September Pitch Competitions Give Local Entrepreneurs Chance at National, Global Spotlight

Albuquerque gains worldwide visibility as host city for high-profile startup events 

 September Pitch Competitions Give Local Entrepreneurs Chance at National, Global Spotlight

September Pitch Competitions Give Local Entrepreneurs Chance at National, Global Spotlight September Pitch Competitions Give Local Entrepreneurs Chance at National, Global Spotlight

ALBUQUERQUE – Albuquerque will look like the innovation capital of the world in the middle of September. Three high-profile entrepreneurial pitch competitions being planned are going to offer potentially life-changing opportunities for locals to reach the national and international stage with their businesses, while positioning Albuquerque as a top-tier host city for startup events that attract global attention.

The events are:

  • Sandia Labs Pitch Competition, hosted by Sandia Labs’ Entrepreneur Exploration Program and business accelerator ABQid. 6-8 p.m.September 14 at Gravitate, 1121 4th St. NW;
  • 2017 Creative Business Cup USA Finals, hosted by Creative Startups. September 14-15, location to be determined;
  • and the international 1776 Challenge Cup, hosted by Innovate ABQ. September 18 at the Lobo Rainforest Building at Innovate ABQ.


“All three of these pitch competitions are first-of-a-kind for Albuquerque and show how we are becoming an emerging force in the international entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said T.J. Cook, ABQid’s executive director.


The Sandia Labs Pitch Competition’s partnership with ABQid is also an example of newfound collaboration between the national labs and the private sector. The event will feature Sandia scientists and engineers pitching their best and brightest innovations to a panel of esteemed judges and members of the local entrepreneurial community.


The winner will join winners from similar pitch competitions at 11 other national labs at a competition November 29 at the Bishop Ranch Business Park in San Ramon, Calif. The top pitch will receive $50,000 in research funding and a seat at an entrepreneurial training program called Energy I-Corps. The Department of Energy program trains researchers and scientists in lean startup methodology to help them take their ideas out of the labs and into the marketplace.


To sign up to attend the free event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1986692764950004.


Overlapping the Sandia competition will be the Creative Business Cup (CBC) USA Finals, hosted by Creative Startups. The national event determines the startup team that will represent the United States in the CBC global pitch competition in Denmark on November 16. Bringing together more than 5,000 creative founders from 60 nations, it is the world championship of creative businesses and the world’s largest meetup of creative economy leaders.

“For the CBC in the U.S., there has never been an event before. Previously, it was just a quiet application. We decided to have the event, the qualifying round, and pair it with master class workshops,” said Amy Slater, Creative Startups’ director of operations. “We are hoping that this can not only help raise awareness of the overall creative economy but how Albuquerque is a very open place for this kind of thing.”

Five finalists will be coming from around the nation to Albuquerque, where a pitch competition September 15 will determine the team that travels to Denmark. The pitch event, as well as workshops and coaching sessions the previous day, will be open to the public.

With the chance to win up to $10,000 in prizes, the winner of the USA Creative Business Cup will receive (1) an all-expense paid trip to Copenhagen including airfare, hotel, meals and CBC events, valued at $3,000; (2) $500 in cash for “travel expenses;” (3) $2,500 in consulting services, including legal and accounting; and (4) and coaching on investor pitching.


“If a company is globally focused or trying to expand, the connections that can be made going to the CBC in Denmark is immeasurable,” Slater said.


To apply for the Creative Business Cup USA, visit http://bit.ly/2sVepk8. Finals are open until August 13.


A few days later, the 1776 Challenge Cup international pitch competition will represent the best and brightest high-growth startups culled from 75 cities around the globe in education, energy and sustainability, health, transportation and government. This is Albuquerque’s first year to participate, joining the likes of New York, Chicago, Austin and Miami in the U.S., as well as Dubai, UAE; Athens, Greece; Dublin, Ireland; and Salvador, Brazil on the world stage.


Each of the select cities chooses a startup representative to send to the national competition, to be held this year in New York from November 13-17. Innovate ABQ, in partnership with ABQid, Tech.co, FatPipe and the City of Albuquerque will host the local Challenge Cup on September 18, when five to 10 New Mexico startups will compete for the chance to go to New York.


Albuquerque landed a spot as a seed to the larger cup competition through coordinated efforts between Innovate ABQ and the City of Albuquerque.


“New Mexico is being noticed by the international startup community, not just as place for future growth but as a place that is creating ideas that can compete and win at an international level,” said Daniel Dietz, project manager of Innovate ABQ.  “We are looking to send a New Mexico startup to New York that can win. We know we have the talent here and this is our opportunity to demonstrate that.”


To apply, visit innovateabq.com. Deadline is August 25.

Be sure to visit abqic.com for updates on all the competitions and more entrepreneur events coming in September.

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