The $100k Best of the Fest Investment Prize has always been the most coveted prize at Startupfest, where dozens of founders compete live onstage. We bring together a fantastic team of angel investors—each of whom short-lists one startup from among the attendees. Those finalists then battle it out to see who will be crowned “Best of the Fest”, walking away with not only $100K in new investment, but access to a network of investors and, of course, the coveted Best of the Fest trophy.
This prize is open to ANY startup registered and at the event – There is no application process, no form to fill out and no video to submit. All you need to do is register for and attend Startupfest, and be ready to pitch to our esteemed Investor Judges.
Startups have until 5PM on Thursday, July 13th—the second day of Startupfest—to deliver their pitch to the investor judges. They can do so in the language of their choice, but please be aware that since Startupfest attracts investors from across the country and around the world, many of them only speak English.
How do I pitch?
Your goal over the first two days is to get at least one of the Investor Judges to shortlist your Startup:
- Judges will be roaming the site and based in the Tent Village. We suggest you connect with as many judges as possible—after all, it just takes one judge for you to make the shortlist.
- Our judges are wearing an Investor Judge badge and a green lanyard to make them easy to identify and pitch everywhere onsite. You probably want to avoid doing it in a bathroom, but everywhere else is fair game!
What happens next?
Pitching ends at 5PM sharp on Thursday, July 13.
- Each judge will submit their chosen finalist to the shortlist, at which point they will be contacted by a member of the Startupfest team.
- At 4:30PM, the shortlisted startups will be invited to take the stage for a one-minute elevator pitch (no slides) in front of our audience, to compete for the Best Pitch Award.
- Friday morning (the 14th) our finalists will meet with the Investor Judges in a private setting, on site.
- By 12pm the top 5 startups will be selected and notified that they have made it to finals.
Friday afternoon’s QA and Due Diligence
We’ll introduce the 5 finalists to our audience on Friday afternoon. They will have a 40 min general QA with our Investor Judges, at which point our judges will have a brief deliberation to narrow the finalists down to a top 3.
Upon announcing our top three, the startups will take the stage together and go through an abridged due diligence process designed to dig into the main challenges of startup growth:
- Product, technology and IP (15 min)
- Sales, marketing and finances (15 min)
- Team, culture, and leadership (15 min)
We’ll reveal the results of this epic contest, and announce the 2023 $100k Best of the Fest Investment Prize winner during Friday’s closing ceremonies.
The Best of the Fest prize is an investment from up to 10 angel investors. Our default terms are based on an industry-standard SAFE agreement (for reference, please see this standard SAFE agreement) The winning startup will sign the SAFE agreement with each of the investors individually. The investors are willing to create a voting trust, if and when the SAFE agreement converts to equity.
Think these terms shouldn’t apply to you? Need a tweak? We can discuss that. While we adopt industry standard agreements for the sake of simplicity, the judges are willing to discuss alternate terms proposed by shortlisted startups during their meeting on Thursday, July 13, during the 5PM private Q&A.