The Founder Showcase is a completely free pitch competition, and past contestants have raised over $75 million. Any company less than 2 years old, with less than $250,000 in funding on the date of their submission is eligible to participate.
Applications for the 15th Founder Showcase are now open! The deadline to apply is Sunday, April 6th, but the sooner you apply, the more time you have to collect votes to help you get selected.
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Applying to the Pitch Competition is Easy:
- Create a video of your pitch. Don’t freak out – this is a seed-stage startup competition, so non-professional videos work just fine (ex. webcam of you talking, or a video of you pitching your business elsewhere). There are no tight requirements on the video, but the best format is 3 minutes or less, covering the following topics: (1) What does your company do, and what need does it serve?, (2) Describe the market where you will compete, (3) What makes you unique compared to your competition? In other words, what is your secret sauce?, (4) Where are you in your growth plans?, and (5) Who are you/ your team?
- Submit your video and application ASAP. The application deadline is Sunday, April 6th, but the sooner you apply, the more time you have to gather votes. Please note that it may take up to 72 hours for your submitted entry to be published online.
- Collect as many votes as possible by the voting deadline on Friday, April 11th. Use the hashtag #FounderShowcase in your posts, and send them to the voting page here.
Winner Selection Process
The Founder Showcase Champion is selected as follows:
Before the Event
- Online public voting that takes place prior to the voting deadline on April 11th will play a major, BUT NOT SOLE, part in deciding the 15 companies who advance to the Quarterfinal Round of the Competition. We take pride in showing the most promising seed-stage technology companies at the Founder Showcase – so we reserve a level of internal judgement, as we are trying to find companies that have the best chance to compete on stage at our event. All contestants will be privately notified of the results no later than Monday, April 14th.
- Over the next two weeks, the Quarterfinalists will undergo phone and video evaluation and be narrowed down to 10 Semifinalists, and then to the 6 Finalists who are invited to attend and pitch at the event for free. The Finalists will be selected no later than May 5th, 2014.
At the Event
- The 6 Finalists square off on stage to determine the Showcase Champion.
- There are two rounds of three 3-minute company presentations; Round One, and Round Two. The order by which the companies present is selected at random prior to the event.
- After each presentation, the Judging Panel, featuring leading CEOs and investors, rates and critiques the pitch for the audience’s consideration.
- After the Round One presentations are complete, the judging panel and audience select that round’s winner by digital open ballot. This process is repeated for the Round Two presentations.
- The winners of Round One and Round Two – the “Final Two” – advance to the “Showcase Showdown.”
- The Showcase Showdown pits the Final Two in a lightning round where they answer quick questions from the members of the Judging Panel.
- The Founder Showcase Champion is determined by an on-stage majority vote of the Judging Panel.
What Can I Win?
The Runner-Up will receive
- Prizes TBD
The Grand Prize Winner will receive
- $2500 on the spot
- More Prizes TBD