Two Florida businesses may gain global attention through TiE Tampa Bay’s upcoming investor pitch festival Feb. 23. The non-profit is seeking startups to compete in the free contest with a Feb. 15 deadline to apply.
Winners of Judge’s and Audience’s awards will be part of the TiE Tampa Bay booth at the TiEcon’s May entrepreneurship conference in Silicon Valley, described as the world’s largest. The Judge’s Award winner will compete in the TiE International Startup Competition
for the North America region, Investor Track.
“This is the first time we are doing something that is tied to an international competition,” says TiE Tampa Bay President Ramesh Sambasivan.
Ten Florida startups will be competing for the awards locally before an audience. The Judge’s Award winner will be chosen by a panel of TiE Tampa Bay angel investors, who have made pledges to a $2 million angel fund.
TiE International Startup Competition’s investor track will have finalists from Asia, Europe and North America, with winners being invited to TiEcon Silicon Valley for Global Finals. The winning teams receive two passes to TiEcon 2017, attend a one-day Power Boot camp hosted by TiE Silicon Valley, and enjoy additional business exposure.
Sambasivan says the event is being called a festival rather than a competition because its focus is less on competition than the international contest.
“I want it to be a little bit of competition. I want it to be where people can come together and know there is one place people can find support,” he says.
TiEcon Silicon Valley is a 2-day event that draws more than 4,500 of the top entrepreneurs and investors from around the world.
Startups can apply to the Pitch Festival here
The festival, scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oak View Room at USFCONNECT in Tampa, includes dinner. Reserve here
TiE Tampa Bay is one of 61 TiE chapters in 18 countries. It can help startups in a number of ways, including connections and coaching. “Most think seed capital might be key to all their problems,” he explains. Valuable tips may open up markets. ... I’ve actually seen that happen.”