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We are thrilled to announce the third annual $100,000 Veteran Pitch Competition, hosted by The Veteran Fund in partnership with the Founder Institute. The event will take place online on November 15, 2023. 

Register to attend here

This live and interactive competition provides a unique opportunity to witness promising veteran and military spouse-founded startups pitch their ideas to a panel of investors. The winning startup will receive a $100,000 investment from The Veteran Fund, taking them one step closer to realizing their entrepreneurial dreams.

Joining us as a keynote is none other than Brad Feld, Co-founder of Techstars. With his wealth of experience as an early-stage investor and entrepreneur, Brad will share invaluable insights into venture capital investing and entrepreneurship. Don't miss this chance to learn from one of the industry's brightest minds.

The Pitch Competition

From the pool of applicants, five finalists will be selected to present their five-minute pitch live during the online event. These finalists will have the chance to showcase their innovative ideas and impress our esteemed panel of investors. But that's not all – all five finalists will also be considered for investment outside the competition and will receive an exclusive invitation to Silicon Valley. They will also receive free tickets to the Plug and Play Tech Center December Summit, a premier event in the startup ecosystem.

The Prize

The winner of the pitch competition will be awarded a $100,000 investment from The Veteran Fund. The terms of the investment will be based on the company's current financing round, either as an equity investment or as a SAFE Note. Additionally, the potential investment could go up to $500,000, providing the winning startup with a significant boost to fuel its growth and success.

How to Apply

If you're a U.S.-based startup with a service member, veteran, or military spouse on your executive team, and have raised less than $3 million in funding, we invite you to apply to pitch at the competition. The application deadline is Sunday, November 5th, 2023.

To apply, go here

Not only will all applicants have the opportunity to pitch, but they will also be eligible to receive a "Veteran Fund Fellowship" to the Founder Institute's Veteran and Military Family Accelerator. This fellowship offers invaluable support and mentorship to accelerate the growth of your startup. 

Meet Our Investor Panelists

Our veteran-supportive investor panel is eager to discover the next impactful startup. Here are our esteemed panelists:

  • Mike Sherbakov: Co-founder and General Partner at The Veteran Fund, dedicated to investing in exceptional founders from the military community.

  • Ernestine Fu: General Partner at Brave Capital, with a focus on investing in big data, security, and transportation technology startups.

  • Tim Hsia: Founder and Managing Partner at Context Ventures, a venture fund investing in consumer startups and military veteran founders.

  • Craig Cummings: General Partner at Moonshots Capital, actively investing in technology start-ups founded by military veterans.

About the Founder Institute 

The Founder Institute is the world’s most proven network to turn ideas into fundable startups, and startups into global businesses.

Since 2009, our highly structured accelerator programs have helped entrepreneurs at the earliest stages grow quickly, know what to do next, and make connections with the largest community of startup advisors.

Leaders of the world’s fastest-growing startups have used the Founder Institute to raise funding, build a co-founding team, get into seed accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, transition from employee to entrepreneur, and more. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 200 cities and 95 countries, the Founder Institute's mission is to empower communities of talented and motivated people to build impactful technology companies worldwide.

Let's come together on November 15 to celebrate and support the next generation of military-connected entrepreneurs as they pitch their startups and embark on a journey toward success.

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The Founder Institute is the world’s most proven network to turn ideas into fundable startups, and startups into global businesses. Since 2009, our highly-structured accelerator programs have helped entrepreneurs raised over $1.8BN in funding across over 200 cities worldwide.

Learn more about the Founder Institute at, or join an upcoming startup event at

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