The second annual Denver Startup Week Pitch Challenge will highlight and harness our city's entrepreneurial energy. This year’s challenge takes the typical pitch competition and spins it on its head, inviting the 15,000 attendees at DSW to cast their votes to determine the final six contenders.
With prizes including $100,000 in cash and an unparalleled suite of startup-specific products and services, this pitch competition will showcase the best ideas and the brightest startups from Denver’s innovation community!
Any Denver-area based startup with less than $5 million in outside investment is eligible to compete.
How do I apply?
This year, all applicants must submit a 90-second video about their company with their applications. This video should convey your mission, inspiration, and team. This is your moment to shine, and to get the community excited about your company.
All submissions will be evaluated by objective criteria and narrowed down to 24 semi-finalists.
Semi-finalist judging will be done in two parts:
The DSW Community will vote on videos they want to advance to the finals. All DSW registrants are eligible to vote, but can only vote for each company once. Community judging will be weighted 50%.
All semi-finalists will also have to do an in-person pitch to a panel of expert judges on September 27. In-person judging will be weighted 50% as well, so if you scored poorly online but great in person, you could still be a contender!
What are the judging criteria?
This year, we’re focusing on videos. Applicants will pitch their company in a 90-second video submission and judging will take place in 3 rounds:
Entry Round: Videos will be judged on objective criteria to narrow the pool to 24 semi-finalists
Semi-Final Round: Community judging via DSW website, plus in-person judging during DSW
Final Round: Six finalist companies will compete at a live pitch event at DSW Basecamp
All rounds of judging will be based on a combination of objective and subjective criteria to help guide community and official judges:
Strength of Value Proposition / Competitive Advantage
Clarity and Presentation
Market Identification / Target Market
Financial Model and Team
Intangibles and Funding Readiness
What is the timeline?
Aug. 8 – Applications open. Kickoff event at WeWork Union Station.
Aug. 29 – Application submission deadline.
Sept. 12 – Online judging opens. Semi-finalists announced in event at WeWork Union Station.
Sept. 22 - Online judging closes.
Sept. 27 - In-person judging.
Sept. 28 – Pitch finals at Basecamp.
What's the fine print?
Video submissions must be a maximum of 90 seconds in length.
Incomplete applications or those received after the deadline will not be accepted.
Companies must have received less than $5 million in outside capital and have been in business less than 3 years (based on first revenue, incorporation, or both).