The path to $100,000

The third 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 19,000 attendees at DSW to cast their votes to determine the final six contenders.
With a prize package valued at $100,000 in cash, services, and product, this pitch competition will showcase the best ideas and the brightest startups from Denver’s innovation community!
For more details, check out the Pitch Challenge Handbook.
Applications are currently closed

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to compete?

Any Denver-area based startup with less than $2 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. Check out this video for a great example.
You can access the application form at
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 20%.
  • All semi-finalists will also have to do an in-person pitch to a panel of expert judges on September 26th. In-person judging will be weighted 80% as well, so if you scored poorly online but great in person, you could still be a contender!
What are the judging criteria?

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 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?
July 23 – Applications open
Aug. 20 – Applications and video submissions due (at 11:59pm)
Aug. 27 – Semi-finalists are decided, and video slating provided by The Cable Center begins 
Sept. 10 – Semi-finalists announced, online voting begins
Sept. 12 – Pitch Workshop for semi-finalists (location and details TBD)
Sept 26 – Semi-final pitches - 6 selected to pitch at finals

Sept 27 – Finals

What is 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 $2 million in outside capital and have been in business less than 3 years (based on first revenue, incorporation, or both)

More opportunities to pitch

Are you looking for more opportunities to pitch your company? The winners of these competitions will be fast tracked to the semi-final round of the Denver Startup Week Pitch Challenge!