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REC@NNECT Challenge 2014 Announcement
Contents
I. COMPETITION SNAPSHOT 2
II. REC@NNECT BACKGROUND 3
III. SCOPE OF REC@NNECT CHALLENGE 3
IV. REC@NNECT CHALLENGE ELIGIBILITY 4
V. APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND JUDGING CRITERIA 6
VII. REC@NNECT CHALLENGE SELECTION PROCESS 7
Phase 1: Submission: June 24, 2014 to August 31, 2014 7
Phase 2: Application Review and Finalist Selection: August 31, 2014 to September 30, 2014 7
Phase 3: Preparatory Mentorship: September 18 – October 2014 8
Phase 4: REC@NNECT Challenge Final Event 8
Phase 5: Ongoing Mentorship: November 2014 to December 2014 8

VIII. ADDITIONAL AWARDS 9
Three TechCrunch Disrupt Scholarships - London, England 9
One Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Scholarship – Las Vegas, USA 9
Three Exhibition Places at Tech in Asia – Jakarta, Indonesia 9

X. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS 9
XI. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND SUPPORT 10


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I. Competition Snapshot
Competition Opens
Application Deadline

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thursday, August 31, 2014
(17:00 U.S. Eastern Daylight Time)

How to Apply Upload your application to REC@NNECT Challenge
Application website

General Criteria Early stage technology companies


Basic Eligibility

Entrepreneurs who are permanent residents and/or
citizens of an eligible country in South or Central Asia.
Eligible countries include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh,
Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives,
Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
and Uzbekistan. Permanent residents or citizens of the
U.S. are not eligible to participate in REC@NNECT
Challenge.


Awards
 Invitation to REC@NNECT Final Event for all 10
finalists
 3-month post-event mentorship for all 10 finalists
 3 awards ranging from $5,000 to $25,000
 3 scholarships to attend TechCrunch’s Disrupt
Europe

Complete Competition
Announcement &
Application Forms
Read below and check the REC@NNECT website
reconnectsca.org/reconnect-challenge





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II. REC@NNECT Background

REC@NNECT builds entrepreneurial ecosystems across South and Central Asia by identifying and
supporting promising entrepreneurs through competitions, skills development, networking within the
global entrepreneurial community, and interactive mentorship. Eligible countries include: Afghanistan,
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

REC@NNECT is a partnership between CRDF Global and the U.S. Department of State’s South and
Central Asian Affairs Bureau. To find out more about the REC@NNECT, please visit
www.reconnectsca.org

CRDF Global is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes international scientific and
technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, training and services. CRDF Global is based
in Arlington, Virginia with offices in Moscow, Russia; Kyiv, Ukraine; Almaty, Kazakhstan; and Amman,
Jordan. For more information about CRDF Global, please visit www.crdfglobal.org

The U.S. Department of State executes public diplomacy programs and other forms of technical
assistance that seeks to enhance regional prosperity and stability in South and Central Asia through
strengthening economic linkages. Though challenging, countries in this region have much to gain by
working together to develop policies to reduce trade and transit barriers, increase investments in their
respective economies, and support regional cross-border projects. Another key area in linking South
and Central Asia is the sharing of ideas and leveraging the skills and productivity of the businesses in the
region. Businesses can expand economic markets that also create opportunities for youth, women, and
minorities which can enhance regional security and prosperity. To advance U.S. foreign policy and foster
a regional environment where invention, innovation, and industry thrive the U.S. Department of State
engages foreign partners on economic policy issues that support open, transparent, and meritocratic
systems of governance, and implements capacity building programs that train young men and women to
become entrepreneurs. For more information about this U.S. Department of State initiative, please visit
http://www.state.gov/p/sca/
III. Scope of REC@NNECT Challenge

Entrepreneurs from eligible countries in South and Central Asia are encouraged to participate in the
REC@NNECT Challenge. REC@NNECT Challenge is designed to support technology entrepreneurs to
launch and/or grow a company in South and Central Asia through:

 Training and mentorship by successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists
 Networking opportunities
 Access to seed funding

The REC@NNECT Challenge application will be reviewed by expert judges. Ten finalists will be invited to
the REC@NNECT Challenge Final Event (exact date and location TBD) to participate in the skills building
workshops, pitch session, and award ceremony. The finalists will pitch in front of a panel of investors.
Competition winners will receive awards ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

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Objectives:
 Accelerate the development and success of early stage companies and enhance the leadership
capabilities of entrepreneurs by providing in-depth, tailored training and mentorship;
 Enhance knowledge and skills of entrepreneurs in areas such as -- but not limited to --
leadership, sales, marketing, investments, and successful team building;
 Provide opportunities at the REC@NNECT Challenge Final Event for establishing linkages and
building networks with distinguished entrepreneurs, investors, potential customers and
supporters from the South and Central Asia region and beyond.
IV. REC@NNECT Challenge Eligibility

Competition applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible to participate in the 2014
REC@NNECT Challenge:

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

1. You must have a product (web application, mobile application, or physical product) or service
focusing on science or technology solutions in sectors such as information and communication
technologies (ICTs), energy, agriculture, and health. Your startup should be a for-profit entity.
Social enterprises are eligible if they have a business model that relies on customers in order to
stay self-sustaining.

2. The product or service must currently be at a demo/prototyping stage or already have been
introduced to the market.

3. The applicant must be at least 18 years old and able to both read and speak English proficiently.
The REC@NNECT Challenge application must be written in English.

4. Any member of a team can only enter the competition once with one submission. Each team
must select a member who will be the applicant for the team in this competition.

5. The applicant must be either a permanent resident or citizen of the following eligible countries:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri
Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not
eligible to participate in the REC@NNECT Challenge.

6. The applicant must hold a valid passport and be eligible to travel to participate in the
REC@NNECT Challenge Final Event, if selected as a finalist.

7. The applicant should be ready and available to present the startup during the REC@NNECT
Challenge Final Event; location and date to be determined.


Additional Criteria for Eligibility:
U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not eligible to participate in the competition even if they are
also a permanent resident or citizen of a REC@NNECT eligible country.

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Applications that fall under the following categories will not be accepted:
 Pure research projects with no demonstrable commercial potential
 Charity organizations or foundations (not-for-profits)
 Organizations that buy and resell technologies and other goods

Applicants from Uzbekistan are required to secure a written authorization (“заключение”) from the
Committee for Coordination of Science and Technology Development under the Cabinet of Ministers of
the Government of Uzbekistan prior to submitting an application to the REC@NNECT Challenge. To
allow for sufficient time for the Committee to process these requests, applicants are encouraged to
contact them as early as possible. Requests for this authorization should be addressed to:
Committee for Coordination of Science and Technology Development,
Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Executive Director
Cc: Dr. Rustam M. Saidov
Head of Department on Development of International Science and Technology Cooperation
70 Yakhe Gulyamov Str.,
100047 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Tel.: 998-71-233-24-53
Fax: 998-71-232-25-62
Email: saidov@uzscience.uz
URL: http://www.uzscience.uz

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V. Application Instructions and Judging Criteria

Each complete application will be reviewed by judges who will use the following criteria and percentage
weight to evaluate the full application. The 10 finalists will be selected by averaging the scores given to
each applicant. The 10 finalists will comprise a maximum of 3 per country and at least 3 each from the
Central Asian region and the South Asian region, given sufficient availability of eligible proposals. Each
applicant will be notified by September 30, 2014. The structure of the application is explained below:

Section Instructions Evaluation
Value of Product or
Service

20%
What is the market problem your
venture is solving?
Problem is clearly stated (the problem
or need is real, fulfills identifiable
customer demand)
Solution is clearly stated (better,
faster, cheaper, simple)

Commercial
Potential

30%
Describe your business model. What
support or partnerships do you seek
or have? Do you have research related
to customer segmentation, value
proposition, cost, revenue, and how
long it will take you to launch? Explain
the commercial value of your product
or service. Is it a new or improved
technology? Is it scalable? Are risks
assessed properly?
Revenue Model (Clear revenue
model)
Financials (Reasonable financial
projections in terms of sales, profit
margins, expenses)
Exit Opportunity (potential acquirers
identified, potential exits and options
identified)
Market Position

30%
Describe your market needs, market
size, and (potential) customers. Why
would these customers buy your
product or service? List competitors in
your current and future market. How
will your startup rival your
competitors?
Target Market (target market is
sufficiently large and growing,
customer is well defined)
Competition (demonstrate
understanding of market competitors,
direct vs. indirect competition,
barriers to entry)
Traction (market validation,
milestones, minimum viable product
(MVP) built, key success metrics
defined)
Management
Team
20%
Describe your management team,
including yourself, and its track
record.
Team. (management team has
appropriate skills, industry knowledge,
relationships)


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VII. REC@NNECT Challenge Selection Process

Below is a simple chart that helps explain the key dates of the different phases in the REC@NNECT
Challenge. Following the chart is a more detailed narrative of each phase.

Challenge Starts Ends Milestone
Phase 1:
Submission
& Trainings
June 24, 2014

August 31, 2014

Local partner organizations provide in-
person trainings, and CRDF Global
provides 2 preparatory webinars.

Executive summary applications are
submitted.
Phase 2:
Review/Finalist
Selection

August 31, 2014
September 30,
2014
10 finalists selected by judges are
announced September 30, 2014.
Phase 3:
Mentorship
September 2014 October 2014
10 finalists are matched with a mentor
for 1 –2 hour mentoring sessions in
preparation of REC@NNECT Challenge
Final Event
Phase 4:
Final Event
November 2014
TBD
November 2014
TBD
Finalists give oral presentations and
Q&A with panel of judges.

Winners are selected and announced.

Awards: 3 cash awards ranging from
$5,000 to $25,000
Phase 5:
Ongoing
Mentorship
December 2014 February 2015
The finalists take part in follow-on
mentoring sessions (maximum total of
three hours)

Phase 1: Submission: June 24, 2014 to August 31, 2014
A complete REC@NNECT Challenge application consisting of an Executive Summary must be submitted
to the REC@NNECT website by August 31, 2014, at 17:00 US EDT. Applicants are advised to allow ample
time before the deadline to submit their application. This will ensure timely assistance by CRDF Global
program staff if there are technical issues with the submission. During July and/or August, potential
applicants will be invited to attend a webinar or local trainings organized by local partner organizations,
where applicants and their teams will acquire skills to improve their application. Applicants who have
already submitted their applications prior to the webinar or trainings will be allowed to improve their
applications up to the August 31, 2014 deadline.
Phase 2: Application Review and Finalist Selection:
August 31, 2014 to September 30, 2014
Expert judges will select up to ten finalists, based on the evaluation criteria outlined in Section V.
Applicants will be notified of the results via email by September 30, 2014. Results will also be announced
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on the REC@NNECT website, REC@NNECT Twitter, and REC@NNECT Facebook. (All participants are
strongly encouraged to follow REC@NNECT on Facebook and Twitter at https://twitter.com/REC_SCA
and https://www.facebook.com/ReconnectSCA )
Phase 3: Preparatory Mentorship: September 18 – October 2014
The ten finalists will be matched with mentors for one hour mentoring sessions prior to the
REC@NNECT Challenge Final Event. The mentors will work with the finalists on different aspects of their
business pitch for the REC@NNECT Challenge Final Event. Among topics covered will be Business Model
Canvas, customer development, marketing, and adjusting your business to market demands.
Phase 4: REC@NNECT Challenge Final Event
The ten REC@NNECT Challenge finalists will be invited to the REC@NNECT Challenge Final Event, with
travel expenses covered, to receive personalized coaching and mentorship from serial entrepreneurs
and investors and to participate in pitch sessions and the award ceremony.

Final Pitch
The pitch will comprise 5 minutes of presentation and 5 minutes of Q&A (10 minutes total).The
presentation will be delivered in front of a live audience and judged by a panel of experts comprising
entrepreneurs and investors. Award winners will be decided based on the score they received at the
pitch sessions.

The selection criteria for the final round will be communicated to all the finalists prior to the pitch
sessions and may include:
 The Market problem and solution is clearly stated: The problem or need is real, customer has
significant unfulfilled demand that the venture addresses in a way that is profitable, innovative,
and efficient.
 Revenue Model and financials: There is a clear revenue model with reasonable financial
projections in terms of sales, profit margins, and expenses
 Exit Opportunity: Potential acquirers are identified, potential exist strategies and options are
identified
 Target Market: Target market is sufficiently large and growing, customer is well defined
 Competition: Demonstrates understanding of market competitors, including direct vs. indirect
competition and barriers to entry are articulated
 Traction: There is market validation, milestones are established, an MVP has been built, key
success metrics are defined
 Team: Management team has appropriate skills, industry knowledge, relationships
 Presentation skills: The presenter clearly and effectively responds well to questions and
comments from the judging panel
Phase 5: Ongoing Mentorship: November 2014 to December 2014
Each of the ten REC@NNECT Challenge Finalists will be eligible to receive mentorship. Each finalist will
need to indicate his/her commitment to the mentorship program by signing an agreement. Mentorship
sessions will be delivered by an experienced business expert and will last for three consecutive months
(three hours total) following the REC@NNECT Challenge Final Event.

The ten 2014 REC@NNECT Challenge finalists will be eligible to receive awards totaling well above
$50,000 USD.

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REC@NNECT Challenge Award Table:
REC@NNECT Challenge Winners Award
1st Place $25,000
2nd Place $15,000
3rd Place $5,000
3 months of mentorship All finalists are invited to receive mentorship
from U.S. and/or international mentors.
Attendance at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe $2000 scholarship to be put towards air fare,
lodging and expenses to attend TechCrunch
Disrupt Europe (3 Scholarships). Startup
Alley fee waived for scholarship recipients.
Attendance at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) $3000 scholarship to be put towards air fare,
lodging and expenses to attend the CES. (1
Scholarships).
Exhibition place at Tech in Asia Exhibition fee waived (estimated value of
$900) for three recipients in the ICT field.
Event held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
VIII. Additional Awards
The top 10 REC@NNECT Challenge finalists will be eligible to compete for additional awards.
Three TechCrunch Disrupt Scholarships - London, England
Each of the ten REC@NNECT Challenge Finalists will be eligible to receive one of three scholarships to
attend TechCrunch’s Disrupt Europe. Each scholarship consists of a travel stipend of $2,000 USD to be
used by the awardee to cover the cost of a round trip flight to London, hotel accommodations, visa fees
and participation in Startup Alley at TechCrunch’s Disrupt Europe. Disrupt Europe will be held October
20 and 21, 2014. These scholarships are made possible through a partnership with TechCrunch.
Scholarship recipients will be announced by September 30, 2014.
One Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Scholarship – Las Vegas, USA
Each of the ten REC@NNECT Challenge finalists will be eligible to receive a $3,000 scholarship to attend
the CES in Las Vegas, USA on January 6-9, 2015. This scholarship is sponsored directly by CRDF Global.
Scholarship recipient will be announced by December 1, 2014.
Three Exhibition Places at Tech in Asia – Jakarta, Indonesia
REC@NNECT Challenge finalists in the ICT field will be eligible to receive one of three exhibition places at
Tech in Asia event to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, dates to be announced. The exhibition places are
made available through a partnership with Tech in Asia. Recipients will be announced by December 1,
2014.
X. Special Requirements
Export Control
CRDF Global complies with all U.S. laws and regulations and applicable international law pertaining to
export controls and to the participation of foreign nationals or institutions in its activities. It is CRDF
Global’s policy not to conduct any transactions with U.S. restricted entities without appropriate
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authorization from the U.S. government, including licenses and other permits and restrictions. CRDF
Global reserves the right to restrict the participation of any individual or institution in its programs.

Protection of Confidential Information
Applicants are responsible for identifying any written business confidential information contained in
their application materials. CRDF Global assumes that no business confidential information will be
disclosed by an applicant including the initial application and the business pitch presentation. If there is
a valid need to provide any business confidential information after selection as a finalist, such written
information shall be clearly marked so that CRDF Global can, to the degree reasonably possible, protect
it by restricting its exposure to authorized staff, its funding and oversight agencies, and external U.S. and
international business reviewers and judges. Independent U.S. and international business reviewers and
judges retained by CRDF Global, as well as all personnel of CRDF Global and its partner organizations, are
required to adhere to strict standards of confidentiality in the handling of all business confidential
information contained in any written materials.

Intellectual Property
CRDF Global makes no claim to intellectual property rights under any award.
XI. Additional Information and Support
Questions and correspondence regarding this competition announcement should be directed to the
REC@NNECT Team member referenced below. Applicants are requested to identify themselves in all
correspondence and to put the phrase “REC@NNECT Challenge” in the email subject line. CRDF Global
may choose not to disclose certain information in a response to any question or query, if in our view
such details would affect the fairness or transparency of the competition or convey an undue advantage
to an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the
website on a regular basis as answers are updated daily while applications are being accepted. CRDF
Global also reserves the right to disclose to all other applicants an answer or clarification to a question
from an applicant in the interest of fairness, objectivity, and transparency of this competition.

CRDF Global
Attn: Amanda Gant
1776 Wilson Boulevard, 3rd Floor
Arlington, VA 22209
Tel: 703-526-6758
E-mail: reconnectsca@crdfglobal.org