Pitch and Demo Events for Tech Startups

As a startup, every opportunity you get to showcase your brand to a targeted audience of potential investors, partners and customers is invaluable. Walker Sands built this living list of pitch events around the United States – many of which we’ve helped our clients get involved with – as a resource for entrepreneurs looking for exposure.

This list is ordered by U.S. geographic region and will be updated regularly. Use this menu to navigate directly to the appropriate region:

Midwest
West
Northeast
South

To suggest revisions or additions to this list, please contact startup@walkersands.com.

 

Midwest

 

Built in Chicago Launch

A monthly pitch event geared toward startups based in or operating out of the Midwest.

Format: 3-minute presentation with microphone, no slides

Frequency: Monthly

Audience: ~250

Prize: N/A

Location: Chicago

 

Innovation Showcase

An annual conference and demo event for 60 startups selected from the St. Louis region.

Format: Elevator-pitch-style presentation on stage

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~600

Prize: Awards and cash prizes ranging from $500 to $100,000 in value

Location: St. Louis

 

Inspire Startups

A monthly meet-up event for early-stage startups in the Chicago area.

Format: Networking, showcase and keynote speaker kickoff event. Startups then participate in an elevator pitch competition.

Frequency: Monthly

Audience: ~50

Prize: A 6-month membership to the Inspire Business Club, a workspace in Chicago’s West Loop

Location: Chicago

 

Startup Pitch Night

Early-stage startups to practice and improve their pitch with anonymous peer feedback.

Format: 60-second pitches, including: background, what problem the startup is solving, how that problem is being solved and who is needed on the team. Pitches are scored and video of winning presentations are posted to the event site.

Frequency: N/A

Audience: N/A

Prize: N/A

Location: Chicago

 

Technori Pitch

A monthly pitch event for early-stage tech companies. This event has grown to accommodate startups based outside Chicago.

Format: Guest keynote speaker kicks off the evening. Then each company gives a 5-minute presentation on-stage with microphone (accompanied by slides) followed by brief audience Q&A. Pitches are recorded and posted online at http://video.technori.com/category/pitch/.

Frequency: Monthly

Audience: ~500

Prize: N/A

Location: Chicago

 

Tech Cocktail Chicago Mixer and Startup Showcase

A quarterly expo-style demo and showcase event for tech startups based in the Chicago area.

Format: A guest keynote speaker kicks off the event. Anywhere from 5-20 tech startups then demo in a casual expo style.

Frequency: Varies (approximately quarterly)

Audience: 300+

Prize: N/A

Location: Chicago and other locations

 

Techweek LAUNCH

An annual launch and competition event for pre-qualified startups.

Format: The top 5 startups pitch in front of a judging panel comprised of venture capitalists.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~8,000

Prize: Cash and sponsor-donated gifts

Location: Chicago and other locations

 

Venture Pitch

A pitch session for aspiring entrepreneurs and mid-sized businesses in growth mode seeking investments.

Format: A kickoff and keynote speaker precede the demos. Five companies present before a panel of moderators.

Frequency: N/A

Audience: ~400

Prize: N/A

Location: Chicago

 

WakeUp StartUp

A monthly morning pitch event for startups in the Central Ohio community.

Format: 10-minute presentation on stage with six slides. Pitches are followed by a panel review and audience questions.

Frequency: Monthly

Audience: N/A

Prize: N/A

Location: Columbus, OH

 

SBACNow Venture Pitch Session

Quarterly pitch sessions for small to mid-sized businesses looking for funding and advice to help grow their business.

Format: Four companies provide five minute pitch presentations. A panel of judges provide feedback and scores for each presenter. Audience participates in live voting to select a winner.

Frequency: Quarterly

Audience: 100-200

Prizes: 5,000 – 10,000 in awards and services

Location: Chicago

 

West

 

800 Birds

A monthly demo event for early-stage startups in the technology, Internet and mobile industries.

Format: Guest speaker kicks off the event, followed by startup pitches.

Frequency: Monthly

Audience: Several hundred

Prize: N/A

Location: San Francisco and Los Angeles

 

 

CS2V

Ten startups pitch to a panel of Silicon Valley venture capitalists at the Creative Convergence Silicon Valley technology conference.

Format: 5-minute presentation before a panel of judges, with five minutes to answer questions from the panelists and audience. Presenters are pre-screened by a moderator.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: N/A

Prize: N/A

Location: San Jose, Calif.

 

DEMO

A global conference and pitch event featuring new technology launches ranging from concept to market-ready. Launch rates vary based on funding level.

Format: 6-minute presentation on the DEMO stage. No slides allowed. Pitches are recorded and posted online: http://www.youtube.com/democonf

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~800

Prize: N/A

Location: Santa Clara, Calif.

 

Disrupt SF

An annual TechCrunch event for startups who are less than three months old, with preference given to companies launching for the first time to the public and press.

Format: 30 companies launch on stage before a live and online audience, and a panel of judges. On the final day six are chosen to compete for the prize.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: 250,000+ (including online viewers)

Prize: $50,000

Location: San Francisco

 

Elevator Pitch FEST

A pitch roundtable for entrepreneurs seeking capital from angel investors and venture capitalists.

Format: Eight entrepreneurs selected during a pre-pitch session deliver 2-minute presentations before investors. A 5-minute Q&A and 2-minute feedback session with the panel follow.

Frequency: Monthly

Audience: N/A

Prize: N/A

Location: Palo Alto, Calif.

 

Founder Showcase

A quarterly competition for seed-stage startups to learn, launch and network.

Format: 6 selected startups compete in two rounds of 3-minute company presentations, judged by a panel of CEOs and investors. The final two startups compete in a lightning round of questions, and the winner is decided by audience vote.

Frequency: Quarterly

Audience: N/A

Prize: Gift cards and cash

Location: Silicon Valley-area

 

Finovate Spring

An annual 2-day showcase of startups in the banking and financial technology sectors only.

Format: 7-minute demo on stage followed by a networking event. Presentations are recorded and posted on: http://www.finovate.com/archives.html

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~1,000

Prize: N/A

Location: San Francisco

 

LAUNCH Mobile

An annual event for startup companies launching, or for companies launching new products.

Format: 10-minute demo over two days, following panel discussions and presentations.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~5,000

Prize: LAUNCH Fund invests in best startups at event

Location: San Francisco

 

Pitch Event

An annual event for for-profit startups launched within the last 3 years with under $3 million in revenue and under $1 million in angel or VC funding.

Format: Indoors, expo style at AT&T Park. Companies pitch from 2-8 p.m.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~1,000

Prize: N/A

Location: San Francisco

 

PitchForce

Monthly fundraising events for companies in the software, social, mobile, big data, consumer Web, payments, clean tech and medtech sectors.

Format: Ten companies set up demo tables and meet for one hour with attendees, who vote for the top five to present before a panel of VCs. Panel pitches are 4 minutes each, with a 6-minute Q&A.

Frequency: Monthly

Audience: N/A

Prize: N/A

Location: San Francisco

 

SF New Tech

A monthly pitch event for young tech startups and established companies.

Format: 5-minute presentations, followed by a 5-minute Q&A session with the audience.

Frequency: Monthly

Audience: ~600

Prize: N/A

Location: San Francisco

 

Startup Pitch Competition

An annual pitch event and conference for startups that have received less than $500,000 in funding and are less than 3 years old.

Format: 8 selected startups deliver elevator pitches on the main stage, followed by a feedback session with a panel of judges. The top 3 are invited back in the afternoon to deliver a 3-minute pitch before a panel of investors.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~1,000

Prize: N/A

Location: San Francisco

 

Startup Pitch Night

Early-stage startups practice and improve their pitch with anonymous, peer-based feedback.

Format: 60-second pitches, including: background, what problem the startup is solving, how that problem is being solved and who is needed on the team. Pitches are scored and video of winning presentations are posted to the event site.

Frequency: N/A (frequent)

Audience: N/A

Prize: N/A

Location: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver

 

Startup Riot

An all-day event highlighting 30 Internet- and software-oriented startups.

Format: 3-4-minute presentations with four slides, followed by a 3-minute Q&A session with the judging panel.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~500

Prize: N/A

Location: Portland, Ore.

 

Startup World

A pitch competition for startups that have launched within the last two years.

Format: 10 startups deliver 3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges. Highest-scoring pitches are announced as regional winners and invited to Silicon Valley to pitch and win Startup World.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: N/A

Prize: $300K+ in cash and prizes

Location: San Francisco and Boulder, Colo.

 

SwitchPitch

A role reversal event where established companies pitch funded innovation projects to revenue-generating startups with a working platform or product.

Format: Large companies pitch their projects to an audience of startups, who bid on them using an online submission form following the event. Presenting companies pick the best match and form partnerships.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: N/A

Prize: N/A

Location: Los Angeles

 

SXSW V2V

An annual, four-day event for startups in the education, health, mobile and entertainment technology sectors. Companies must be less than one year old and cannot have raised more than $5 million in funding.

Format: A keynote speaker kicks off the event. Startups deliver 2-minute presentations on stage. An 8-minute Q&A session follows with the judges.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~1,500

Prize: Invitation to next year’s SXSW V2V and accelerator sponsor gifts.

Location: Las Vegas

 

Techweek LAUNCH

An annual launch and competition event for pre-qualified startups.

Format: The top 5 startups pitch in front of a judging panel comprised of venture capitalists.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~1,000

Prize: ~$100k in cash and sponsor-donated gifts

Location: Los Angeles

 

Northeast

 

800 Birds

A monthly demo event for early-stage startups in the technology, Internet and mobile industries.

Format: Guest speaker kicks off the event, followed by startup pitches.

Frequency: Monthly

Audience: Several hundred

Prize: N/A

Location: New York

 

Disrupt NY

An annual TechCrunch event for startups less than three months old, with preference given to companies launching for the first time to the public and press.

Format: 30 companies launch on stage before a live and online audience, and a panel of judges. On the final day six are chosen to compete for the prize.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: 250,000+ (including online viewers)

Prize: $50,000

Location: New York City

 

Finovate Fall

An annual 2-day showcase of startups in the banking and financial technology sectors only.

Format: 7-minute demo on stage followed by a networking event. Presentations are recorded and posted on: http://www.finovate.com/archives.html

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~1,000

Prize: N/A

Location: New York City

 

NY Tech Day

A science fair for startups to exhibit before consumers, investors, early adopters and media.

Format: Full day of expo-style pitching to job applicants, press, angel investors and venture capitalists.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~10,000

Prize: N/A

Location: New York City

 

Pitch Kitchen

A practice pitch and feedback event for startups in the Vermont area.

Format: 3-minute pitches and 15 slides to present. Three pitching rounds in total.

Frequency: N/A

Audience: N/A

Prize: Awards for Best Polish, Best Idea and Best Plan

Location: Vermont

 

Startup Pitch Heard ‘Round the World

A pitch event for Boston-area startups and students, during the Boston TechJam block party.

Format: 2-minute presentations before a panel of venture capitals and investors, followed by a feedback and Q&A session.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~1,000

Prize: N/A

Location: Boston

 

Startup Pitch Night

Early-stage startups to practice and improve their pitch with anonymous, peer-based feedback.

Format: 60-second pitches, including: background, what problem the startup is solving, how that problem is being solved and who is needed on the team. Pitches are scored and video of winning presentations are posted to the event site.

Frequency: N/A

Audience: N/A

Prize: N/A

Location: New York City, Boston, Princeton, Philadelphia

 

Startup World

A pitch competition for startups that have launched within the last two years.

Format: 10 startups deliver 3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges. Highest-scoring pitches are announced as regional winners and invited to Silicon Valley to pitch and win Startup World.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: N/A

Prize: $300K+ in cash and prizes

Location: New York City

 

SwitchPitch

A role reversal event where established companies pitch funded innovation projects to revenue-generating startups with a working platform or product.

Format: Large companies pitch their projects to an audience of startups, who bid on them using an online submission form following the event. Presenting companies pick the best match and form partnerships.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: N/A

Prize: N/A

Location: New York City, Washington D.C.

 

Techweek

An annual launch and competition event for pre-qualified startups.

Format: The top 5 startups pitch in front of a judging panel comprised of venture capitalists.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~1,000

Prize: ~$100k in cash and sponsor-donated gifts

Location: New York City

 

Ultra Light Startups

A monthly pitch for technology startups seeking funding and business advice from investors.

Format: 2-minute pitch, with a 3-minute Q&A session from the judges and audience that follows. Three minutes of advice from panel. No slides allowed.

Frequency: Monthly

Audience: ~150

Prize: Top three pitches receive an automatic bid to pitch before the New York Angels, a first-round interview with StartFast Venture Accelerator, $1,000 in Amazon Web Services and one hour of free legal consultation.

Location: New York City, Boston

 

South

 

IDEA Pitch

A bi-monthly open pitch session for early-stage startups hosted by IDEA Fund Partners.

Format: 2-minute presentation and 15-minute Q&A with IDEA Fund partners and investors.

Frequency: Every other month

Audience: N/A

Prize: N/A

Location: Durham, N.C.

 

Startup Pitch Night

Early-stage startups practice and improve their pitch with anonymous, peer-based feedback.

Format: 60-second pitches, including: background, what problem the startup is solving, how that problem is being solved and who is needed on the team. Pitches are scored and video of winning presentations are posted to the event site.

Frequency: N/A

Audience: N/A

Prize: N/A

Location: Miami

 

Startup Riot

An all-day event highlighting 30 Internet- and software-oriented startups.

Format: Allowed 3-4 minutes for a 4-slide slide presentation, followed by a 3-minute Q&A session with the judging panel.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~500

Prize: N/A

Location: Atlanta

 

Startup World

A pitch competition for startups that have launched within the last two years.

Format: 10 startups deliver 3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges. Highest-scoring pitches are announced as regional winners and invited to Silicon Valley to pitch and win Startup World.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: N/A

Prize: $300K+ in cash and prizes

Location: Mexico City

 

SXSW: South by Southwest

An annual startup accelerator pitch event for companies in the enterprise, entertainment, health, social and wearable technology industries.

Format: On day one 48 companies deliver 2-minute pitches before an audience and judges. On day two 18 selected companies deliver 5-minute pitches. Three grand prize winners are selected in each category.

Frequency: Annual

Audience: ~30,000

Prize: Invitation to next year’s SXSW and accelerator sponsor gifts.

Location: Austin

 

VenturePitch Orlando

A local, informal pitch event for early-stage technology ventures to showcase and tell their stories to an audience of venture capitalists and angel investors.

Format: Keynote speaker kicks off the night. 8-minute presentations before panel of judges and investors follows. Judges and audience each select a winner.

Frequency: N/A

Audience: ~150

Prize: N/A

Location: Orlando, Fl.

 

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