How does it work?
Presented by Invest Ottawa, AccelerateOTT Pitchfest is the biggest pitch competition Ottawa has ever seen. Panache Ventures, Canada’s most active seed stage venture capital fund, has committed $150,000 to a winner-takes-all prize. It’s the largest investment award for a pitch competition in the startup history of Ottawa!
Companies incorporated in Canada with a presence in Eastern Ontario or the National Capital Region are encouraged to apply to participate in the competition.
Applicants will be selected to compete in a preliminary pitch round to win a chance to pitch in the finale. On June 11, 2019, finalists will compete for the $150,000 investment in front of a live audience, a panel of expert judges, investors and media at the seventh-annual AccelerateOTT entrepreneur conference on June 11, 2019 at the National Arts Centre.
Preliminary pitch-in events
Applicants will be selected to compete in a preliminary pitch round to win a chance to pitch in the finale. Invest Ottawa will hold two events to ensure all qualified companies have a chance to pitch!
- Pitch-in Extravaganza, Thursday, April 4, 2019 at Bayview Yards. Register here for a sneak peek and cheer on the contestants.
- Pitch-in at Tech Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at Marshes Golf Club. Registration for this event will open in April.
- AccelerateOTT Entrepreneur Conference, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at the National Arts Centre. Buy tickets today.
- Incorporated in Canada with a verifiable business presence in Eastern Ontario (between Belleville to the west and Gatineau to the east) or the National Capital Region
- Have a technological component to your business
- Have expected revenue growth of at least 50% in the next year
- Seeking capital investment funding within the next 18 months
- If selected, available to pitch at AccelerateOTT conference on June 11, 2019
How do I apply?
Please fill out this application form. Only complete applications from eligible companies will be considered.
- March 24, 2019, Sunday, 11:59 PM
For those who are only available to pitch (if chosen) at the preliminary pitch-in event on April 4;
- April 14, 2019, Sunday, 11:59 PM
For those who are available to pitch (if chosen) at either preliminary pitch-in event (April 4 or May 7)
Eligible companies must be a) incorporated in Canada, b) have their head office in Eastern Ontario (between Belleville to the west and Gatineau to the east) or the National Capital Region, (c) have a technological component to their business, and d) have expected revenue growth above 50% in the next year.
Currently, Panache Ventures has committed $150,000 to a winner-takes-all prize. It’s the largest investment awarded to a single pitch competition winner in the startup history of Ottawa!
Applicants will be reviewed by an investment committee comprised of representatives of Panache Ventures, Invest Ottawa, and select community partners. The review committee will select companies to pitch at preliminary pitch events on April 4 and May 7. Please note that the date a company is scheduled to pitch is determined by founders’ availabilities, and will have no bearing on its status going into the pitch event.
Selection criteria for preliminary pitch-in contestants will be based on a combination of attributes, including market, solution, founding team, and traction. Companies selected for the first pitch-In event (April 4) will be informed by March 29.
The pitching applicants will each have a set time limit to present their respective company and answer questions from the judging panel. Each pitch will be evaluated based on the delivery, market, team, solution, and readiness for investment.
The finalists for AccelerateOTT will be announced after the second pitch-in event on May 7.
Five to seven.
Yes, if your company has a verifiable business presence in Eastern Ontario or the national capital region. Startups in Belleville, Gatineau, Kingston and Cornwall are welcome to apply! We regret that companies outside of the geographic boundaries between Belleville to the west and Gatineau to the east are not eligible for this competition.
The pitchfest investment award winner will be announced immediately after the pitch finale at AccelerateOTT on June 11.
No. As with every VC investment, deal closing is subject to the successful completion of due diligence and negotiations between Panache Ventures and the winner. Please note that Panache Ventures has successfully closed investments at multiple pitch competitions and is looking forward to investing in the winning contestant of AccelerateOTT Pitchfest.
Panache Ventures may elect to initiate discussions, carry out due diligence and close the investment during or after AccelerateOTT on June 11, 2019.
For questions related to investment, qualification and selection criteria, please contact Nick Quain, Vice President of Venture Development, Invest Ottawa, at [email protected].
For media inquiries, please contact Lucy Lai, Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist, Invest Ottawa, at [email protected].