WIPO Global Awards for Startups

WIPO Global Awards for Startups


Intellectual property (IP) in its different forms, ranging from patents and trademarks to industrial
designs and copyright, is of immense significance for the economic, social and cultural
development of society.

The United Nations (UN) recognizes small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups
make up a large share of economies, whether in developed or less developed countries, and
are a critical source of innovation and creativity across all sectors, markets and aspects of life.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) takes into the account the exclusive role of SMEs and startups to use IP systems to deploy innovative and creative activities that have the
potential to contribute economically, socially or culturally to society.

Through this Awards Program, WIPO undertakes to celebrate SMEs that have used IP rights to
commercialize innovative and creative products/services beyond their home country, and in the case of startups, for integrating IP into their business venture at an early stage, acknowledging the potential to commercialize their IP assets.

Eligibility for SMEs

The Awards Program is open to all SMEs located in at least one of WIPO’s 193 Member States
and meeting the following conditions:

  • It is a registered business entity. Proof of registration is required.

  • It has no more than 300 employees and up to 15 US$ millions of total annual sales.

  • It is a holder of at least one registered IP right.

  • It is exporting its products or services to at least one country.

    Eligibility for startups

    The Awards Program is open to all startups located in at
    least one of WIPO’s 193 Member States and meeting the following conditions:.

  • The startup is a registered business entity with a legal existence of no more than three years. Proof of registration is required.

  • It has no more than 50 employees.

  • The startup has an innovative product or service associated with IP rights.

  • The startup has submitted at least one application for the registration of one IP right
    and/or is the holder of at least one registered IP right.

  • The startup is affiliated with a business support organization, such as an incubator, an
    accelerator, or a similar entity. Proof of affiliation is required.

  • The startup has affirmed its engagement with at least one commercial customer, and/or has completed a business sale, and/or secured one investor.


    Winners will receive:

  • Travel to Geneva to attend the Awards Ceremony and special events (funded in accordance with WIPO’s rules),

  • A WIPO Trophy specifically designed for this Program,

  • Customized IP mentorship opportunities (considering, on a case-by-case basis, the business background and specific needs of the winners).

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; WIPO Global Awards for Startups

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