Supernova FAQ's

North Star Supernova Pitch Competition 2022 Guide and FAQs

 

Supernova is North Star’s flagship Pitch Competition which takes place annually.

We couldn’t be more excited this year about Supernova 2022! The total cash prizes have DOUBLED! Competition is fierce with a larger number of startups participating, from new markets, and with more variety of products and services.

 

Summary:

  • Startups apply to participate in the Supernova competition through the Exhibitor portal (Startups have to be confirmed Exhibiting Startups under North Star, Fintech Surge, Future Blockchain Summit, Ai Everything, or Marketing Mania to apply to enter)
  • Then, the shortlisted startups per category participate at the semi-finals on different stages at North Star;
  • Then, the top 2 startups shortlisted per category participate at the finals on the 10X stage at North Star;
  • There will be 1 winner per category, and 1 overall winner across all startups for the Supernova prizes.

 

GOOD LUCK!

 

Here’s Everything You Need To Know about the Supernova format for 2022 - FAQs

Q: What are the categories of Supernova 2022?

A: This year, Supernova has 13 categories as part of the semi-finals.

  • FinTech Innovator
    • The winner is building the boldest product or service in financial technology whether it is bringing access to financial services for all, leading in green fintech revolution, protecting consumers’ financial data and privacy, or broadening transparency in the supply chain.
  • MarTech Innovator
    • The winner is building applications of new technology in marketing and communications including advertising, data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, media, and social media.
  • Sustainability & ESG Innovator
    • The winner is utilizing technology to solve social challenges including energy and environmental fields. Solutions include but are not limited to renewable energy, digital inclusion, waste management, food security, battery technologies, clear or green tech, decarbonization, healthcare, circular economy, social or corporate government.
  • AI Innovator
    • The winner showcases how the product or service is moving AI technology forward in terms of new algorithms, data analysis, forecasting, and decision-making with less risk.
  • Blockchain Frontier Leader
    • Recognizing the startup that harnessing the transformative power of blockchain technology to impact their industry. Startups in this category also include crypto projects, DeFi, Metaverse, Gaming and Web 3.0 applications.
  • Creative Economy Innovator
    • The winner boosts the culture and creative industries with a product or service in the arts, design fashion, music, photography, film, video, etc.
  • X-Verse Builder (Meta, Web 3.0) (new)
    • The winner is creating revolutionary opportunities in the metaverse. Ranging from open payments and exchange system; a new DAOs; having cultural impact and /or improving experiences of virtual worlds with public interest; draws on NFTs and related technologies to empower creators; solving challenges in digital identity, IoT networks, or infrastructure challenges of the growing Web3 ecosystem.
  • Mobility & Smart Cities Innovator (new)
    • The winner is shaping the future of urban mobility or sustainable urban living by building a product or service advancing our lives by solving challenges in transportation, road safety, IoT, autonomous driving, e-mobility, sustainable city management, sharing economy, or digital services.
  • Top Africa Fast Award (new)
    • The winner is building a product or service based in Africa or with the majority of their operations in Africa serving the African continent but with high potential for global expansion.
  • Top MENA Startup Award (new)
    • The winner is building a product or service based in MENA service the Arab region with high potential for global expansion.
  • Overall Industry Pioneer Award (new)
    • The winner has submitted an industry application or case study that made use of the latest tech whether AI, Blockchain, Healthtech, Agritech, Edtech, Fintech, Energy, and other industries; which has a strong commercial and sustainability impact.
  • Fast Female Founder Award in Partnership with Sharjah Business Women’s Council
    • The winner is a women-led startup building a product or service with high potential for global expansion. The startup has a female founder with a minimum of 50% ownership in the business and is an active Senior Executive.
  • Youth Entrepreneur Award
    • The winner is an entrepreneur within the age range of 15-35 building a product or service solving for one of the world’s most pressing challenges and digital transformation.

 

Q: What are the prizes?

A: Overall Supernova Champion: $100,000 cash prize to selected overall winner
     Winner per Category: $8,000 cash prize to selected winner per category

 

Q: If I win, what happens next?

A: The team will be in touch regarding your cash prize and next steps 1 week after North Star 2022.

 

Q: If I was selected to pitch previously but wasn’t able to pitch during the event, am I entitled to spot in the semi-finals or finals?

A:  No, there will be a new selection process each year. You will have to apply to be considered again. Similarly, if you are shortlisted for the finals after pitching in the  semi-finals but you miss the pitch, you will be replaced with the next runner-up.

 

Q: If I am not shortlisted to participate in the semi-finals, what can I do?

A: If you are not shortlisted, there are many opportunities to engage with investors and the wider North Star audience. We will be keeping a waitlist in case of any last-minute changes. Please note that we receive hundreds of applications per category and the shortlisting goes through multiple rounds of review to reach only a final 10 for the semi-finals and 2 for the finals.

 

Selection and Logistics Prior to Semi-Finals

 

Q: How do I enter the Supernova competition?

A: To enter the Supernova competition, you must be an Exhibiting Startup. If you are not, please contact northstarsales@dwtc.com

Step 1: Login in to the Exhibitor Portal with your personal login details. If you lost this, please email judelyn.cadelina@dwtc.com

Step 2: Go to the Supernova form section on the left side of the menu

 

Step 3: Fill in the questions and uploads and click submit

 

Q: What is the deadline to submit to enter the Supernova competition?

A: The deadline to submit on the Exhibitor Portal is October 5th. Any date changes will be announced.

 

Q: What should my pitch deck include?

A: Your Pitch Deck must be in ENGLISH.

Here are two good references for you:

https://slidebean.com/blog/pitch-deck-structure

https://www.ycombinator.com/library/20-deck

 

Q: What should my pitch video include?

A: Your Pitch Video must be ONLY 60 Seconds or it will not be considered.

Your Pitch Video must be in English and have a clear shot of your upper body (sitting or standing).  

Please submit your video by either a YouTube or a Vimeo URL.

 

Check out Paul Graham’s advice on story telling when pitching. Reference form Y Combinator Startup Library:

“Your goal, and your only goal, is to make investors feel it’s not safe to cross you off. And there is a verb for convincing someone that something is not safe. It sounds dramatic, but your goal is to frighten them.

What frightens them? The possibility that you might become really big. They know there are maybe a few companies that will become really big….Before you start meeting investors, put together a rough draft of your fundraising vertebrae. These are the 3-4 points that compromise the narrative of why your company will be really big. Together, if investors believed in any of these points, they’d be afraid not to bet on you.

As you do, keep in mind that there is an important distinction between what the business is and how you tell the story of what your business is. Your conversations with investors should influence the latter, not the former. No investor knows your business as well as you do.”

 

Q: When will I find out if I have been shortlisted to pitch in the semi-finals?

A: The announcements of the shortlisted startups for the semi-finals will be done by September 23rd, 2022. Any date changes will be announced. 

 

Q: What are the judging criteria?

A: The general judging criteria is broken down to main areas. Please keep these in mind as you design your pitch deck, pitch video, and semi-finals, finals pitches!

  • Idea: How innovative is this idea?
  • Market Opportunity: Market Size, Competition, Scalability
  • Business Model: Revenue Model, Pricing, Target Customers
  • Traction: Any revenue, customers, investors?
  • Team: Is a skilled team in place for the startup’s success?

 

Judges will also be considering your years of operation and funding stage when evaluating.

 

Selection and Logistics for Semi-Finals

 

Q: Who makes up the judging panel for the selection for semi-finals?

A: The judging panels for all categories of Supernova will be experts in the respective sectors and will be a diverse panel with investment, commercial, and entrepreneurial background in the sector.

 

Q: How many startups are selected for the semi-finals?

10 Startups selected per category (with exception of Africa which will be 20 selected startups).

 

Q: How long is the pitch in the semi-finals?

A: 3 Minute Pitch + 2 Min Q&A

 

Q: Where will the pitch for the semi-finals take place?

A:

At the Pitch Stage

FinTech Innovator

MarTech Innovator

Sustainability & ESG Innovator

AI Innovator

Blockchain Frontier Leader

X-Verse Builder (Meta, Web 3.0) (new)

Mobility & Smart Cities Innovator

Top MENA Startup Award

Overall Industry Pioneer Award

 

At the Creative Economy Stage

Creative Economy Innovator

 

At the Spotlight Stage

Top Africa Fast Award

Fast Female Founder Award in Partnership with Sharjah Business Women’s Council

 

At the YouthX Stage

Youth Entrepreneur Award

 

Q: How many people from my team can pitch on stage?

A: We recommend only 1 person deliver the pitch.

 

Q: After I find out that I am shortlisted for the semi-finals, what happens next?

A: You will be notified by email that you have been shortlisted including the details to attend a Supernova Pitch Prep online session which is taking place on September 29th, 2022 (10 days before North Star). Any date changes will be announced.

Your selection email will include the category you’ve been selected to pitch in, location and timing, and presentation requirements.

 

Q: What is the format of my pitch deck for the semi-finals and finals?

A: You will need to have your pitch presentations in 16:9 ratio as a Powerpoint file and a PDF file version.

Please share PDFs to make sure your presentation has your correct fonts and formats. If you have any videos as part of your pitch, please send the video file in .mp4 as a separate file.

You will be submitting these files by email ONLY if you are shortlisted for the semi-finals and finals which you will be notified about before. Please do not send any files to team members prior to this besides what is required on the Exhibitor portal for the Supernova application.

 

Selection and Logistics for Finals

Q: After I pitch at the semi-finals, what happens next?

A: The team will be in touch if you are shortlisted to move on to the finals. All selection will be made by Day 3 in order to be ready for the Finals on Day 4. Your selection email will include the presentation requirements, location, and timing.

 

Q: How many startups are selected for the semi-finals?

A: 2 Startups are selected per category to pitch in the finals on Day 4.

 

Q: How long is the pitch in the finals?

A: 4 Minute Pitch + 2 Min Q&A per startup

 

Q: Where will the pitch for the finals take place?

A: At the North Star 10X stage on October 13th (Day 4). Finalists will receive all the logistics details by Day 3 to know where to go and when.   

 

Q: Who makes up the judging panel for the selection of the finals?

A: The judging panels for all categories of Supernova will be experts in the respective sectors and will be a diverse panel with investment, commercial, and entrepreneurial background in the sector.

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