 3M USD.

What are the costs for startups?

Participating in SilkRoad Pitch competition and its side workshops during the road trip is free of charge. Also the 10 winner teams can participate in the Silkroad Kish summit for free. We cover flight ticket costs, accommodation and entrance ticket for 2 persons for free.

What is the selection timeline?

The application deadline for the SilkRoad100 challenge is until Oct 8th. We will announce the winner in the following 7 days after this date. We will also announcement the workshops for pre-pitch competition following that week. For the updated list of timeline always check our website.

What if I have more that one startup, can we apply with both?

You can apply with both but only one of your startup could be considered to the competition.

Why should I apply to be a volunteer and what are the program benefits?

You can expand your network and get a unique experience of conducting this exciting event beside energetic and reputable startup activists of Iran and Europe.

Do participants need to be a certain age?

No, just have enough energy, courage and passion to introduce your idea to the world.

I don’t think I have the slightest chance, should I still apply?

Yes, sure! You can ask help from our mentors and lecturers to empower your presentation skills. Then you will have more chance of an attractive pitch. Many ideas were selected as the best in our previous experience while their founders did not consider the slightest chance! So do not give up 😉

What happens on pitch days?

Selected startups will be scheduled in a time-line and each startup will have 4 minutes to present his/her idea. So practice your pitch. You will have 3 minutes for questions and answers.

What’s the pitching language?

We have an international Jury, so you need to pitch in English

Is English proficiency a requirement?

Yes, you need to pitch your idea in English since the Jury are foreigner. Also, it is important to understand English since many parts of the event will be presented in English language.

It’s notable to mention that you can attend our Pitch Training Workshop in your city and learn how to pitch.

In addition, we might be able to help with translator for jury question and answer section.

How do I prepare for the pitch?

Gather all the information which can be useful to support your startup idea and its business model, competitors, etc. Make a good presentation and design a good scenario for your pitch. Practice your pitch several times in front of your friends and take enough rest the day before the event. On top of all, believe in yourself.

We also organize pitch workshop for you. For presentation, you can memorize your whole pitch sentences and just say them during your pitch.

How do I protect against people stealing my startup idea?

The short answer is that you can’t. If you’re very concerned, you can limit your pitch to the rough outline of the idea without giving away key information. But it is important to know that over 90% of startups pitched at any given opportunity have already been pitched – probably many times – in the past. This doesn’t imply that the idea isn’t a good one, but rather that what truly matters is how well you and your team execute the idea. “One can steal ideas, but no one can steal execution or passion”

What if my startup doesn’t get selected?

At worst case scenario, you will probably expand your network, finding some partners and team members and also on top of all you will get a unique experience of pitching an idea in front of a world-class jury.

How can we keep in touch after the event?

We are planning to organize Silk Road regularly at least once a year. So we can keep in touch for the next events. You can also join our team as an organizer or volunteer.

How do I register?

The simplest way is to register from our website. Call us or send an email in case you have difficulty for registration.

Can I pay at the door?

In most cases you cannot pay at the door of the event. Organizers need to order the food and supplies in advance to meet the needs of the event. But in case of exception, please call us or send an Email and describe why you should pay at the door?

Is there any accommodation for the startup in the competition phase?

Attendees are responsible for booking their own transportation and lodging (if needed). If you are traveling and unfamiliar with the location, reach out to the local organizing team to ask for nearby recommendations.

How can I attend without having an startup to pitch?

You can buy the event ticket and be present as an attendee. We will announce limited event tickets for each city. Stay tuned for the announcement on the site.

What should I bring? (Laptop, camera, etc.)

You should have a laptop and also the main file of your presentation. We suggest to bring good cameras to record the event and your pitch. You can also bring a friend. Events are better with good company 😉

What is the refund policy?

Unfortunately, we do not refund tickets. So please make sure about your purchase and double check if you are buying the correct ticket. In case you have problem, please send us an Email and describe your problem. We will try our best to solve it soon.

What are the Jury profile and work background?  

For getting to know them, you can check out our website and our social media announcements.

May I talk to the  jury members individually, during break?

Definitely! One of the goals of this event is facilitating the communication between investors and entrepreneurs. However, You may also acquire their contact information and communicate them later via Email,etc.