Pitch and Play – the AUTM Venture Challenge

Is your startup's business plan worth $10,000?

New company creation and development has been an integral component of academic technology commercialization for decades. AUTM will celebrate this mission-critical function through Pitch and Play – the AUTM Venture Challenge, where academic-affiliated startup companies pitch their business opportunity to a panel of seasoned venture investors for a $10,000 cash prize.

The event will provide valuable experience and feedback to our startup finalists, and will be educational for meeting attendees, who will observe firsthand the most effective means of communicating with our venture partners. We hope you will join in by applying to be part of our competition.

Sponsored in part by:

Download the Pitch and Play information to share with your colleagues.

Criteria for Eligibility

  1. The startup must be a legally existing company and have a license or option-to-license with a research institution (namely a university, research hospital, research institute, government laboratory), and the obligated technology must comprise an integral part of the startup’s business focus. Note: Only one finalist from any one metropolitan area will be selected in each category. If necessary, an honorable mention category will be designated from the same metro area that is excluded from the finalist list.
  2. The startup does not have to have received prior professional investment, but must be actively seeking funding. Note: startups that have already received (i) a Series A round, (ii) in excess of $2M in private investments, or (iii) significant sales revenue in 2017 or before are too advanced and not eligible for this competition.
  3. The startup must have a manager/executive giving the venture pitch that is not an inventor-scientist.

Each Finalist Will Receive

  1. Reimbursement from AUTM of up to $1,000 for travel expenses, including hotel costs for the AUTM 2018 Annual Meeting, February 18– 21, 2018, in Phoenix, AZ, USA.
  2. A complimentary registration for the AUTM 2018 Annual Meeting, and complimentary use of AUTM’s partnering software, AUTM Connect™, at the Annual Meeting.
  3. The opportunity to present to an esteemed panel of venture investors, and obtain critical and constructive feedback from the panel.
  4. The opportunity to discuss their business and get feedback from partners in the venture community.
  5. The first place startup company will receive a $10,000 cash prize. The winner will be announced during the AUTM Annual Meeting, and via press release following the conference.

Application Process

Submit an application online by visiting http://autmpitchandplay2018startupcompete.co/. The application should include:

  • Background and overview of technology — how it is being or will be leveraged into a commercial opportunity
  • Financing plan (pre-$ valuation, amount sought, use of funds, cap table if it exists)
  • Market (unmet need, size/opportunity for growth, entry or sales plan, barriers to adoption)
  • Risks (technology, regulatory, reimbursement, market)
  • Competition (current gold standard, competitors)
  • Proprietary assets/barriers to others entering the market
  • Possible acquirers/exit strategy; people (management, board, advisors, inventors)

Note: AUTM cannot be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your submission. AUTM will not ask anyone to agree to or sign non-disclosure/confidentiality statements on behalf of any applicant.

Evaluation Process

  1. Executive summaries will be reviewed by the AUTM Review Committee, who will select up to eight semi-finalists.
  2. Semi-finalists will be announced on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, and required to submit final business plans by Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.
  3. The semi-finalists will be reviewed by the AUTM  Review Committee, and four finalists will be invited to present their plans at the AUTM 2018 Annual Meeting. The panel may solicit additional information relating to the finalists prior to the presentation.
  4. All finalists are expected to provide a 2-3 minute video.
  5. Each finalist will have 10 minutes to present their plan to the panel, and will have up to 5 minutes to address any questions that the panel may have. Each presentation will be closely timed, and cannot exceed 15 minutes total. The panel will thereafter determine a first place winner, which will be announced during the Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21, and via press release after the meeting.

Key Deadlines

Deadline for submission: Monday, November 13, 2017
Semi-finalists announced: Friday, December 1, 2017
Semi-finalist business plans due: Friday, December 15, 2017
Finalists announced: Monday, January 8, 2018
Pitch & Play Competition: Wednesday, February 21, 2018


AUTM 2018 Annual Meeting Sponsors