TechPitch whiteThe Cal Poly Small Business Development Center for Innovation (SBDC) and Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE), Softec and the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC) are calling all startups originating or headquartered in San Luis Obispo County or Northern Santa Barbara County to apply to the 4th annual TechPitch competition.

At this community event, six selected applicants will pitch their viable technology-related business idea to a panel of prominent industry experts and investors. Out of the six contestants, one winner will be chosen to receive a cash prize to be used towards business expenses and investment. In addition, to help them access capital, they will receive valuable professional consulting services, contacts and opportunities from the affiliate organizations.

Doug Hutcheson, former CEO of Leap Wireless International (the 5th largest telecommunications company) which sold to AT&T in March 2014, will serve as the event keynote speaker.

Entrepreneurs looking to participate must apply at techpitch.org and submit an executive summary of their business plan. The deadline to submit entries is midnight, Sept. 15, 2014.

Last year’s first place winners were tied between BakBone, LLC, manufacturer of tablet accessories, and Bishop Peak Technologies, LLC, a mobile app development agency and creators of the SLO bus tracker app. “Lively, engaging, inspiring,” said Paul Webber, CEO of BakBone, “Probably the best local forum to broadcast your innovation or idea to the community and beyond.”

“Winning TechPitch motivated our team to accelerate commercialization of our bus tracker app for nationwide deployment,” said John Osumi, CEO of Bishop Peak Technologies. He confirmed that his company has come a long way since last year’s event.

“We are looking for early-stage startups, ready for angel or even VC funding” said Judy Mahan, director of the Cal Poly SBDC. Mahan highlighted that entrepreneurs who qualify as finalists must be available for pitch coaching with the TechPitch committee during the three weeks prior to the event.

“Being both informative and enjoyable to watch, this important event is a vital community partnership that helps entrepreneurs refine their request and access investment capital to launch their business,” said Michael Manchak, EVC president.

The TechPitch event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Alex Madonna Expo Center in San Luis Obispo. For more information and event registration, please visit techpitch.org. Tickets are available to the general public for $35 per person; $250 per table of eight; and $15 for students. Please direct any questions to Chelsea Brown, Programs, Events and Media Coordinator, Cal Poly CIE at (805) 756-5171 or cbrown39@calpoly.edu.