Ready, Set…Pitch!

If you thrive on competition, Ignite offers something for ideas at all stages. Check out the two competitions below to find the right fit. For our on-site showcase, hop over to the demo section to view additional opportunities.


Two Competitions
FEB. 4, 2019

All entrepreneurs

The Pitch at Ignite

So you think you’re the best? Come and prove it! Pitch against the best of the best and fight for your startup’s honor in this international competition. Competitors will pitch to leaders, investors and audience members from around the world.

EXTENDED Deadline: Feb 4, 2019

Who Should Apply

Applicants will choose from student and non-student tracks.  This competition is open to all entrepreneurs leading early stage startups.  Applicants must be:

  • An active, contributing member of the team
  • A founder or co-founder of the startup
  • Must be pre-Series A funding or currently raising Series A funding

**Startups that have closed their Series A funding round are not eligible to compete**

  • $30,000 ($15k cash and $15k in-kind services)
What You Need to Apply
  • Pitch deck (converted to PDF format; you will be allowed to bring an updated deck if selected to the semi-final and final round). Click here for an example.
  • 4 min. video pitch (not required but recommended)
  • Signed photo release (each person pitching on stage should individually complete and sign the release)
  • 1 -2 min. rap-battle style video of your elevator pitch (only if you also want to be considered for the Startup Battle)
  • Proof of eligibility for student track (only for competing in the student track)
    • a photo of your current student ID (black out bar code & student ID number)
    • a photo of your current class schedule
    • a photo of your diploma (to be eligibility for the student track you must have graduated after 1/1/18)
    • other document proving your student status
What to Expect
  • Video call semi-final round on Feb. 18, 2018
  • Top 10 teams (6 student, 4 non-student) from the semi-finals advance to the final round and pitch to a panel of investors and 600+ audience members for $25,000 in cash prizes + in-kind services
  • You will have 4 minutes to pitch and 4 minutes for Q&A
  • Slide decks are allowed
  • Teams will table at the reception in the evening before awards are announced so plan to bring your entire team
  • 1/29/19: Application deadline
  • 2/11/19: The Pitch @ Ignite applicants notified if they are selected for the semi-finals
  • 2/11/19: Pitch pre workshop @ The Basement 5-7pm with Dr. Silvia Mah (optional)
  • 2/15/19: Semi-finalists pitch (via video call) to the selection panel
  • 2/20/19: Finalists pitch to a live audience @ Ignite 2019 (winners announced during closing plenary)

All entrepreneurs

Startup Battle

Can you busta rhyme? Join Ignite’s  fun, fast-paced, rap-battle style competition for ALL entrepreneurs and go head to head battling it out for bragging rights (and cool prizes)! Wow the audience with your company’s impact and gain quick pitch practice for investor run-ins.

EXTENDED Deadline: Feb 4, 2019

Who Should Apply

Open to everyone on an entrepreneurial team. No university affiliation required. Applicants must be:

  • An active, contributing member of a startup team
  • Bragging rights + $500 cash prizes awarded on the spot and cool prizes
What You Need to Apply
  • 1 -2 min. video of your elevator pitch using your best rap-battle impression! Have fun and don’t stress, this is an informal video for selection only (we won’t be sharing this with the public!).
  • Signed photo release (each person pitching on stage should individually complete and sign the release).


**Don’t worry, companies selected will prep with the co-founder of the School of Rap to prepare for the live competition. 

What to Expect
  • Go head to head with fellow founders in 30-second bursts in front of an audience of more than 400 investors, entrepreneurs and activators
  • Teams will be notified of their selection on Feb. 1
  • Prepare for your rap battle with Ashok Kamal who is the co-founder of the School of Rap (and the managing director of the Tech Coast Angels!)
  • No slides allowed
  • 1/29/19: Application deadline
  • 2/1/19: Notified if you’re selected to compete
  • 2/2/19 – 2/20/19: Prepare your rap with Ashok Kamal (School of Rap co-founder)
  • 2/20/19: Let the Battle Begin!