Pitch Competition2019-02-19T10:24:17+00:00

The ScaleFest-19 Pitch Comp

As we were planning ScaleFest, we were asking ourselves: Are pitch competitions still relevant? Very recently one well-known investor expressed it as bluntly as “I just hate pitch competitions and I would never invest on the back of one” …Ouch!

So naturally we reinvented the format. We all love technology but running through ten slides on a stage showing screen shots of an app is no fun at all for those watching. 

Revealing … the pitch comp 2.0

Your business needs to qualify in one of the following four categories

Solutions for the Aging Population

In case it isn’t obvious the population of the world is aging, and the old are living longer, but their bodies and minds are in decline. This creates a gap that can be filled with lots of smart solutions. What’s yours?

From Ag to Food Tech

Everything that enhances our food production, delivery, distribution. We want to see better food for more people enabled with technology. We are especially keen to see solutions around functional foods and food as medicine. Let’s eat!

Health & Wellbeing

From lotions and potions to meditation, anything that makes us perform better, feel more wellness and be happier is in this category. From essential oils to apps, it all plays an important role. We want to see the passion that drives you forward.

The Smart Future

This category is deliberately broad, as we see so many amazing solutions enter the market. Smart workplace, smart building, better employee culture and satisfaction, smarter job sharing… the list goes on. Let’s get smarter!


Whether your solution is enabled or enhanced by Design, Robotics, Internet of Things, AI, AR/VR/MR or something else entirely is of course up to you. Whether it’s a SAAS or an eCommerce model or sold door to door, again that’s a choice. What’s important, however, is that you can show us why your choice of technologies (or lack of same) and distribution model makes your solution a winner.

Please note: If we don’t receive enough quality submissions in a certain category we reserve the right to not proceed with that category

The format

Selection and judging take place in three phases

  • Phase one: The judges go through all online submissions to select the semi-finalists in each category
  • Phase two: The semi-finalists are invited to pitch in front of the judging panel on day one of the event. From that the judges will select finalists in each category
  • Phase three: Finalists are invited to pitch in front of the full audience

The pitch format

You will have exactly three minutes to present. 

In the semi finals, there will time for Q&A after each presentation. 

You will not be able to use slides. 

We would encourage you to use props and you’re welcome to have multiple people on stage. 

If you have a physical product we want to see it, taste it, play with it. If you have a virtual-only product, see if you can create a physical representation of the product.

If you’re not sure, just ask. We teach hundreds of entrepreneurs to present from stage every year, so happy to share what works. You will receive a document with tips on structure and presentation once you have created your submission.

Key criteria for selection

  • Revenue, local and global. We evaluate whether we believe the business has the ability to scale rapidly and go global
  • Invest-ability. We evaluate whether the business will have relative ease in attracting investment to the business as a yardstick for attracting other resources like great team members, partnerships, media attention etc
  • Impact. We evaluate whether the solution has the ability to create impact over and above the norm in a particular and significant slice of the population


It’s important for us to represent diversity in a space like a pitch comp, and we mean any kind of diversity. Judging and selection, however, is based on neutral business driven criteria to ensure that businesses that are selected have the best chance of being successful regardless of the background and history of their founders.