What Is The ‘Start-Up Showdown’ And Whose On The Judging Panel This Month?

Startup Showdown is a unique opportunity for early-stage startups to present to well-known investors and innovators in the tech ecosystem as they look to take their company to the next level.

All finalists will get the chance to pitch to VC investors but only one startup founder will walk away with $120,000 to expand their business. Hosted monthly by Panoramic Ventures, there are six open application periods and 12 events each year.

September’s ‘showdown’ will be hosted live in Miami on Thursday and broadcast globally as a fully hybrid event.

“Startup Showdown is a unique opportunity for early-stage startups to present to well-known investors and innovators in the tech ecosystem as they look to take their companies to the next level,” said Paul Judge, Managing Partner of Panoramic.

“Finalists will pitch to VCs while establishing long-lasting connections in the entrepreneur ecosystem. Our goal with this series of competitions is to democratize the funding process in order to showcase the most promising talent in the next frontier of innovation, regardless of race, gender, or geographic location,” he added.

Who are the judges?

Paul Judge

Paul judge is the CEO and founder of Luma, the home WiFi company. He is also the Co-Founder of TechSquare Labs, an incubator, seed fund, and corporate innovation space in Atlanta, and the Co-Founding Chairman of Looklive and Monsieur. Paul holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Morehouse College and received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Network Security from Georgia Tech.

Brian Brackeen

Brian Brackeen is a general partner at Lightships Capital, a $50 million Cincinnati-based VC firm dedicated to backing underrepresented entrepreneurs in the Midwest. He is also known to be a thought leader in the Artificial Intelligence space, having founded and led a globally recognized provider for face recognition.

Ana Paula Gonzalez

Ana Paula Gonzalez is a director of Softbank Miami Initiative, building out the investment platform for the group in Media city. Previously Ana spent more than four years at 500 startups, one of the most active VC investors globally. Before 500 Startups, she spent half a decade developing the impact investing field in Latin America, leading investment and acceleration programs.

She holds an MBA from Columbia Business school with honors and a Bachelor in International Business from Tec de Monterrey.

Chris Adamo

Last but not least is Chris Adamo, an active angel investor and advisor in dozens of high-growth startups. He is also the founding partner of Flamingo, a Miami-based syndicate. He is also chief business offer at media tech startup Whereby.Us and their newsletter SaaS platform Letterhead.

How does it work?

The Panoramic investment team will thoroughly review every application submitted for Startup Showdown. The team will narrow the applicant pool to 25 semifinalists who will reap the benefits of a Mentor Day. They will receive pitch support and advice from founders and tech executives from 20+ leading companies in the region.

Ultimately, five Startup Showdown semifinalists will be selected to virtually pitch on June 24 in front of a panel of guest judges. The winner of the Startup Showdown will be provided with the opportunity to have Panoramic Ventures invest up to $120,000 in it.

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Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.

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