Want to practice your pitch? Learn about local startups? This is the most comprehensive list of local pitch events in Denver
Whether you’re new to the entrepreneurial scene or a Denver startup pro, you’ve likely heard of the pitch, pitch deck and pitch event.
- THE PITCH: A pitch is how startups tell the story of their concept or company to an audience. Often the focus is on getting funding, mentors and/or awareness
- THE PITCH DECK: The deck is a presentation that is used as a visual aid for the pitch or is shared with potential investors and mentors as a visual document often instead of a full business plan
- THE PITCH EVENT: The pitch event is any type of get together that involves a series of startups pitching to an audience
Pitch events come in all different flavors. There are pitch events that crown a winner, others that are intended to give helpful feedback to the startup founder. Some pitch events have judges and some don’t, some are focused on certain types of companies or industries, and others boast investor audiences. Accelerator programs often culminate in demo days, which are another kind of pitch event. They are all different, and they are all awesome. In my opinion at least. But, it makes sense that I find pitch events in all forms fantastic, it is what I’ve devoted my company (and a ridiculous amount of my time) to, after all.
My name is Stacie, and I am the founder of Pitch Deck Fire, a Denver-based company that helps startups tell their story. We specialize in pitch deck design, pitch presentation preparation, and provide a wide variety of services to the entrepreneur looking for funding, pitching clients, participating in a pitch event, or telling their business’ unique story.
And, I LOVE pitch events. How much do I love them? I once watched 31 pitches in one day (actually in just 14 hours to be exact)! Yea, I’m a little crazy for pitches. And because I think you should be too, I’ve put together this list of pitch events in Denver.
TELL YOUR STORY & LEARN ABOUT LOCAL STARTUPS
Fortunately for the local entrepreneur, there are a ton of great pitch events in Denver. I’ve done my best to put together the most comprehensive list to date of the pitch events and pitch related training opportunities available to Denver startups. (There are a lot of pitch events outside of Denver across the Front Range too – keep an eye out for a future post). And I’ll try to keep this updated as often as possible. Enjoy!
1 Million Cups
Sponsored by the Kaufman Foundation, 1 Million Cups caffeinates entrepreneurs across the nation. The Denver chapter meets every Wednesday morning to watch 2 founders pitch for feedback and advice from a collaborative, diverse entrepreneurial audience.
Startup Denver – Battle of the Pitches
This is a traditional pitch competition. Five contenders pitch for local judges and a large audience. The events are often funny, pull in big crowds, and the winners receive some pretty great prizes. At the end of the year, the monthly winners are invited back for a final pitch battle to determine the winner.
New Tech – Denver
New tech is a pitch event that endeavors to highlight new and exciting technology companies every month. Two or three technology-focused companies share their concepts to a tech and founder filled audience before opening it up for lively Q&A.
RVC Pitch Event / Investor Forum
Every month the Rockies Venture Club invites 4 companies to pitch their group of investors. The event includes appetizers, drinks and networking. In addition to the 4 pitches, RVC hosts a panel of experts discussing a topic important to entrepreneurs and investors.
At Pitch Lab—a different kind of pitch event—you’ll learn to present everything better. Three volunteers present to an expert panel that includes a stand-up comedian, improv coach and professional storyteller. The actionable feedback they receive on their delivery, room command and story telling, helps everyone learn. Light and fun!
House of Genius
No Public Audience
A structured pitch event that is not open to the general public to attend. Two or three companies pitch their businesses and a specific challenge they need help solving to a panel of endorsed local luminaries. Throughout the session everyone is anonymous because we’re all geniuses! Check their site to see if your business and “ask” qualifies.
The SBDC’s TroutTank
3X per Year
The SBDC, a hugely valuable resource for local startups and businesses of any type and size, takes a cue from the popular SharkTank show to put on a quarterly TroutTank pitch competition where the top businesses pitch to the lending, investing, and business community. Participating entrepreneurs receive pitch training during the pitch accelerator prior to the final event. (See next section for more info).
Pitch a Kid Denver
2X per Year
Have you ever heard that “your pitch should be so clear that a 6 year old can understand it”? Well, this fun pitch competition takes that the heart. Five local startups pitch to a panel of kid judges and an audience of kids, parents and the greater startup community. The event aims to help entrepreneurs refine their pitch, and get more kids into entrepreneurship!
Denver Startup Week
Every year, the Denver startup world descends upon LoDo and the surrounding area for a full week of fantastic informative sessions, events, and of course a pitch competition. There are actually several opportunities to pitch during startup week; in 2016 1 Million Cups, Denver New Tech, and Pitch Camp CO all had special sessions, there was an elevator pitch competition (in an actual elevator), and a tournament style pitch competitions with the final five competing on stage to kick off the closing party.
PITCH TRAINING / RELATED WORKSHOPS
Pitch Camp CO
Pitch Camp is a free meetup that meets once a month on the 2nd Thursday. It is a safe space to practice your pitch and learn more about the pitch process. Get critical feedback on your overall pitch, pitch deck, and public speaking style from pitch experts and fellow founders.
RVC – Pitch Academy
The RVC Pitch Academy is a half-day workshop designed to polish your investor pitch, sharpen your strategy and provide a background on what investors are looking for, connecting with your audience, and negotiating a successful deal. All presenters for the RVC monthly pitch event are required to take the course.
The SBDC’s TroutTank
3X per Year
Attending TroutTank is fantastic, but participating in it is even better. All selected applicants (not just the final 5 selected for the TroutTank pitch event) get access to a ton of resources locally that help prepare them for pitching. The training program is designed to help entrepreneur to perfect their pitch and gain exposure to lenders, investors, and the business community.
Eloquent Entrepreneurs by Tie Rockies
Join a toastmaster’s club that is specifically designed for entrepreneurs. The Eloquent Entrepreneurs club meets every Tuesday morning at Innovation Pavilion. All seasoned and new entrepreneurs and Toastmasters are welcome to attend a meeting for free before joining.
Pitch Workshops at General Assembly by Pitch Lab
93% of what you communicate comes from your presence, body language and vocal tone; only 7% comes from what you actually say. Like a great comedy performance, a great presentation is all about delivery. Learn how to better utilize your body and voice to pitch in a clear, entertaining and unforgettable way.
Zero to Pitch Deck by Pitch Deck Fire
A comprehensive two day workshop that walks you through the creation of your best pitch deck. Extensively covering storytelling, audience, pitch content, deck design, elevator pitches, and other resources, this expertly curated course provides everything you need to put together a compelling, well designed pitch deck.
ACCELERATOR DEMO DAYS
If you want to attend some of the demo days for local accelerator programs, I’d recommend checking out these great Built in Colorado articles on local accelerators and incubators. Demo days are all year long and depend on when any particular accelerator’s program ends.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wow! You made it all the way to the bottom of this post? You must love pitching as much as I do!
As Startup Storytellers we specialize in pitch deck design and presentation. So if you are looking for funding, need a pitch deck to apply to an accelerator, are pitching potential clients, or preparing for one of these pitch events in Denver, we can help. We know how time consuming the pitch deck design and funding process can be, and how important the result. After working with us you can be confident that your pitch will be engaging, professional and effective. Our clients get funded, win pitch competitions, and grow their business.
Let’s set up a call to see if we can help you with your upcoming pitch!
Founder & Lead Designer
Pitch Deck Fire