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 express interest.

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 $800 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, taking place each year in late February or early March in Barcelona, Spain.

Where will the Startup 425 pavilion be located?

The Startup 425 pavilion will be located at 4YFN, the startup hall at Mobile World Congress. This pavilion is focused on connecting startups to buyers, mentors, and investors in Europe. In 2017, it gave attendees access to 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?


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?

You might be interested in exhibiting at the main Mobile World Congress hall with Choose Washington. Click here for more information.

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?

$800 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.