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Pitch competitions are one of the most useful tools for startup founders in Silicon Valley. Whether or not a given event gives funding to the winners, its value can't be underestimated. A pitch delivered at a competition can catch the ear of a future early employee, a key advisor, or even a potential investor. If you're an entrepreneur searching for funding and you're not attending as many events as possible and pitching to as many people as possible, you're doing it wrong.

Thankfully, the SF Bay Area is the best place on earth to attend a startup pitch competition. These events are regularly hosted and of high quality. In our guide below, we’ve listed some of the Bay Area’s best recurring startup demo days and pitch competitions. The organizations are listed in alphabetical order and this is not yet an exhaustive list of all pitch competitions and demo days in the area. To contribute to this list, feel free to leave a comment in the ‘Demo Day’ section of our Silicon Valley Ecosystem Canvas.

Pitch Competitions in Silicon Valley

  1. Boomer Venture Summit
    • Description: “​The 2019 Business Plan Competition aims to generate the best ideas from the best companies and entrepreneurs, and to tap into the business expertise and creativity of entrepreneurs around the globe. Finalists compete for the $10,000 prize by presenting their boomer business plans before a panel of judges comprised of leaders in the field of aging and the venture capital community.”
    • Requirements: Any business plan or startup targeting the longevity market.
    • Prize: $10,000
  2. Disrupt SF - Startup Battlefield
    • Description: “Founders: if you’re ready to go big, step up to Startup Battlefield. The original and most legendary startup competition that has launched companies including Dropbox, Mint and Fitbit. If you're chosen, you'll be one of 25 companies who receives advice, coaching and the chance to pitch a panel of top-tier investors on the Main Stage at Disrupt SF. There is no downside: It’s free to enter, TC doesn't take any equity and you can win a $100,000 cash prize and the Disrupt Cup. Sponsored by Sequoia Capital.”
    • Requirements: Participation is free and open to all pre-Series A startups.
    • Prize: $100,000
  3. Finovate Demo Day
    • Description: “Finovate is the leading showcase of new innovations in banking, investing, insurance, lending, payments and other financial services technology. The format is unique — press conference, sales demo, business development meeting and analyst briefing. A proven platform for fintech companies to achieve the next level of success. With new customers, strategic partnerships, expert feedback, press coverage and VC funding.”
    • Requirements: Fin-tech startups.
    • Prize: Apply for more details.
  4. IEEE YP SCV and PnP Pitch Competition
      • Description: Interested in doing a startup? Currently involved in a startup focused on improving processes, tools, or technologies to solve real-world challenges? Want to know the latest trends in 5G, AI, AR, and connectivity, among other trends? If you answered yes to any of the above, join us for IEEE Young Professionals of Santa Clara Valley and Plug and Play's annual startup pitch competition!
      • Requirements: Startups working with Industry 4.0 verticals (AR, Cyber Security, Cloud Computing, Big Data Analytics, Predictive Maintenance, Additive Manufacturing, etc.)
      • Prize: Apply for details.
    1. HR TechXpo
      • Description: “Get your product in front of hundreds of people, including funders and customers at our HR tech startup pitch competition! Be heard and selected by a distinguished panel of judges comprised of investors, entrepreneurs and senior executives from the human resources community. If you have a breakthrough idea for the digital HR workplace space and are a startup from 0-5 years old, read on and submit today!”
      • Requirements: Any startup building HR solutions.
      • Prize: Apply for details.
    2. Launch Festival
        • Description: “LAUNCH Festival is the largest startup event in the world. For the past 10 years we’ve hosted Festival in San Francisco, featuring fireside chats with Silicon Valley technologists and pioneers, demonstrations of cutting-edge future technology, and exciting startup competitions with founders and teams from all around the world.”
        • Requirements: There is no specific category. All tech-enabled startups are encouraged to apply.
        • Prize: $100,000
      1. Naturally Pitch Slam
          • Description: “Whether it’s to showcase your talents or to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest trends in the natural products industry, Naturally Bay Area’s Annual Pitch Slam competition is the place to rub elbows and connect with the Bay Area’s best and brightest.”
            • Requirements: Naturally Bay Area members based in Northern California that have been in business for over 1 year.
              • Prize: $5,000 cash, $10,000 in services.
            1. PitchForce
                • Description: “PitchForce is a monthly event for early stage high-tech startup entrepreneurs to get a chance to deliver a 4-minute elevator pitch to a panel of seasoned angel investors.”
                • Requirements: “Presenters are chosen on a first come first served basis, and only 10 startup entrepreneurs are allowed to pitch at each event.”
                • Prize: Apply for details.
              1. Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs San Francisco Pitch Fest
                • Description: “Join the SVE entrepreneurs community for an evening of pitches and learning! Learn valuable skills from our featured speakers on how to grow your companies and make money! Network with other startups over pizza and drinks. We welcome startups to apply, to pitch and meet with our investors and fundable founders.”
                • Requirements: Any tech startup can apply to present.
                • Prize: Apply for details.
              2. Sogal Global Pitch Competition
                • Description: “Hosted in 25 cities across 5 continents, and culminating in a final competition and 3-day immersive educational bootcamp in Silicon Valley, SoGal Foundation is excited to host the largest global startup pitch opportunity for women and diverse entrepreneurs worldwide.”
                • Requirements: Pre-series A startups with at least one woman or diverse founder.
                • Prize: $500,000+
              3. Startup World Cup
                • Description: “Startup World Cup (SWC) offers innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for startup ecosystems around the world. This platform consists of a global series of startup conferences and competitions that bring together phenomenal startups, VCs, and world-class tech CEOs.”
                • Requirements: Any tech-enabled early-stage startup.
                • Prize: $1,000,000 Grand Prize

              Have more suggestions? Feel free to contribute more pitch competitions in the ‘Demo Day’ section of our Silicon Valley Ecosystem Canvas.

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              Learn more about the Founder Institute at, join a free startup event in Silicon Valley, or apply to build a startup today.

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