There’s just something about a pitch. Be it a Demo Day or a Demolicious or a Startup Weekend or even just one-on-one, I love hearing startups tell their stories. So when the fine folks at 1776—an early stage startup accelerator from the DC area—reached out to PIE to see if we could help them with the 1776 Challenge Cup, I jumped at the chance. Because it’s good for Portland to get that kind of exposure. And because pitches.
What’s the Challenge Cup?
Each year 1776, a global incubator and venture fund, hosts a worldwide tournament called the Challenge Cup. Together, with our Startup Federation partners, Revolution, the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and over 50 incubator hosts around the world, we’ll discover the most promising, highly scalable startups that are poised to solve the major challenges of our time.
Startups advance through three rounds: Local, Regional and Global Finals. All of the regional winners and a host of wild cards will be invited to participate in the Challenge Cup Global Finals next June in Washington, D.C. There, they’ll compete for over $1 million in prizes, as well as spend time with the investors, customers, media and other key connections that can help them succeed on a global scale.
Nuts and bolts? It’s a two minute pitch for the startups. And then questions from the judges. Easy peasy elevator pitch.
So what kinds of startups can apply? Anyone is welcome to apply. You don’t need to be located in Portland. To take it to ridiculous extremes, you could even apply from across the country or from another country—if you can make it to Portland for the event. In terms of focus, 1776 is specifically interested in startup who are using their creativity to solve problems with civic impact. So solutions for cities, education, energy, food, health, money, security, and transportation are requested.
Sound good? Good. Get to work on your application. It’s due on November 19, 2015.
Then get ready to get on stage, December 10, 2015, at the OMSI Empirical theater. Don’t have a startup? Just like to hear pitches? *fistbump* Feel free to grab a ticket and watch the show. It’s free and open to the public.
Winners of the Portland event move on to the regional event in San Francisco on January 28, 2016.
For more information, to apply, or to RSVP, visit 1776 Challenge Cup Local: Portland.