GovHack Series

The GovHack Series is an international competition that sets out to identify how technology can help governments solve challenges, with the ultimate goal of benefiting their citizens.

Innovative startups in each of the participating eight cities will compete to showcase their solutions. The winner from each of the cities will be awarded $10,000 USD, and will advance to compete for the grand GovTech prize of $100,000 USD at the World Government Summit 2019 in Dubai.

All eight winning startups will also be invited to be part of Area 2071, an incubation program in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Apply now to win cash prizes, access new customer opportunities, meet investors and make invaluable international connections to advance your startup.

GovTech Series is run in partnership with Area 2071 and McKinsey, and in collaboration with the GovTech Prize

How it Works

  • All startups must submit their application through the GovHack Series website before the city-specific application deadline listed below.
  • Up to 15 startups will be selected to present and compete at each city event. Competing startups will be notified before the competition dates and invited to compete at the event.
  • Competing startups will meet at their respective city’s competition, which will take place over two days, and include panels and talks. Startups will have the opportunity to take pitch coaching workshops in preparation for their final presentation.
  • A panel of judges will select the winner startup based on the criteria as outlined in the “Rules & Judging Criteria” section below. The winner of each city will be announced the same day as the competition.
  • Winning solutions will be considered for pilot opportunities in local governments.


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.
Economy & Society
(Jakarta & London)
Startups applying to this challenge should be building emerging technologies that improve productivity and/or wellbeing
Environment & Health
(Santiago & Tokyo)
Startups applying to this challenge should be building emerging technologies that support green thinking and improve health.
Future & Progress
(Cairo & Berlin)
Startups applying to this challenge should be building emerging technologies that support and further new ways of working, and workforce development.

When and Where

Applicants Submission
New Delhi Closed
Santiago Closed
Jakarta Apply Now
Washington DC Apply Now
Berlin Apply Now
London Apply Now
Cairo Apply Now
Tokyo Apply Now
Interested to compete?
Apply now

Hover your mouse on your city to reveal more information

New Delhi Closed
Santiago Closed
Jakarta Register
Washington DC Register
Berlin Register
London Register
Cairo Register
Tokyo Register
Interested to attend ?
Register Now


Winners from each city will receive $10,000 USD, and the solutions may be considered for pilot opportunities within their respective local governments to help further develop the solution. All eight winning startups will also be flown to Dubai to compete for a grand prize of $100,000 USD during the World Government Summit 2019, and be invited to take part in an incubation program in Area 2071.

Benefits for All Competitors

All participants will attend a workshop on day 1 in preparation for taking the stage before an audience of investors, venture capitalists, dignitaries, and public and private sector representatives. The workshop will also cover various components to guide the startups on how best to meet the judging criteria through their pitches.

Members of local government and international community will be attending each city competition. As such, competing startups will have the opportunity to meet the relevant government officials in each city and network with government stakeholders, as well as interested investors.

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 technical and legal perspectives.

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate startups based on the following criteria:

  1. Novelty: All solutions selected will be assessed on their innovative quality and novelty. Judges will also assess how creatively the new technologies have been leveraged.
  2. 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.
  3. Sustainability: Solutions must be financially and operationally sustainable.
  4. Scalability: Solutions must be scalable, as the competition aims to serve the wider public.
  5. Ease of Implementation:  Solutions must be reasonably easy to implement, as winning startups will potentially be asked to implement their solutions with local governments.
  6. Commercialization: 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?
  7. 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.
  8. Longevity: 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.

Asked Questions

About the competition

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.

Apply the competition?

  • 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 a 90-day 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 rejection of acceptance, at least one week before the competition date.

Competition Rules and Guidelines?

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 you 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 general schedule can be found on the GovHack website. If your startup is selected to pitch you will receive a separate information packet with all the details needed.
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.

Contact Us

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About GovTechPrize

The GovTech Prize is an annual global award designed to motivate world government entities, startups and students to promote creative smart government initiatives & partnerships and create innovative technological solutions that contribute to solving common global challenges.

The GovTech Prize is launching its new GovHack Series that will be running for the 1st time under GovTech Prize.