Every year, Racksburg (Rackspace Backsburg) sponsors the Virginia Tech Knowledge Works (incubator/entrepreneurial) Global Challenge and hosts one of the teams. In their words:
“The Sixth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week, August 16-22, 2015, offers student teams and faculty from all over the world a chance to collaborate and initiate their personal global networks through learning, socialization, and friendly competition. During this week-long celebration, 55 international students and faculty members from 13 universities around the world visit the Roanoke-Blacksburg region. Three finalist teams are awarded $45,000 in cash prizes to encourage their entrepreneurial endeavors.”
This year, the Racksburg office hosted the Ecuadorian team, “Team LifeBook” (Adrian and Richard) refine their pitch for their interactive book/iPad product (see video).
The week started off at a meet-n-greet lunch where we met the international teams we were hosting and working with (top photo).
After lunch, each host company took their team to the office and gave them a chance to practice their pitch. The host companies helped the teams refine the pitch against the competition’s judging rules. This pitch polishing continued up until the big competition at The Inn at Virginia Tech that Thursday. The host companies also attended the competition to provide support and cheer their team on.
After the all-day competition was done, VT Knowledge Works put on a big awards dinner where they handed out all the winner checks for up to $45k in start-up funds. A local news piece on the results and winners here and info on the winners here.
After all the awards were given out, all 50-60 international students headed back to the Racksburg offices for “the after party” (which included an international karaoke contest). This is where the South American teams got together, pulled out all the stops and won the unofficial “sing-off award” with their awesome rendition of “Hotel California”.
Overall, the VTKW Global Challenge is an incredible, internationally renowned start-up experience, and Rackspace is always honored to be a part of helping execute something that influences so many young (and not so young) lives.