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All startup founders and entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for this year’s StartUp Lehigh Valley pitch competition taking place on Wed., Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m., where the top three winners take home a slice of up to $33,000 in prizes awarded. This is our fourth year showcasing innovation happening in our community, supporting the next generation of local business leaders, and hearing pitches live onstage. So, how do you take your application and pitch from good to great? Follow our Top 5 tips here, then come prepared to wow our judges, Mike Tierney (founder & CEO of Stuffed Puffs), Sue Yee (founder and CEO of Active Data), Doug Engler (Lehigh Valley Regional Manager for Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania), and Chris LaBonge (owner of Doan Distillery, co-owner of the Trolley Barn Public Market, and Principal at Adtell, Inc.).

  1. Follow the application instructions and our guidelines properly. Are you working with partners or co-founders? Talk through the process and make sure everyone is on the same page.
  2. Practice. And then practice some more. In a pitch competition, you need to be sure your message is delivered as well as it could be. Your practice should include delivering your presentation in the time you are allotted, knowing how to use and troubleshoot any technology you may be using, and then doing a dress rehearsal of the whole process. If you can, ask friends and family to watch so you can get used to having an audience who can give you helpful feedback.

  3. Check out former participants and winners. Our past winners are on our website, and Nicole Chinnici of Organtick, our winner in 2021, will be on hand at this year’s competition.

  4. Show passion to prove that you believe in your product or service. Remember that this pitch is a great opportunity to impress the judges and audience members. Pay attention to details ahead of time, and show confidence and capability while onstage.

  5. Be yourself, and be authentic and true to who you are. Tell your story and how your product or service solves a problem. Show how your abilities and experiences can make your business a success. These are the things that will draw investors into your pitch and want to help you succeed.

See you October 26 at StartUp Lehigh Valley!