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sa innovation summit

Innovation Summit: watch and learn at Ventureburn Pitching Den [Native Article]

Pitching your business/startup to potential investors is a daunting task for almost any entrepreneur, but what better way to get pointers than by watching a high-stakes pitching process?

We’ve teamed up with the SA Innovation Summit for the Ventureburn Pitching Den Competition, offering some attractive prizes to winning startups.

The competition, taking place at the summit’s Market on the Edge exhibition area, will see startups pitching their businesses to a panel of judges. The panel will judge the businesses using several criteria, including innovation, financial performance and strategic direction.

What do the startups gain?

So what kind of prizes are up for grabs then? Well, the overall winner gets PR exposure worth up to R200 000, for starters.

The overall winner will also represent South Africa at the Startup World Cup 2017 Grand Finale competition, competing against 15 other startups for a chance to win a US$1-million investment prize.

The other big prize on offer is a Tekes-sponsored trip to Finland to meet with international investors at the SLUSH and SLUSH Impact startup events.

“Slush connects startups and tech talent with top-tier international investors, executives and media. In 2015, Slush brought together 15 000 attendees from a hundred countries for the two-day event in Helsinki. It is one of the leading start-up events in Europe,” the SA Innovation Summit explains.

The Innovation Edge is also on the lookout for startups focusing on early learning, offering up to R1-million in funding for innovations in this regard. Startups focusing on social issues aren’t left in the lurch either, as the SAB Foundation is sponsoring a R50 000 prize for the best social innovation.

Perks on offer to contestants include access to funds and acceleration support if the pitches elicit interest, as well as access to technical expertise (IP specialists, advisors and venture capitalists). Additionally, all entrants also have access to the Match and Invest Lounge, where “key funders” are available for consultation.

Just by pitching, the entrepreneurs are also showcasing their technologies and ideas to the audience at large. So even if entrepreneurs don’t win the top prizes, they’re still getting more eyeballs on their business.

Want to watch the competition?

The Ventureburn Pitching Den Competition takes place on 22-23 September at the Market on the Edge, the official exhibition area of the SA Innovation Summit.

Summit delegates will have access to the exhibition area, but tickets to the exhibition (and thus, the Pitching Den) are available via the SA Innovation Summit website.

General one-day admission tickets to the Market on the Edge/exhibition area will set you back R80, while students and pensioners (65 and up) need to stump up R50.

This article was published in partnership with the SA Innovation Summit