Your startup journey

Startups at Web Summit benefit from access to masterclasses, competitions and Mentor Hours, and from networking opportunities with top investors and industry experts. Our initiatives are designed with your goals in mind.

Apply for our 2025 ALPHA startup program and join us next year in Rio de Janeiro.

What’s on offer to participating startups?

Attendees from across the globe. The world’s leading journalists. Investors from the world’s biggest funds. Tech’s most visionary founders. You’ll find them all at Web Summit Rio.

Successful applicants to our ALPHA startup program will have full access to hundreds of hours of content, including masterclasses and investor to startup meetings. All startups in the ALPHA track are eligible to apply for PITCH, 40 Words, Startup Showcase and more.

A person in the foreground holds their mobile phone. They're taking a photo of someone on a stage. The stage includes a wall featuring the text 'Startup Showcase'.A person stands in front of a wall that has the Web Summit logo on it in several places. They're holding a microphone and appear to be speaking.A smiling person stands to the left of the image. They're holding a microphone and a piece of paper, and appear to be talking. In the background are several exhibition stands, as well as a hanging banner reading 'Startup Showcase'.

Meet investors and mentors

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Your startup success coordinator will help you find relevant roundtables, masterclasses and Mentor Hours, helping you gain valuable advice and expert strategies to grow your business and give you the competitive edge to succeed.

Put your business in the spotlight

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Do you have an outstanding product or groundbreaking idea? Introduce yourself and your vision to the world by taking part in PITCH, Startup Showcase or 40 Words.

Create meaningful connections

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Web Summit Rio is the ultimate networking opportunity. Our software will help you to connect with some of the most exciting names in tech, allowing you to grow your network.

Ready for your Web Summit Rio startup journey? Lets get started.

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Get up to speed with our startup success team

Our startup success team will help you to get ready for Web Summit Rio. You’ll be entered in one of three distinct startup programs: ALPHA, BETA or GROWTH. Each program has a range of support, from helping you create your exhibitor stand to polishing your pitch deck.

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Create your startup profile

Your startup profile is the key to raising your visibility at Web Summit Rio. This is the place to showcase your product pitch, alongside links to your website and social media presence. What’s your USP? Share it with our attendees, and have it featured on our website.

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Apply for startup activations

We have a number of unique startup activations at Web Summit, including PITCH, Startup Showcase and Mentor Hours. You may want to apply for some or all of these, depending on your own needs. PITCH, for example, gives early-stage startups the chance to compete in a live pitching battle on our largest stages.

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It’s time for Web Summit Rio!

Once you arrive at Web Summit Rio, there are countless opportunities to ensure potential customers, investors and partners can find you. Aside from your stand on the exhibition floor, the Web Summit Rio app is a powerful networking tool for you and your startup.

Startup activations at Web Summit Rio


PITCH logo

PITCH is Web Summit Rio’s startup competition, bringing together the world’s leading early-stage startups to battle it out onstage.

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Mentor Hours

Meet the minds behind the unicorns and get advice from people who’ve done it all before. Mentor Hours connects rising startups with established experts for 45-minute meetings.

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Startup Showcase

Startup Showcase shines the spotlight on your idea. Expect quickfire presentations with startups showcasing their solutions to the biggest issues in their industries.

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40 Words

40 Words logo

Are you looking for more exposure? 40 Words gives startups at Web Summit Rio the opportunity to broadcast their message across the event – in just 40 words.

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Investor to Startup Meetings

High-potential startups meet with leading investors in a series of 15-minute, pre-scheduled meetings specially designed to give their startup an edge. This is where you’ll get insider advice on making your startup irresistible to investors.

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Startup Masterclasses

Web Summit Rio’s startup masterclasses give you an opportunity to learn directly from tech’s leading investors, executives, accelerators and incubators.

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Watch the highlights from Web Summit Rio

Meet some of our startup alums

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Impact startups at Web Summit Rio

Our startup program, ALPHA, shines a light on early-stage startups with outstanding potential. Among these exciting startups are dozens of startups using tech to benefit their industries, their local communities and the planet. These are our Impact startups.

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“An exciting event with a global reach.”

– Inc.

“One of the most highly regarded gathering places for startups.”

Kubo Robotics co-founder and CEO Tommy Otzen celebrates with arms in air after winning PITCH at Web Summit 2016.

– Entrepreneur

“Bridges the gap between creativity and tech.”

Person stands in front of wall with text that reads Startup Showcase. They are holding a microphone and appear to be speaking.

– Forbes

Apply for our 2025 startup programme