Calling all CEE startups!

Slovakia’s biggest national competition known as StartupAwards expanding into Central Europe


As in 2018, there will be a special Startup Stage at the FutureNow Conference dedicated solely to all things startup related. Lightning talks with top VC investors, business leaders and + pitching competition GRAND FINALE. More details about the program to be released soon!


Only 24 startups will make the cut to our intense 3 day accelerator taking place in October at X-Bionic Sphere, Slovakia. Access to top-notch mentors from the region, a world class recreational facility and the semi-finals before the FutureNow Conference final pitch, all in one place.


Who will be the winning startup from Central Europe to receive a 20 000,- € cash prize? Come to the conference in November to find out who will take the ‘Oscar’ for the best early-stage startups with global potential home. Our aim is to showcase the most innovative companies in the region.

Entrepreneurs, compete!

The FutureNow startup competition, also known as Startup Awards is putting on its 9th edition this year. Considered by many as the “Oscars” for the best early-stage startups with global potential in Slovakia, we don’t stop there. This year, we continue our expansion into Central Europe and want you to join us!

Show us that you and your product have what it takes to leave a positive impact in the world through your innovative, digital approach. Applications opening soon – watch this space. 

Building a Community

After 8 years of successfully building a vibrant innovation and startup community in Slovakia, we are expanding beyond the borders! Thanks to the physical network of co-working spaces & one-stop shops for all things startup related ran by HubHub, one of FutureNow’s organizers, located all over Central Europe we have unprecedented access to local communities that we aim to connect all under one roof.

How it works

Applications for this year’s competition are opening soon. From the overall applicant pool, 24 startups will be selected to proceed to the FutureNow Bootcamp taking place in October at X-Bionic Sphere, Slovakia. An intense 3-day accelerator guaranteeing quality sessions with various mentors including CEOs, venture capitalists and angel investors. From the 24 bootcamp startups, 6 selected finalists will get to present on the Main Stage in the evening for a chance to claim the winning 20k € prize.

Why should you apply?

● To win a € 20K cash prize to develop your business
● To present your company in front of thousands of influential people
● To find an investor like our alumni who have raised over € 34 M so far
● To get exposure in local and foreign media
● To forge new collaborations and partnerships at the FutureNow Bootcamp

Who can apply?

● Early stage companies – in existence no more than 5 years
● Investment cap – no more than 500K EUR initial external investment
● “CEE” – companies must either be based and operational in these countries or have at least one founder from these countries: Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Albania, Macedonia

3 day intense bootcamp giving our competition startups unprecedented access to top business mentors in the region

How does the bootcamp work?

The Bootcamp will take place in October at the X-Bionic Sphere Resort, a truly stunning location. We will use the amenities not only for mentoring sessions and presentations, but also to surprise you with some fun sport activities.



The stunning venue X-Bionic Sphere resort was established on the basis of creating exceptional conditions for anyone who likes to engage in sports, but also enjoys quality relaxation, gastronomy and meaningful leisure time. A truly exceptional place where extraordinary ideas are born and new partnerships are closed.

What's in it for you?

With our startup competition, we bridge the gap between startups and corporates looking for innovative solutions. Our partners are constantly re-designing internal processes to absorb external innovation and we are grateful to be a part of it. We love to see startups find their first customers at our Bootcamp.

We have designed the Bootcamp to be the perfect place to kick off your fundraising efforts. Fundraising is hard. One has to know the right investors, send around pitch decks and hope for that first meeting. We are thrilled to feature a significant number of early-stage investors with an interest in Central Europe at our Bootcamp. Mentors features representatives from the likes of Credo Ventures, DayOne Capital, Neulogy Ventures, SpeedInvest and many others. To date, our alumni had raise funding of 34 million Euro and counting. We must be doing something right.

Get your

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