FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Robotics industry experts all feel that the next 10 years will be a great time for entrepreneurs to start a robotics company, seeing as demand for robotics across the commercial and industrial landscape continues due to a good economy, labor shortages in specific markets, and continued venture capital funding interest. In order to receive funding, however, entrepreneurs need to meet with investors, peers, potential partners, and customers.
Now in its eighth year, the Pitchfire startup competition will be held at RoboBusiness 2019, the premier event that brings together roboticists, suppliers, integrators, analysts, the media, and end users in the robotics community. RoboBusiness itself is now in its 15th year, with the 2019 version set to be held on Oct. 1-3, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif.
Robotics Business Review, which produces the RoboBusiness event, has opened up submissions for the 2019 version of Pitchfire, one of the most popular parts of the event. The Pitchfire event provides startup company finalists to present a five-minute pitch on their products or services to a panel of judges and RoboBusiness audience. While other pitch competitions exist for startups, Pitchfire exists solely for those startups developing products in the ecosystem of robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation.
“The Pitchfire competition gives startups in the robotics space a great opportunity to meet with potential partners, investors, and customers,” said Keith Shaw, editor-in-chief at Robotics Business Review. “In addition, being on stage is great experience for many of these entrepreneurs as they look to make their pitches to investors, and hear their feedback instantaneously.”
Criteria for 2019 Pitchfire submissions
Robotics startups are welcome to submit to apply to Pitchfire 2019 now. To be considered for Pitchfire 2019, companies should meet the following criteria:
- No more than four years old (Founding in 2015 or later)
- Must not have yet received Series A funding for their company. Seed financing and angel financing is OK.
- Must not be a member of the RBR50 for 2019.
- Have a product or service intended for commercial or industrial use case.
- Be able to present in person at RoboBusiness 2019.
There is no cost to submit to Pitchfire, and all of the submissions are reviewed by a panel of experts at Robotics Business Review.
Benefits for Pitchfire submissions, winners
Not only do Pitchfire submissions get a free listing in the Robotics Business Review Startup Directory, semifinalists chosen to present at RoboBusiness 2019 will receive a free full conference pass to the event. In addition to the conference, they will be able to attend the expo floor exhibits and attend theater sessions and networking events.
The company chosen as the Pitchfire 2019 winner will receive the following:
- A $5,000 cash prize.
- International and social media exposure.
- Introductions to and private meetings with investors and industry experts to discuss your business strategy.
- Coverage within Robotics Business Review, including funding and product announcements.
- A free subscription to the RBR Insider section of Robotics Business Review (a $995 value).
Past winners and semi-finalists
Notable Pitchfire semifinalists have included RBR50 2019 winners inVia Robotics, Soft Robotics, and RightHand Robotics. Past Pitchfire winners include nLink, Autonomous Marine Systems, and The Kobi Co. In addition, several companies have received funding after participating in the Pitchfire competition.
Last year’s winner was Boston-based Southie Autonomy, which develops an intelligent robot software platform to make automation feasible for any size material-handling application without needing specialized programming expertise. Southie Autonomy founder Rahul Chipalkatty will be one of the judges for the 2019 competition.
Enter and register now!
If you work at a robotics startup, submit your entry for Pitchfire now. The panel of judges will be reviewing submissions, and only the best will get to present at RoboBusiness 2019! The deadline for submissions is end of business on Friday, July 26, 2019.
Even if you’re not at a startup, you should sign up to attend RoboBusiness today. Our flagship conference and expo is designed to help you learn about the latest robotics trends, guide buyers across robotics applications, and prepare your own business to get the most out of automation.