Global Entrepreneurship Week: Apply to the LaunchPad Pitch Competition @ Startup Grind Virtual Global Conference

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The Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars global network is now accepting applications from Syracuse University LaunchPad members to be considered for this premiere annual pitch competition, where student startups from across the LaunchPad network get to pitch for a chance at over $50,000 in non-dilutive grant funding. Past winners include Syracuse University’s very own Josh Aviv from SparkCharge, who graduated from the LaunchPad, went through Techstars and other accelerators, and recently secured $1 million on Shark Tank.

The competition will be held virtually alongside Startup Grind’s Global Conference. Up to 30 semifinalists will compete in the weeks leading up to the event for a chance at securing one of the 5 slots to pitch live in front of industry-leading judges and a global virtual audience. The winner will be announced on the Startup Grind mainstage.

$55,000 will be awarded in prizes:

  • First Place: $25,000
  • 2nd Place: $15,000
  • 3rd Place: $10,000
  • People’s Choice: $5,000

Here’s the thing:  We have to nominate you.  Only three nominations will be accepted from the Syracuse University LaunchPad, so if you want to be considered, you need to be an active member of our LaunchPad. You cannot apply outside of going through your campus program. We can nominate current students (either graduate or undergraduate), or recent graduates (2020 or 2019).  The nominee must be a founder or co-founder and can only be nominated by the campus director of the LaunchPad.  This will be competitive so reach out to us now if you want to be considered as one of the three teams we select to nominate.

Here is how we will be scoring who we nominate: 

  • Investability
  • Business model viability
  • Innovation
  • Market size
  • Traction
  • Team / Founder
  • Pitch quality
  • Participation in Syracuse LaunchPad programming

To apply, e-mail us your one-page executive summary with a note that you would like to be considered.  Send the applications to

We will be submitting our three nominations by January 5, 2021.  The Startup Grind and LaunchPad global network team will review all applications between January 15-22, 2021 and select first round competitors who will be assigned coaches and mentors.  Finalists will be selected February 12 and will pitch virtually at Startup Grind from February 22 to 25, 2021.  Startup Grind final competition judges include David Cohen, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Techstars.

Startup Grind is the world’s largest community of startups, founders, innovators, and creators. It brings like-minded yet diverse individuals together to connect, learn, teach, help, build, and belong. Startup Grind does this daily through events, flagship conferences, startup programpartnerships, and online media + content – collectively reaching over 3.5 million individuals worldwide.  The Startup Grind Global Conference will be virtual in 2021, featuring 4 days, 7 key themes, over 100 workshops, roundtables, keynotes, and fireside chats focused on helping startups and innovative teams learn, grow, and scale in today’s evolving tech ecosystem.