Hundreds of startup enthusiasts are expected to turn out for this week’s Startup Showdown. The highly anticipated event, powered by Panoramic Ventures, is a unique opportunity for tech-enabled early-stage ventures to pitch accredited investors for a chance to win up to $120,000 in investment.
Five finalists were handpicked from hundreds of applicants. They will compete in front of a select panel of judges to win the investment prize and join the Panoramic portfolio. Panoramic Ventures is the only venture capital firm that hosts a monthly pitch competition.
“The first investment is the hardest to get,” said Dr. Paul Judge, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Panoramic Ventures, one of the most active VC firms in the Southeast. “That is even more so for overlooked entrepreneurs such as women, minorities, and founders in the Southeast and Midwest.
“Startup Showdown provides an avenue every month for a founder to get access to early-stage capital, “added Judge. “And it is an open process, it is not about who you know. It is not about a warm intro. This is how we provide equality and fund amazing founders.”
The hybrid pitch contest will take place in person on Wednesday, March 2 at Buckhead Theatre. It will also be live-streamed to a global audience. To make the event as safe as possible attendees must be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative test result within 48 hours of the event.
“The startup ecosystem has come to a point where the concept of Silicon Valley is a mentality more than a place, said Judge. “That place can now be any and everywhere on earth. Now, founders can solve any problem from anywhere. And with so many new open problems to be solved ranging from web3 to healthcare to future of work to cybersecurity to fintech and more, there has never been a better time to build a tech company.”
Every application submitted for Startup Showdown was thoroughly reviewed by the Panoramic investment team. The team narrowed down the application pool to 25 semifinalists who attended a Mentor Day. Afterward, five finalists were selected to pitch to a panel of judges.
Panoramic Ventures launched its inaugural Startup Showdown last year, the first in a series of pitch competitions designed to showcase and fund early-stage technology companies from across the country. Last year the firm hosted seven events including 700 mentor sessions, resulting in nearly $1M being invested into the events’ winning pitches and three winners were from Atlanta. This year Panoramic Ventures is also going on tour.
In addition to overlooked geographies, racial and gender diversity of founders and teams is also a focus of Panoramic Ventures, with the goal of opening more doors for often underrepresented founders. The Panoramic team has a collective track record of backing minority and women founders, evidenced by recent investments in such companies as LeaseQuery, Cove.tool, OncoLens, and Eventeny.