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Technology & Entrepreneurship

Bexar County Startups Have Chance To Win $100,000 In Tech Bloc Competition

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Courtesy
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TechBloc

Bexar County and Tech Bloc, a San Antonio tech advocacy non-profit, announced a call for applications to TechFuel, a $100,000 startup pitch competition for early stage tech ventures.

Applications will be accepted from San Antonio and across Texas. The chair of this year’s TechFuel competition is Rackspace founder Dirk Elmendorf. The deadline for application is Sept. 3, 2021.

"What we're trying to do is really get everybody to rally resources around, helping startups focus, hone their pitches, get some funding and then go out and be very successful," Elmendorf said.

Following this open call for applications, Tech Bloc will select 25 semifinalists to pitch to a panel of judges in one of five brackets. One winner from each of the five brackets will then advance to compete as a finalist in the grand finale startup pitch event, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 14 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, according to a news release.

The TechFuel website explains the prize breakdown:

"A finalist from each group will be selected by their judging panel to advance to the final round of the competition. The 5 finalists will be awarded $2,500 each and will then compete for the Judges' Grand Prize of $50,000 live on October 14, 2021.

The TechFuel Showcase finalists will deliver a 5-minute pitch and have a 5-minute Q&A session with a panel of 5 judges through Facebook Live. Judges will then deliberate to select the Judges' Grand Prize of $50,000 winner, and 1st runner up. A live audience poll will be conducted to select the winners of the remaining prizes and awards of special recognition."

The TechFuel Showcase finalists will deliver a 5-minute pitch and have a 5-minute Q&A session with a panel of 5 judges through Facebook Live. Judges will then deliberate to select the Judges' Grand Prize of $50,000 winner, and 1st runner up. A live audience poll will be conducted to select the winners of the remaining prizes and awards of special recognition.

The TechFuel competition will be held during San Antonio Startup Week 2021, a two week-long celebration of San Antonio’s startup ecosystem from October 11-22, 2021.

New to this year’s TechFuel competition is a series of startup pitch preparation and coaching sessions donated to semifinalists and finalists by Geekdom through its pre-accelerator program.

TechFuel doubled the prize money in 2019, powered by Bexar County’s Innovation Fund. Each fiscal year, $1 million in economic incentive funds are allocated by the County to the Innovation Fund. Created in February 2016, the purpose of the fund is to foster local job recruitment, talent development competitions, business expansion and technical workforce training for targeted technology-based industries, stated a news release.

The pitch competition event will be free and open to the public. The public can also vote in the competition.

Applications can be submitted here. The submission deadline for applications is at midnight on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021.

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