The Blackstone Launchpad and Techstars network has announced the 30 student startup teams competing in the semifinalist round of its annual pitch competition this February 8th and 9th. Nominated by Campus Directors at nearly all of the 30 LaunchPad network colleges and universities, students were evaluated based on four criteria: Innovation, Business Model and Viability, Team, and Pitch Quality.
Competing in early February before over 40 judges from the Blackstone and Techstars networks, these student founders will be vying for one of seven spots to pitch live at the 2021 LaunchPad Annual Pitch Competition hosted virtually at the Startup Grind Global Conference, at Startup Grind on February 23rd through 25th. At that event, the seven finalists LaunchPad students will be competing for a chance at winning a total of $55,000 in prizes. (There will also be a ‘People’s Choice’ element to the competition, with online voting February 16-23rd! So stay tuned...)
Semifinalist student startups come from a wide range of industries, from healthcare and biotech like CarpeMed and PHIXED Systems, to fintech, like StartSmart and FSCL. There are also a number of innovative startups offering consumer goods, like Yaupon Brothers American Tea, SporeAttic, and Oga Faaji. Students are from many schools in the LaunchPad network, with 11 coming from University of California schools, 6 coming from University of Texas schools (fresh on the heels of a LaunchPad network expansion there), and 13 coming from other schools from as far as Montana and New York - one student startup even hails from Ireland! The top 30 semifinalist startups also represent a variety of both students and teams that have participated in LaunchPad programming before, such as ReadyTeddy from the Fall 2020 Social Impact-focused LaunchPad Fellowship program and Unlimited Jewelry which originated just months ago at one of the 2020 LaunchPad Startup Weekends. Others are gaining access to the entrepreneurial skill-development opportunities LaunchPad offers for the very first time.