With up to US$ 50,000 to be won, every hour counts for innovators competing in '500 Hours' -- the latest innovation competition hosted by the Brandix-led start-up seed accelerator Disrupt Unlimited.
The company has invited innovators to register to attend a kick-off event in December 2014, at which a series of apparel industry related challenges are to be presented. These will subsequently be posted on the company's website for online participants.
Applications to participate, available online at www.disruptunlimited.com, close at 11.59pm on Monday, 24th November 2014, and the 500 Hour competition will begin at the conclusion of the kick-off event in December, the company said.
Elaborating on this unique challenge, Disrupt Unlimited's Chief Operating Officer Surendra Karunakaran said: "500 Hours goes beyond a traditional competition by enabling innovators from all backgrounds and disciplines to commercialise their technology-driven ideas and solve crucial challenges across the Apparel supply chain. Gaining rare insight into the opportunities in the Apparel, Textile, and Accessories industries, entrepreneurs who participate in this challenge are expected to go on to build game-changing start-ups."
"Innovators, entrepreneurs, and problem-solvers with ambition in their genes are all invited to compete and solve some of the biggest global challenges faced in the apparel industry."
He said winning teams would have the opportunity to commercialise their ideas through Disrupt Unlimited's four-month seed accelerator programme, which offers start-ups seed funding, office space, continuous mentorship, experienced advisors, practical workshops, networking opportunities, and legal and administrative services.
At the kick-off event in December, industry experts will pitch a set of global challenges with the largest market opportunities to the selected group of innovators. Participants will then form teams and begin to identify root causes and understand the apparel domain through factory visits and discussions with the experts.
Each team will have three weeks (500 hours) to work on a conceptual solution and pitch to be a part of the seed accelerator. Start-ups that make the cut will launch their entrepreneurial journeys with seed funding up to US$ 50,000 each.
"We believe a lot can be achieved in 500 hours," Mr Karunakaran added. "Of course you could spend that time watching 7,000 YouTube clips, replying to 10,000 emails, or attending 250 meetings, but what if you could use that time to start your own company? For the best chance at success, a start-up needs three key ingredients: an exciting market opportunity, a great team, and a fantastic product. 500 Hours is about bringing together those elements to give aspiring entrepreneurs the edge from the outset."
Launched earlier this year, Disrupt Unlimited runs a seed accelerator that seeks to inspire, mentor and fund start-ups with breakthrough, technology-driven solutions to disrupt products, practices, processes and business models in the Apparel, Textile and Accessories sectors.