Startupfest 2018 is coming up fast, and today the festival announced that applications are now open to pitch onstage for the premium and keynote events. There’s also opportunities to score free flights and free passes for this year’s event, happening this coming July 10th-14th.
In January, Startupfest announced the theme for this eight iteration: infinite possibilities.
“Time flies. I can’t believe it’s already been eight years, and ten that we’ve been running events in Montreal,” Phil Telio, the founder of Startupfest, told MTLinTECH at the time. “Time seems to be going infinitely quicker by the day. I think what’s really interesting is the whole evolution of the ecosystem from where we were eight years ago to where we are today. The number of people working in technology, the state of technology, AI didn’t cross people’s minds. I’m astounded at the pace of change. I studied engineering, so you learn that things approach a limit. Things can only get so small so fast. Yet technology seems to be defying that in a big way. I’m always astounded by the new things going on.”
Startupfest revealed today that seven deserving startups will get the chance to pitch at this year’s event for the Best Onstage Pitch, presented by BDO. The selected startups will pitch on the keynote stage in front of top tier media, investors, speakers, and attendees, with pitches being live streamed across all Startupfest channels. Aside from the chance to pitch, the chosen startups will also receive an all-access pass to Startupfest, including access to all of the Premium Fests (excluding ScaleupFest), pre-event pitch coaching, and access to all onsite prizes and networking events.
The judges for this year’s keynote pitch are Alice Zagury (CEO and co-founder, The Family), Evan Patronik (Captain of Venture Selection at Unreasonable Group), and Elizabeth Yin (General Partner and co-founder, The Hustle Fund). The deadline to apply to pitch onstage is May 22nd, and you can apply here.
There’s also an opportunity for free flights and a pass to the festival through SKYY Canada when you apply to pitch on the keynote stage. The vodka company will give one startup and guest free roundtrip airfare, accommodation, pitching opportunities and more. By applying for the ‘Best Onstage Pitch”, you’ll automatically be considered for the grand prize.
Do you have the next great idea in AI, CannabisTech, or for Startupfest Version Française? Applications to pitch at the AIFest Pitch Competition are open until May 22nd, and is open to entrepreneurs proposing new ideas that solve real-world problems using AI. AIFest is happening July 12-14th, and a panel of judges from the AI and startup community will hear from five finalists, each of which will have three minutes to present their solutions. The winning pitch will receive 15 hours of mentorship from AI powerhouse Element AI. You can apply to pitch at AIFest here.
This year’s new CannabisFest was announced back in January. In collaboration with HelloMD, the new Premium Fest is perfectly timed with Canada’s planned legalization of marijuana this coming July.
“We’ve been doing premium fests for a few years. And they’ve been focused on trying to attract particular groups of people that relate to the startup ecosystem. If you’re an accelerator, there’s AcceleratorFest, with information specific to you and how to run an accelerator. You’re an angel? We wanted to create an AngelFest so you can get the information you need to be an angel. So we created these Premium Fests originally to try to attract groups of people that really mesh well with the entrepreneur ecosystem and give them content relevant to them. What we tested last year with AI Fest was should we do vertical content? And I think it was a resounding yes. We ran AI Fest on a Saturday and it more than sold out. What we’re doing this year is, we’re still going to create specific content for different people, but there’s now also going to be content specific to a vertical. So if you’re interested in cryptocurrencies and run an accelerator, now there’s going to be two reasons to come, plus the third reason as always to mesh with the whole ecosystem at Startupfest,” Telio told MTLinTECH in January.
Finally, Startupfest announced that applications are open to attend ScaleupFest. ScaleupFest is an exclusive gathering for founders past the initial seed round. An invite-only event for 100+ founders, presented by BDC, applicants must already have raised a substantial seed round, with preference given to startups that have raised $500,000 or more. You can apply to ScaleupFest here.
You can register for tickets for this year’s festival here.