Charleston To Compete Against Startup Cities At Collision Conference


Charleston has been selected to compete against other top emerging startup cities in the Launch Pad PITCH competition at the 2016 Collision Conference taking place April 26-28 in New Orleans. The Harbor Entrepreneur Center will lead the selection process for the three companies that will represent the city.

“This is yet another validation that the Charleston Region entrepreneur ecosystem is on the rise. This is a great opportunity to gain national exposure for both three local start ups and our region’s innovation community.” said John Osborne, Director of The Harbor Entrepreneur Center.

The competition will showcase the nation’s most promising companies being built outside of San Francisco and New York. Twenty-four companies chosen to represent startup cities like Nashville, New Orleans and Charleston will have 5 minutes on the Launch Pad stage to convince a panel of judges that they’re ready to take off.

Each city will have its own unique selection criteria to ensure their ecosystem is represented to the fullest extent. Four companies from the 24 will advance to the semi-finals of the Collision PITCH competition with a chance to present in front of 10,000+ attendees, including hundreds of investors.

“We know there are rising markets where founders are building meaningful companies. To help us identify the right markets, we partnered with Revolution and Venture for America, both organizations who know the value of the emerging startup landscape better than anyone else in the US,” said Chris Schultz, CEO of Launch Pad.

Charleston will compete against the following startup cities and organizations from across the nation:

● Buffalo and the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise
● Nashville and The Nashville Entrepreneur Center
● New Orleans and Idea Village
● Pittsburgh and Thrill Mill
● Raleigh-Durham and The Startup Factory
● San Antonio and Geekdom

The companies representing Charleston will be selected on March 1st and all participating companies will be announced March 16th at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

In just two years, Collision Conference, created by the team behind Web Summit, has grown to over 7,500 attendees from more than 50 countries. Attendees include CEOs of both the world’s fastest growing startups and the world’s largest companies, alongside leading investors and media. Collision 2016 will welcome thousands of attendees to New Orleans, in between the two weekends of Jazz Fest.

The Harbor Entrepreneur Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing entrepreneurship and scalable companies in the Charleston Region. Through an accelerator program for innovative startup companies, a Propel program & Forum Groups for further-stage founders, high-impact events, and multiple sites offering workspace throughout the region, The Harbor creates ways to collide the most motivated, smart and capable entrepreneurs.


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