FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Point of Contact:
Director, ITEN WIRED
ITEN WIRED, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), Space Florida, and TechFarms Capital are pleased to announce the ITEN WIRED Innovation Awards startup pitch competition to be held on October 19, 2023 in conjunction with the ITEN WIRED Summit. The competition is open to pre-seed and seed-stage companies in Northwest Florida.
The ITEN WIRED Summit is a two-day event that will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders from across the region. The summit will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities.
“We are excited to partner with ITEN WIRED for this pitch competition,” said Danielle Mousseau, Manager of Economic Development, 35 Mules – an innovation hub within FPL. “It aligns with our mission of supporting Florida’s startup ecosystem. This is a great opportunity for early-stage companies in Northwest Florida to showcase their businesses to the attendees of the Summit and pitch to a panel of experienced investors and technologists.”
“We are thrilled to work with ITEN WIRED to invest in this community and fuel early-stage companies in Northwest Florida,” said Frank DiBello, president and CEO, Space Florida. “At Space Florida, we are creating an ecosystem where companies can get everything they need to see their new ideas take off. Our goal is to serve as a catalyst for innovation and collaboration.”
The pitch competition will be held on the afternoon of October 19 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach. The top six startups will pitch their businesses to a panel of independent judges, and three winners will receive $50,000 for 1st place, $25,000 for 2nd place, and $25,000 for third place. The three awards are non-dilutive, which means that the winning companies do not have to give up equity for the awards received. The award dollars are supported by FPL and Space Florida.
“We are looking for innovative and disruptive companies solving real problems,” said Kelly Reeser, Managing Partner of TechFarms Capital. “FPL and Space Florida want to build the statewide emerging tech ecosystem by fueling the growth of companies in the region that have the potential to make a significant impact.”
To be eligible to participate in the pitch competition, companies must meet the following criteria:
- Be located in Northwest Florida, either HQ or significant operations
- Be in pre-seed or seed stage (less than $1M in revenue run-rate, have raised <$2M in external capital, and are seeking to raise $5M or less in the next 12-18 months)
- Be a technology startup in a qualified sector including but not limited to energy innovation, aerospace or emerging technologies
- Have a product/service that’s live or in beta form and have measurable performance indicators such as revenue, customers, successful beta results, etc.
Applications for the pitch competition are due by Noon CDT Friday, September 1, 2023. For more information and to apply, please visit https://itenwired.com/pitch-competition.
About Florida Power & Light Company’s 35 Mules innovation hub: 35 Mules is the first in-house innovation hub backed by a global energy leader, NextEra Energy. Sitting under Florida Power & Light Company, it provides early-stage startups in its program with cross-industry subject-matter expertise, entrepreneurial coaching and programming, world-class facilities and access to Fortune 500 corporate and technology leaders. Additionally, 35 Mules provides support to Florida’s startup ecosystem through organizations and events like ITEN WIRED. https://www.35mules.com/
About Space Florida: Space Florida is where leading aerospace companies get everything they need to see their new ideas take off. As that state’s aerospace finance and development authority, Space Florida brings a mix of unrivaled experience, unmatched financial tools, and unbeatable location to the table by providing critical business financing opportunities for the aerospace industry, managing infrastructure investment in the state’s spaceport system, and facilitating research and development, workforce, education, and investment programs. Visit www.spaceflorida.gov for more information.
About ITEN WIRED: ITEN (Innovation Technology Entrepreneur Network) WIRED Summit is the Southeast’s premier cyber security and IT conference to connect, collaborate and build community with industry leaders, entrepreneurs and educators on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship topics. https://itenwired.com/
About TechFarms Capital: TechFarms Capital invests in early-stage tech startups in the Southeast United States. Based in Northwest Florida, Fund I was established to professionalize access to seed-stage capital required by an increasing number of tech startups. https://www.techfarmscapital.com/