The final week of Challenge Cup 2016 is officially underway - Technical.ly DC

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Jun. 8, 2016 12:59 pm

The final week of Challenge Cup 2016 is officially underway

This year marks 1776's third such global pitch event.

The Carnegie Library in its Challenge Festival finest.

(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

1776’s Challenge Festival 2016 officially kicked off on Tuesday night to the sounds of country music and the chatter of hundreds of attendees networking.

You know you're at a party when there's a personalized Snapchat filter. (Screenshot)

You know it’s a party when there’s a custom Snapchat filter. (Screenshot)

The global event that began in October 2015 and has since seen over 3,000 startups in six continents compete comes down to this: 65 startups from 54 cities who, over the course of this week, will vie to become the Challenge Cup champion. See a full list of the startups competing here.

Two semifinal pitch events will take place on Wednesday and Thursday evenings — the first focused on health, money and security startups and the second focused on cities, education, energy, food and transportation startups. A total of eight startups will be chosen from among these semi finalists to present in the finals on Friday at the Lincoln Theatre on U Street.

A winner won’t be announced until Friday night, but that didn’t mean Tuesday’s opening party at the Carnegie Library was devoid of news. 1776 cofounder and co-CEO Donna Harris took the stage to make two announcements, both related to winners from last year and their progress since we last saw them.

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First up — a winner in the education category last year, known at the time as ApprenNet, has changed its name to Practice. The startup also announced a $4 million Series A, a round 1776 participated in. Sister site Technical.ly Philly has all the details.

And second — last year’s grand prize winner, an export startup from Kenya by the name of Twiga Foods, announced that it has raised the single biggest seed round in East African history. 1776 also participated in this round, according to the Tweet below. As of writing, the exact dollar amount of the round has not been released.

The festivities continued after the announcements with food, drinks and more Human Country Jukebox as the sun slowly set over the Library. It was a great night for a party.

The 2016 Challenge Festival opening party. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

The 2016 Challenge Festival opening party. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

Companies: 1776
People: Donna Harris
Projects: Challenge Cup
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