Startup 425 Global Passport

If you’re a mid-stage mobile startup and you’re interested in expanding your global presence, consider the Global Passport program.

Each year, contingent on funding, Startup 425 partners with the Washington State Department of Commerce and the Port of Seattle to send a delegation to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Before the event, selected startups undergo specialized training–on such topics as IP protection and localization–designed to prepare them to sell their products and expand their presence in foreign markets.

Interested in the 2018 Global Passport program? Click below to apply.

In 2017, Global Passport participants presented to a group of leaders from Volkswagen, met with potential joint venture partners and investors, and generated more than 300 sales leads. 

What’s Included?

The registration fee of $850 per startup includes pavilion space, tailored mentoring, research, and B2B support, pre-departure workshops, and post-trade show debrief session.

Please note that companies are responsible for travel, lodging, food, and other related expenses. Limited financial support is available through the Washington State Department of Commerce’s export assistance program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Global Passport?

Startup 425 Global Passport offers Eastside startups an opportunity to explore international sales opportunities at one of the world’s largest mobile tech conferences. Focusing on mobile technology companies interested in exploring sales in Europe, selected startups will take part in a series of export training workshops and then join a delegation at 4YFN, the startup hall at Mobile World Congress.

What is Mobile World Congress?

Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest trade show for the mobile technology industry.  It will be from February 26-March 1, 2018.

In 2017, over 108,000 people attended the show, of which 60,000 hold C-Suite level positions.   The show featured 2,300 exhibitors across nine halls, as well as over 3,500 international media and industry analysts.

Where will the Startup 425 pavilion be located?

The Startup 425 pavilion will be located at 4YFN, the startup hall located adjacent to the main Mobile World Congress exhibition halls. This pavilion is focused on connecting startups to buyers, mentors, and investors in Europe. In 2017, over 19,000 people attended 4YFN, including 3,700 C-level attendees, 60+ startup workshops, 500+ startup investors, competitions, media sessions, and more!

Will Global Passport attendees have access to the main Mobile World Congress exhibit hall?

Mobile World Congress is a four-day show.  4YFN attendees can access to the main Mobile World Congress Exhibit Halls on the last day of the show.  Tickets to access the main MWC Exhibit Halls for the first three days of MWC are available through the Washington State Department of Commerce.

What types of companies are you looking for?

Global Passport is targeted at small- to medium-sized tech firms that have been in operation for at least one year and which are looking to sell in Europe for the first time. Both hardware and software firms are welcome.

What if my company is larger and has experience in exports?

Washington State operates a Choose Washington Pavilion in the main Mobile World Congress Exhibition Hall.  The custom designed Pavilion is geared towards startups that have some basic export experience.  Washington State offers a variety of exhibition packages tailored to fit different budgets and exhibition requirements. Contact the Washington State Department of Commerce for more information about space availability for MWC 2018.

Does my company need to have any export experience?


Should my company have products ready to demo?


What type of pre-trade show training does Startup 425 provide?

Global Passport participants will take part in a series of export training workshops before the trade show. We’ll cover topics like international IP protection, international market analysis, financing global expansion, and localizing your product. You’ll also have access to advisors who can help you research the opportunities and set up B2B meetings. After the show, we will reconvene for a debriefing session to highlight lessons learned and next steps.

What does the Global Passport program cost?

$850 per startup covers space in the Startup 425 pavilion. Companies are responsible for covering all travel, lodging, and related expenses.

Is financial support available?

Yes. Limited financial support is available through the Washington State Department of Commerce to help cover up to $1,500 of travel, registration, and other qualifying expenses. More information is available here.