Some startups go up, others go down.
That’s the tagline of GeekWire’s Elevator Pitch startup competition, which is returning to the iconic elevators of Seattle’s Smith Tower for an epic third season.
We put the brakes on the video series during the pandemic. But we’re excited to bring it back in all its high-speed glory with a fresh crop of entrepreneurs competing.
What’s the Elevator Pitch all about?
As the name suggests, we cram early-stage entrepreneurs into the beautifully ornate Smith Tower elevators, and then give them approximately 48 seconds to pitch their ideas on the ride to the top of one of Seattle’s most famous skyscrapers. Thanks to Seattle venture capital firm WestRiver Group, which is sponsoring this season.
Before we get rolling, we need some help. We’re looking for a dozen fearless early-stage entrepreneurs from the Pacific Northwest — typically in the seed to series A stage — who feel they’ve got what it takes to win over the judges and advance to the Elevator Pitch finals at the 2022 GeekWire Summit on Oct. 5-6 in Seattle.
In addition to being confident presenters, we need each of our entrepreneurial contestants to be available in Seattle on the film dates of June 21- 22. We’re looking for presenters with cutting-edge startups in these four categories:
- Consumer Products/Services
- Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
If you are an entrepreneur with the next great idea in one of our four core industries, make sure to apply to the Elevator Pitch by submitting your application with the subject line — I Want to Pitch on the Elevator Pitch — to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just include the following information:
- Names of founder(s)
- Pitch person (CEO or founders only)
- Elevator Pitch category
- Founding date
- Number of employees
- Funding level
- Your one sentence business pitch
- Why you’ve got what it takes to win The Elevator Pitch
- A short 10-to-15 second video clip or other video assets of you talking about your business.
We’ll select three up-and-coming entrepreneurs in each of the four categories, with filming taking place from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 21-22 at Smith Tower. Entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas in the elevator, and then receive feedback and analysis from our three judges:
- Kirby Winfield, the founding general partner of Ascend.vc who before joining the venture capital ranks sold his advertising and travel startups to comScore and HomeAway.
- Anthony Bontrager, the managing director at WestRiver Group who previously built companies in the telecommunications, video and media spaces.
- Maria Colacurcio, CEO of Seattle pay equity startup Syndio, co-founder of work collaboration service Smartsheet and the 2019 winner of GeekWire’s Elevator Pitch competition.
In addition to Colacurcio, past presenters in the Elevator Pitch startup competition have included the founders of Rad Power Bikes, StormSensor, Wyze, Membrion, KenSci and many others.
The four winners from this year’s competition will advance to the Elevator Pitch finals at the 2022 GeekWire Summit, taking place in downtown Seattle on Oct. 5-6. The Summit is GeekWire’s highest profile event, with business, tech and scientific leaders in the audience Past speakers have included Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella; Amazon CEO Andy Jassy; and others.