Elevate’s AI Pitch Competition Puts $1 Million on the Line

More pitch competitions is always a good thing. It forces companies to be on their game, determine an MVP, and meet new people, all with the shot at some funding or services if they win.

The latest to be announced is the ElevateR Pitch: AI Edition competition organized by Elevate, Publicis.Sapient and NextAI. It is a March Madness-style competition that will showcase 16 Canadian AI startups as they pitch to investors, celebrities, and media personalities, with a total of $1 million on the line.

Elevate, a well known Toronto-based tech festival, is hosting the event. The finalists will all face off during the festival’s main stage event on September 25—right before keynote speaker AL Gore hits the stage—and each of them will have a chance to take home a portion of the total million-dollar pot.

“We’re excited to participate in Elevate again this year and create ElevateR Pitch,” said Alyssa Altman, president of Publicis.Sapient. “This is an important event for the tech industry in Canada. Our tech and innovation ecosystem is on the leading edge, and we need to keep and attract talent in Canada. As leaders in the tech and AI arena, we have a responsibility and the opportunity to elevate our industry and accelerate our growth in the global marketplace.”

The prize money will be provided by ScaleUP Ventures and Espresso Capital. Previous judges at Elevate’s pitch competitions have included Michele Romanow, Bruce Croxon, Michael Hyatt and others.

In order to apply, Canadian startups must submit a three-minute video to pitch for one of the 16 finalist spots. Applications are due by July 31, and as long as the company is Canadian, focused on AI and has raised less than $10 million, they are eligible.

“Canada’s most promising AI companies will be discovered on the Elevate Main Stage,” said Razor Suleman, CEO and co-founder of Elevate. “We’re bringing the whole country together for a truly Made-in-Canada competition.”