An inDrive project

Unicorn starts with U

An international prize for the best tech startups outside big tech hubs and communities

 Underdogs participate

Applications are now closed.
We will be announcing the finalists soon!
days before winners announcement

What you’ll get


Boost your startup with the top three winning prizes:
1st Place
2nd  Place
3rd  Place


  • Get access to the inDrive mentorship program and guidance from industry top experts.
  • Benefit from PR support to attract new target audience and partners/investors.
  • Join an international network of like-minded entrepreneurs.

Every applicant

  • Reviews by VC fund experts:
  • Enhance your startup's potential with feedback from VC analysts
  • Increase your chances of receiving investments

How it started

We know the struggle — we started out as an Underdog ourselves. It can be tough to keep moving forward towards something you believe in with so many obstacles in your way. Sometimes, to shine you just need a bit of support.
To do our part, we roll out social justice projects that maximize the positive impact of inDrive in global communities.
Our mission is

To challenge injustice in an effort to make the world a fairer place for 1bn+ people by 2030

Rules of the Underdog Tech Award


Okay, you are a founder and a C-level executive. First, make sure your startup:

  • Was founded in the last 5 years
  • Already has an MVP
  • Hasn't raised investments larger than seed ($4 million)
  • Has never participated in any international conferences

If all is good, complete the application and attach your PDF-presentation before November 28

Download the presentation template here

  • Basic info about your startup
  • Why is your startup an Underdog?
  • What is your product/service about?
  • Market and competitors
  • Product: MVP, plans for the product development, technology
  • Unit economics and business model
  • Scalability
  • Team
  • Impact & mission
  • Why do think you should win the Award?

After that analysts from VC funds will review and evaluate all projects based on these criteria:

  • Personal

    • Leadership skills
  • Startup

    • Potential size market
    • Scalability
    • Ability to generate profit
    • Unique competitive advantage
    • Product market fit
    • Go-to-market strategy
    • Team potential
    • Mission driven/social impact
    • Underdog startup (why are you underestimated—challenges/disadvantages overcomed)

Finally, our jury will assess the “impact” criteria with a focus on startups that have a mission to create positive change in people's lives by challenging injustice

Full rules

Application review process

September 19, 2023
Open Call
Acceptance of applications
November 28, 2023
Open Сall end
Evaluation of applications based on formal criteria
Scoring by VC analysts
February 1, 2024
Shortlist announcement
Mentorship program for the Shortlist
Voting of the Jury members
April 1, 2024
Ceremony and announcement of the laureates

Community Partners

VC Partners

Want to become our partner?
More info


Fatma Nasujo
Global Head of Corporate Operations
Sean Kim
President and Chief Product Officer at Kajabi
Arsen Tomsky
Founder and CEO of inDrive
Charles Eesley
Associate Professor and W.M. Keck Foundation Faculty Scholar in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University
Daniel Gándara
Vice President MercadoLibre
Damla Buyuktaskin
Senior Regional Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion Officer for Asia Pacific Countries in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
More info

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