Call to Action

Best Chess Startup 2020

Are you starting out as a chess entrepreneur? Do you have an idea that can revolutionize the way we play, learn or train? Do you run an internal start-up within a chess company? Then you should apply until Wednesday evening and pitch for Best Chess Startup 2020 at ChessTech 2020.

ChessTech2020 v2
ChessTech2020 v2

The Best Chess Startup 2020 competition is meant to provide starting chess entrepreneurs with professional and varied feedback. Winning the award will help you to convince funders and find investors. All finalists will benefit from the discussions and extend their network.

Sasa Radic, funding and start-up expert and juror
Sasa Radic, funding and start-up expert and juror (photo: private)

We have assembled a global, highly qualified jury that will provide feedback from different ankles: Mark Levitt was four times South African chess champion before becoming a serial entrepreneur. In 2007 he founded the platform ChessCube. Even though it was bumpy ride, and Mark will share that at the conference, it inspired him to create his new company for AI-assisted software development Trixta in Foster City, Silicon Valley. Asim Pereira is also an entrepreneur. He created the app Follow Chess and runs the company MyChessApps in Bangalore. Sasa Radic has mentored many start-ups in competitions, as a consultant or as interim director of a crowdfunding company in Vienna. Gerald Tan is the new Chief Product Officer of Play Magnus and works from London. He co-founded and advised several start-ups in gaming and education.

Mark Levitt, investor, serial tech entrepreneur and juror
Mark Levitt, investor, serial tech entrepreneur and juror (photo: Trixta)

Eligible to participate are companies and projects that don’t have sales prior to 2020. In order to participate you have to get a professional ticket for the conference and deliver a digital (the form is up to you and not important) presentation until 2 December, 20.00 GMT by e-mail to that addresses four aspects:

  1. your product or service idea
  2. the demand or market situation
  3. a business plan
  4. your team

Be prepared to answer questions and to meet online for 30 minutes with the jurors to make your pitch and get their feedback on the afternoon of 4 December or morning of 5 December (depending on your time zone). At the latest by 11.00 GMT on 5 December a short list of five (or six) finalists will be announced. Participants who will not be selected for the final pitch will get some feedback but won’t be made public. If you are a finalist, the feedback is meant to help you improve your pitch.

Asim Pereira, chess tech entrepreneur in Bangalore and juror
Asim Pereira, chess tech entrepreneur in Bangalore and juror (photo: private)

In case the participants are too different in their development stage to be judged according to the same criteria, the jurors can decide to separate you in two categories and to give out two awards: Best Chess Startup 2020 and Best Chess Business Idea 2020.

The open pitch session will take place on Saturday 5 December at 18.00–19.30 GMT. To attend the session you need to have a professional ticket or a VIP ticket. Each finalist will have a maximum of five minutes in the public session to pitch and a maximum of five minutes to answer questions. The jurors will review the presentations and give their summaries.

After that the audience members and jurors vote online for the winner. If the best two finalists reach an equal number of votes, the juror votes count double. The session ends with the announcement of the Best Chess Startup 2020.