SA Innovation Summit Pitching Den competition 2018 for early-stage startups

Application Deadline: June 1st 2018

Do you have a start-up or a business solution characterized by high growth potential, proprietary innovation, sustainable competitive advantage? Scroll down and submit your application to compete.

The Pitching Den Competition is a platform for HIGH GROWTH and START-UP (EMERGING) companies to pitch their business to a well-rounded panel of judges. In this way, the SA Innovation Summit celebrates emerging companies with tech-enabled solutions spanning across all industries. This competition category aims to encourage companies with the best growth potential to become market leaders, and to inspire future entrepreneurs and start-ups.

True success requires vision and leadership, financial accomplishment, strategic direction and innovation. This competition is designed to recognise and honour entrepreneurs and companies whose innovative tech-enabled solutions will have a significant impact on the growth of the African continent.

Set against the backdrop of SA Innovation Summit, the Pitching Den competition aims to promote and develop the entrepreneurial creativity of startups, able and willing to disrupt the status-quo, to showcase their ground-breaking products or services, to gain visibility across government officials, local, regional and international investors and industry titans, and to secure financial and business support in the stages of scaling and growth.

In 2018 Pitching Den invites high-growth early-stage startups from all over the world to pitch their innovative business solutions to a well-rounded panel of venture capitalists, angel investors and business development experts, and to compete for investment, maximum media exposure and networking opportunities with enablers and sponsors.

  • Showcase your technologies / ideas to a wider audience
  • Get PR exposure
  • Obtain access to funds and acceleration support (the judges will commit to second interviews if the pitches are of interest)
  • Tap into different markets (the audience will watch to make connections)
  • Have access to technical expertise (advisers, IP specialists & venture capitalists)
  • Get access to the Match and Invest Lounge, where key funders will be available for consultation (We put together a high impact group that would otherwise take years to identify and pitch to).

Eligibility Requirement:

The Competition is open to all early-stage high-potential startup companies, private or publicly held, who meet the following criteria:

  • a start-up with a turnover of up to ZAR 100 million;
  • the model is an original idea with unique IP of technological solutions;
  • the company demonstrates high growth potential, scalability, and/or has national or international expansion plans with a high level of commitment by shareholders and management team;
  • close to achieving break-even or profitability.

The business solutions belonging to one of the following tracks are encouraged:

  1. Bio & Health (Life Sciences, Pharma, Health, Biotech, Medtech, e-Health)
  2. Informative Tech (Digital, High Tech, Fintech, Robotics & IoT, Edutech & Entertainment, B2C and B2B solutions, Big data enabling Solutions, Smart Factory and Industry 4.0)
  3. Global Impact (Cleantech (Energy, Air, Water), Design Environment, Social Impact, Transport & Mobility, Smart Cities, Materials & processes)
  4. Industry 4.0
  5. Social Entrepreneurship

Competition entries will be evaluated by a team of expert judges. Judges will select up to 25  pitches from the initial pool of entries to compete in the final live pitch round.

During the preliminary evaluation process the pitches will be reviewed on the basis of the information provided in the online questionnaire according to the following criteria:

  • Business model and execution strategy quality;
  • Market attractiveness and ability to provide solution to the identified need;
  • Business proposition innovation level (technology, products and/or services);
  • Sound revenue and profit models;
  • Strategic competitive positioning;
  • Strong management team.


  • Deadline for submissions: 1 June 2018
  • Top 25 semi-finalists notification: July 2018
  • Pitching Den finale: 13 September 2018. A programme with exact times will be published in August 2018

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the SA Innovation Summit Pitching Den competition 2018



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