March Madness: VC Launches Online Start Up Competition
Ground Up Ventures is launching a competition for startups, the chosen companies will pitch to a live audience of global investors via video
The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has put the world on lockdown, but these difficult times are also spurring innovation. With no face-to-face meetings, no startup conferences, and venture capital firms adjusting to working from home, Ground Up Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, has launched a startup competition it has dubbed March Madness.Unlike its namesake U.S. college basketball tournament, this competition will see companies that have already raised between $200,000 and $2 million pitch their technology to a panel of venture capitalists from the U.S. and Israel. The chosen companies will pitch to a live audience of investors and participants from across the globe via video. Among the Israeli judges are investors Amit Karp of Bessemer Venture Partners, Yonatan Machado of Samsung NEXT, and Shiran Shalev of Battery Ventures.
Ground Up Ventures team will select 32 startups to advance to the next stage of the competition. The chosen companies will pitch to a live audience of investors and participants from across the globe via video. The 32 companies will be divided into four groups of eight, with one startup selected from each group to advance to the Final Four. The audience will have the ability to vote-in two additional startups to compete in the final event. The final broadcast will include an audience of up to 500 potential investors and customers, and the winner will receive a $100,000 investment. Anyone interested in attending the online event as an audience member can apply until April 1.
"In times like this, one of the biggest challenges for startup companies is getting exposure to investors. March Madness turned this limitation into an amazing opportunity," said Omri Sorek, the founder and CEO of Trusstor.