What Makes a Good Startup Pitch?

Artificial Intelligence, Robotics & Voice Technologies – SXSW Pitch 2022 – Photo by Isaiah Alonzo

Each year, SXSW invites companies from all over the world to showcase their ideas to push emerging technology forward at SXSW Pitch. Companies take the stage to pitch their startup in front of a live audience and panel of industry experts, high-profile media, and venture capital and angel investors. This fast-paced competition provides a glimpse of the industry's future and the creative ideas ready to change it.

But before all the fun, there are applications. And the big question is: from conception to the SXSW Pitch stage, what is the road to a successful startup?

Define Your Mission

First and foremost, is your startup innovative and disruptive? Does your startup solve a problem? What industry will your startup transform? These are the questions to ask yourself in order to discover the core of your company.

Another pivotal question is what makes you different in your market? The answer to this will propel you forward past your competition and narrow your target audience.

Show and Tell

When you are gearing up to share your startup with the world, don't forget to introduce the team behind the name. Think of ways to highlight key members from your team and those supporting your startup. It is a great opportunity for you to connect with your audience and users while humanizing your startup in your pitch to investors.

Tip: create a video for your presentation. There’s no better way to convey a thorough sense of your project than through a demo video. Show as well as tell when you get in front of the judges.

Take the Pitch Stage

Once you are ready to take your startup to the next level, apply to the 2023 SXSW Pitch competition. If selected as a finalist, there will be an opportunity to work on your Startup Elevator Pitch via pre-event coaching. SXSW Pitch Coaches work closely with the finalists to assist them in their onstage presentations.

Gain inspiration from past participants on our YouTube playlist of 2022 SXSW Pitch Winners.

Apply Today

Join the ranks of SXSW Pitch alumni greats with a combined total of over $14.5 billion in funding since 2009. Some of our prestigious alums include Klout, ICON, Hipmunk, Wildfire, Tubemogul, Siri, Foodspotting, and Tango.

Browse this season's Pitch Categories to select which area best aligns with your startup. Read through our FAQ for more information on eligibility requirements.

Apply by the early deadline of September 11, 2022 to save on the application fee. The final deadline is November 13, 2022 at 11:59pm PT. Don't miss your opportunity to pitch your startup at SXSW 2023!

Apply Now

See You in 2023

Mark your calendars for March 10-19 in Austin, TX to discover what's next in tech, film and tv, music, art, culture, and beyond. Register today for SXSW 2023 to experience this exciting pitch competition and so much more.

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(Top) Artificial Intelligence, Robotics & Voice Technologies – SXSW Pitch 2022 – Photo by Isaiah Alonzo and (Teaser) Health, Wearables and Wellbeing Technology – SXSW Pitch 2022 – Photo by Miguel Esparza

By Jordan Roberts