What you need to apply
Our goal is to help startups gain faster access to capital and mentorship by consensus ranking and relationship building. Pitch contests last ~2-3 weeks and are designed to be more inclusive than a typical incubator or accelerators programs. While our team does vet applicants for initial quality standards, the majority of the validating is done by the collective judgment of our investor and industry insider communities.
Startups
  • 25-30 word elevator pitch
  • 2 minute founder video (you can add this after application)
  • Get invited to one or more contests
  • Slide deck and project summary
  • Links to your core team’s social media
  • Q&A—Answers to our standardized "investor" questions
  • Milestones—past and projected (you can edit this at anytime)
  • Execution of our SAFE Agreement on the last step of your application
Investors
  • Affirmation of your accredited status
  • Payment of contest entry fee where required
  • A desire to help startups with your feedback, ranking and optional mentorship
Domain Experts
  • Invitation by 47Pitches to judge a pitch contest
  • Confirmation to accept or reject equity SAFE rewards. You can opt out of SAFE rewards if your are unable or do not wish to receive the bonus for voting for the winning projects
  • Profile description and optional photo
Investors and Domain Experts compete to earn equity or future investment rights by ranking their favorite projects. Funding can be negotiated at any time.
Join a Contest Now
How it works

Each startup stakes a small piece of their future equity and/or future investment rights via a SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity). Judges who rank the winning projects (each judge can rank five projects in order of their preference) earn a proportionate share of the staked SAFE. While any required equity share is small—typically just 1-3%—it can increase investor engagement and create a stakeholder bond. That can result in the additional investment and/or mentorship that’s vital to a project’s success.

Our Iceberg(TM) screening process helps investors to rapidly screen, shortlist, and rank projects more efficiently via 25-30 word elevator pitches and one minute founder videos. Investors can also use the consensus rankings and community feedback to make better informed investment decisions.

Investors and startups can negotiate funding at any time, using either traditional structures or through tokenized SAFEs that 47Pitches can help structure.

Earn Equity: VC and Angel investors compete to earn equity or future investment rights by ranking their favorite projects

Investors compete to earn equity or future investment rights SAFEs in their favorite projects. This increases engagement, creates a unique crowdsourced ranking metric, and helps attract top investors and industry experts to our contests.

Faster Traction: Build an investor and mentor network in two weeks

Our contests help compress the time to build important relationships between investors and startups that serve as a basis for current and/or future funding. Most contests run for ~2 - 3 weeks and are typically open to 50 startups and 20 - 30 investor and industry judges.

Winning projects earn consensus-based rankings that reflect the collective judgment of pools of experienced investors and industry insiders. But the contest is only the beginning. All contestants get access to professional feedback, and they can invite investors to join their online mentorship communities to keep information and funding discussions flowing after the contest ends, irrespective of ranking.

Contest outcomes can include:
  1. Investors and industry insiders earn free equity stakes by helping rank their favorite startups
  2. Consensus-based rankings that reflect the collective judgment of groups of experienced investors and industry insiders
  3. Lifelong relationships and online mentorships between startups and investors
  4. Faster potential funding—in as little as 2 to 3 weeks
  5. Increased deal flow to investors and investment opportunities at early stage valuations
  6. Industry insiders get to connect with projects that could disrupt their industry
Get started—it’s easy

Investors and Industry Insiders can apply in minutes. Startup applications require project related information, but the first phase to see if you qualify is still fast and easy. See what you need to apply.

If you have a great idea, or would like to mentor or invest in someone else who has a great idea, you can apply to join one of our elevator pitch contests listed below—or simply register to receive notices about upcoming contests.

Advantages
Startups
  • Connect and build relationships with top investors quickly
  • Faster path to funding
  • Less dilution and no out of pocket expense
  • Network with industry experts
  • Competitive process. Let investors compete for your project
  • One pitch to ~50 investors instead of 50 pitches—saves time and resources all online—no relocation
  • More inclusive—screening and validating is done by investors or industry insiders
Investors
  • Earn future future investment rights and/or equity in your favorite startups via SAFEs
  • Increase your deal flow
  • Establish early relationships with great startup
  • More efficient deal flow screening and vetting by short form video and 30 word elevator pitches. Drill down and engage directly with only the projects you’re interested in--all on one standardized platform
  • Access consensus rankings from other investors and industry insiders for better decision making
Industry insiders
  • Connect with the most exciting new startups in your industry
  • Earn equity or future investment rights SAFEs (subject to individual contests terms)
  • Join mentor communities and get ongoing access and updates from your favorite projects
How Startups can get from Pitch to funding in 2 weeks
Join a contest
Get your project in front of experienced investors and industry insiders. You can apply for sector specific contests like FinTech, Blockchain etc., or general contests like “best startups 2020”. Most are open to any size, stage or location projects. Participation is limited to 50 startups— so apply early.
Pitch
Add your 25-30-word elevator pitch and 1-2 minute selfie video. This is the most important, and sometimes the most challenging, part of your application. It’s your first impression on the investors—and what they’ll use to screen and shortlist your project. Be concise. Your pitch should communicate the essence of your value proposition clearly and compellingly, but should not try to preempt every possible question. You will provide more detail and interact with investors and insiders during the second phase of the contest.
Create your full profile
Investors who like your pitch can drill down to view your slide deck, milestone projections, social media links, Q&A, or connect with your personally via your message boards.
Create competition with equity SAFEs
This is a small piece of future equity or future investment rights that you stake to incentivize investors to evaluate and rank and hopefully fund your project.. It increases investor engagement and creates competition and urgency amongst the investor community. Investor SAFEs are only assessed on the top 3 ranking projects—but can also be used as a potential funding mechanism for any of the contestants.
Create your investor Network
Once the contest begins you can interact with investors and industry insiders via your personal chat platform and invite investors or industry insiders to join your online mentor community.
Get ranked
The contest ends with consensus rankings by both the investor and industry insider communities. The judges rank their top five startups in order or preference. Those with the highest point score win. Ranking create a valuable metric that can bring recognition and increase funding interest in your project.
Negotiate funding
Projects can negotiate funding at any time with investors in the contest. Importantly, you don’t have to win a top ranking to comment with interested investors and negotiate mentorships or funding- either at the contest conclusion or at a later date. Everyone wins when you network on 47Pitches.
Our goal is to help great startups create valuable relationships with motivated investors and industry insiders that expedite the funding and mentorships that bring success.
FAQs

If you don’t have 3-4 months to spend, or you feel you’re ready to pitch investors now, 47Pitches is a great option. You don’t have to relocate, spend money, or give away a lot of equity. Accelerators are often hard to get into and involve intense prescreening. With 47Pitches, the contest IS the screening process. We help you engage and impress the investors as to the merits of your project, so pitch contests can offer a cheaper, faster, and more inclusive process for getting funded.

Yes, you can do both. Accelerators are great if you need more mentoring—and some will give you initial funding to help you get started. You can start with one of our pitch contests to validate your project before applying to an accelerator. You can also apply after you’ve completed an accelerator program if you still need to connect with investors in order to raise capital or get market validation.

Investors gain insights from the combined wisdom and feedback of the other community members. Investing in startups is challenging, though rewarding, even for top venture capitalists. Our process renders consensus verdicts and discussion from large pools of incentivized investors and industry insiders, so each investor can benefit from the insights of the others. Once a Pitch contest is completed, investors can negotiate investment directly with the winning startups or join other investors as part of a group syndicate. The bigger the investor pool, the stronger the consensus value when choosing which projects to invest in.

Pitch contests are expected to last approximately two weeks once investors and startups are fully onboarded.

  • Startups: Startups are not required to pay a cash fee and instead make a small equity assignment to the platform and investing pool (see below). Optional premium features are available to help startups better manage their presentation.
  • Investors: Investors are charged participation fees that vary from contest to contest. These support our platform and help insure the quality of the investor pools. Currently, investors can participate in their first 47Pitches contest at no cost, thereafter they will be invited to participate under one of our subscription plans.
  • Industry insiders: Insiders can participate by invitation only, at no charge.

Industry insiders create their own consensus ranking of the project contestants. While the Investor consensus reflects the collective judgment of the investors about the fundability and potential appreciation of the projects, the Insider consensus is more oriented towards market acceptance and the feasibility of the project applications.

Investors can use consensus feedback from both groups to help make better informed investment decisions. Startups get valuable feedback and mentorship from the industry insiders about their products and other issues in their target spaces. The insiders themselves can earn SAFE awards, connect with future disrupters in their industry, and get ongoing progress reports from each project.

While obviously there are no guarantees, if you win top ranking in one of our pitch contests it reflects the combined judgment of the investor and insider judges. That creates a unique metric that can help increase your recognition with investors and/or the market your project addresses. Even if you don’t get a high ranking, you can establish relationships and get valuable feedback from the judges about your project.

Startups can apply for as many contests as they like, but can only participate in one at a time. If your project doesn’t rank highly, you can still form a mentor group or negotiate funding with the investors who did rank you. The feedback you receive can also be invaluable and prepare you to rank higher in the next contest you enter.

Investors can also reapply, but we limit both the number of startups and investors per contests to about 50 in most cases.

No. If you don’t rank in the top 3 projects in any contest, your investor SAFE commitment is void. Your Platform SAFE is not refundable, but will be applied to future contests. So, there’s no additional equity or cash cost to apply for future contests. Our goal is to help you connect with the right investors and mentors to make your project a success.
Each project assigns 1-3% of its future equity to the voting pool, depending on the contest. Concept stage contests usually require more equity, while later stage or sector-specific contests usually require less. If you don’t rank within the top 3 consensus winners, your investor SAFE is voided and there’s no assessment. The Platform SAFE—typically 0.5%—is not refundable and goes to compensate 47Pitches for the use of its platform and for access to our investor communities.
It depends on the contest. Most contests provide for a SAFE pool for both investors and industry insiders. If your position doesn’t allow you to accept outside compensation and the startups you rank win the consensus vote, you can opt out of the award. While investor SAFE rewards typically include future investment rights, industry insider SAFEs do not.
Not at this time. We may in the future provide for a guaranteed minimum investment in the consensus winning projects. Winning the consensus rankings can increase your chances of accessing funding and/or negotiating better terms, but that’s a function of the investor pool’s interest in your project and other factors outside of our control.

Contests end with the consensus rankings for the projects with the most votes from each of the investor and industry insider judges. Once the awards have been rendered, the equity SAFEs are distributed pro-rata to the winning consensus voters. At that point, the investors can also negotiate additional investment in any of the projects—whether they’ve received top aggregate ranking or not.

After the contest, startups can retain their profile on our site for a small monthly fee. The first 60 days are free. They can post updates on their milestones and other events; investors can elect to receive those updates. Investors and projects can also continue to dialogue via the startups’ message boards and can negotiate funding at any time.

STARTUPS
  • Connect and build relationships with top investors quickly
  • Faster path to funding
  • Less dilution and no out of pocket expense
  • Network with industry experts
  • Competitive process. Let investors compete for your project
  • One pitch to ~50 investors instead of 50 pitches. That saves time and resources. An all online process means no relocation
  • More inclusive—screening and validating is done by investors or industry insiders
INVESTORS
  • Increase your deal flow
  • Establish early relationships with great startups
  • Fast Screening via concise, 25-word elevator pitches, shortlist, and drill-down on one platform
  • Earn future equity and future investment rights in your favorite startups
  • Access to consensus rankings from other investors and industry insiders

A SAFE is a Simple Agreement for Future Equity. A SAFE is a mechanism created by YCombinator to make it easier to invest in early stage startups where fair valuations can be difficult to determine. SAFEs can include future investment rights (“FIRs”) and other mechanisms designed to protect both the startup and investors, including anti-dilution protections that are tied to pricing of future investment rounds.

47Pitches uses SAFEs uniquely in two ways:

  • As a simple way to reward and engage our ranking jurors with small equity assignments that don't require investment or complicated documentation. Our SAFES serve as a grant of a defined percentage of a startup's future equity at its exit IPO or Sale. Typically this is 1-2%, shared by the consensus-winning pool of judges and industry insiders who rank the winning projects in each contest.
  • We also use SAFEs to allow founders to raise capital by selling SAFEs to qualified investors, subject to applicable regulations and conditions. This can make it easier for the founders to raise smaller sums of startup capital with a broader group of Accredited investors, both inside and outside the 47Pitches community.

Consensus is rendered on a weighted point system, where the total number of points a project receives is determined by each juror’s ranking (1 to 5) where a top ranking of #1 = 5 points, #2 = 4 points, etc.

So, for example, if a project receives 3 judge rankings as #1 (15 points), 4 rankings as #2 (16 points), and 5 rankings as #3 (15 points), its total points would be 46 points. If this point total puts it within the top three ranked projects, it would be deemed a contest winner.

The judges who ranked the contest winners would be eligible for a portion of the winning projects’ total SAFE allocations. A winning project’s SAFE assignment is allocated to the winning ranking judges in proportion to their ranking. The proportion of the total SAFE assignment allocated between the #1, #2, and #3 categories will, along with other terms, vary from contest to contest as defined in each contest’s SAFE agreement. Contest participants can contact info@47Pitches.com for information about SAFE assignments and other terms.

The core goal of our pitch contests is to allow investors, industry insiders, and great startups to create networked connections that propel the future success of the project. So it really doesn't matter if a startup ranks in the top 3 projects, even though a high ranking may increase the likelihood of faster funding. Regardless of a startup’s ranking we invite any investors who ranked it in their top 5 to participate in a syndicated funding of the project. Syndicate investment terms can be proposed by either the startup or the syndicate at the end of the contest, and both sides can negotiate funding on or off our platform. Our goal is to get deserving startups funded and mentored by engaged and experienced investors who add value to the project at all stages.
The contest also provides a new way for investors to access and vet LawTech deal flow more efficiently and negotiate current or future funding at early stage valuations. Both investors and law industry insiders can win equity positions or future investment rights in the consensus winning startups by ranking their favorite projects. You can also join the ongoing online mentor communities for any of the projects regardless of their final contest ranking.
Next