How it Works

Phase 1

Multiple events across various international cities

Discussions triggered between government, private sector and start up communities

Up to 15 startup teams compete

1 team wins $10,000 and qualifies for the grand finale

Phase 2

Winning teams convene at World Government Summit’s Annual Gathering

Grand finale competition held to recognize one startup

Grand Prize of

Phase 3

Winning teams will be incubated in Dubai’s Area 2071

Potential opportunities to have government as a client



Governance & Resilience

Delhi & Washington D.C.

Startups applying to this challenge should be building emerging technologies with data analytic capabilities that can be applied to policy making.

Delhi Jul 26 -27
Washington D.C. Nov 14 -15

Economy & Society


Startups applying to this challenge should be building emerging technologies that improve productivity and/or wellbeing

London Jan 04 -05

Environment & Health


Startups applying to this challenge should be building emerging technologies that support green thinking and improve health.

Santiago Oct 16 -17

Future & Progress


Startups applying to this challenge should be building emerging technologies that support and further new ways of working, and workforce development.

Berlin Jan 16

When & Where

Rules & Judging Criteria


The startup solution should be an in-market, scalable product or service (MVP or pilots are permitted, but must fundamentally be beyond the "idea stage").

Startups may be a for-profit business, NGO or public benefit company.

Startups must have at least two team members.

Startup solutions should be implementable within the respective cities in which the idea is being pitched, from a technical and legal perspectives.

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate startups based on the following criteria:
Novelty Ease of Implementation Impact on Society Commercialization Sustainability Presentation Skills Scalability Longevity

All solutions selected will be assessed on their innovative quality and novelty. Judges will also assess how creatively the new technologies have been leveraged.

Ease of Implementation

Solutions must be reasonably easy to implement, as winning startups will potentially be asked to implement their solutions with local governments.

Impact on Society

All solutions must show a clear benefit and positive impact to society. Startups will need to prove how their solution, with the help of local government, can help improve citizens’ lives.


Solutions will be assessed on how viable the product is, i.e. Can the solution go to market? Is there sufficient talent in the region to drive such a solution? Can the solution gain traction quickly? Will the solution generate value? Are all key commercialization assessments of the solution addressed?


Solutions must be financially and operationally sustainable.

Presentation Skills

Teams will be assessed on their ability to convey a clear message on what their solution will do and how it will benefit their region. Pitch coaches will be present on the day of the competition to help guide teams.


Solutions must be scalable, as the competition aims to serve the wider public.


Solutions will be assessed on their potential to address governments of the future. This component will be further elaborated during the session’s workshop on Day 1.

Frequently Asked Questions


As various stakeholders across the globe strive to find innovative solutions to resolve pressing global challenges, The GovTech Prize has taken the initiative to find entities and individuals who are on the path to developing technologies to address these hurdles creatively and effectively. The GovTech Prize sets out to acknowledge their efforts, connect them to one another and award them through the Series. The GovHack Series is built on the belief that some of the greatest solutions to regional challenges exist in the minds and hands of bright startups across the world, and has therefore launched a mission to find and grow them.

The GovTech Prize comprises various categories of awards, which at their core recognize innovative solutions developed by both governments and individuals around the world. At its inception, the GovTech Prize had set out to find governments that provided the best mobile service applications, but the prize has since branched out to multiple categories. Winners of these awards are awarded at one of the most prominent events globally, The World Government Summit.

The GovTech Prize has had a number of competitions and awards which aim to of find governments and individuals across the world that provide innovative solutions to global challenges. At its inception the GovHack Prize had set out to find governments that proved to provide the best mobile services applications, it has now branched out to multiple awards and competitions including an award for the Best Emerging Technologies in Government and a Block Chain Virtual GovHack competition. Winners of these awards assemble at the end of the GovHack Prize year in February to be awarded in one of the most prominent events in the Middle East, The World Government Summit.


  • All applications will be considered on a rolling basis prior to the event date. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible and reach out to if you have any questions.
  • Up to 15 competing startups from each city will be selected
  • The selected startups will compete on stage in front of a panel of judges
  • The judges will select the winning startup of the GovHack Series from each city based on preselected criteria (see above)
  • The winners of each city will come to Dubai to present their companies during the World Government Summit 2019 as well as participate in an incubation program
  • The winner of the World Government Summit 2019 will win a grand prize of $100,000

All startups will receive an email of acceptance or rejection, at least one week before the competition date.


Judges will evaluate startups based on the following criteria (Please refer to the judging criteria section for detailed information)::

  1. Novelty
  2. Impact on Society
  3. Sustainability
  4. Scalability
  5. Ease of implementation
  6. Commercialization
  7. Presentation Skills
  8. Longivity

Only one team member is allowed to pitch on competition day, but the full team should be present

The pitch coach will help you with pitching your solution to the judges before you present. He/She will not provide any support on the solution itself, nor provide any additional support during pitching.

The pitch will be strictly 3 minutes long. There will be 2 minutes for questions from the judges. However, you have the chance to network together and perhaps answer any inquiries afterwards.

For any questions regarding your pitches, please email us at


The location of the competition day will be communicated closer to the event day in each city.

Dress code is casual/smart casual for all days of participation.