Rise of the Rest $100K Pitch Competition: FAQ

Where can I apply?


Are there application entry fees?

No. Application to the pitch competition is completely free.

Where and when are the tour stops? *specific pitch competition venues will be announced at a later date

  • Monday, April 29 | Orlando, FL
  • Tuesday, April 30 | Space Coast, FL
  • Wednesday, May 1 | Tampa Bay, FL
  • Thursday, May 2 | Miami, FL
  • Friday, May 3 | San Juan, PR

Where does my startup need to be headquartered?

Typically, your startup has to be based within a 100-mile radius of one of our tour stop cities. This year, we are making three exceptions:

  1. Orlando & Northern FL cities: For our pitch competition in Orlando (4/29), startups based in Gainesville, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville are also eligible to apply. If you live in one of these cities, please select ‘Orlando’ from the dropdown when selecting the city in which you are applying to pitch.
  2. San Juan & Puerto Rico: For our tour stop in San Juan (5/3), startups from anywhere in Puerto Rico are eligible to apply.
  3. Space Coast: For our Space Coast pitch competition (4/30), startups located anywhere in the United States and its territories are invited to apply provided the company has a core focus that relates to space, drone, or aviation technologies or adjacent focus areas that support them or take advantage of associated data (see more below). Startups based in Florida who fit this description are also eligible to apply for the Space Coast day.

Note: you may only apply to pitch in one city. Since Tampa Bay and Orlando are located inside 100 miles from one another, you may choose either city. There is no advantage to applying in one city versus another.


What types of startups can apply?

All innovative startups are encouraged to apply. Applicants for our Orlando, Tampa Bay, Miami, and San Juan competitions are not limited to a single sector or industry. Past finalists have included (but not limited to) startups focused on: GovTech, FoodTech, SportsTech, AgTech, AI, IoT, Healthcare, UrbanTech and more.

Our pitch competition in Space Coast will be open to companies whose core focus relates to space, drone, or aviation technologies or adjacent focus areas that support them or take advantage of associated data. We are looking for companies from around the United States that are working on innovative ideas and business models that address critical problems relating to these industries, their partners and their customers.

Companies working in the space, drone, or aviation technology sectors may have any of the following focus areas:

  • AI and Autonomous Robotic Capabilities
  • Intelligent Machines
  • Force and Tactile Sensors
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality Advancements
  • Flexible Materials
  • Energy Storage Density Improvement
  • Radiation — Protection, Mitigation, and Hardware
  • Power Efficient Technologies
  • Next-generation Jet Propulsion Systems
  • Satellite Imagery and/or Data
  • Satellite Constellation Construction
  • VTOL

This list is non-exhaustive, so if you are working on another breakthrough, feel free to apply for a chance to pitch our investment team in Space Coast.

What types of tax-structure does my company need to have to be eligible?

Because we will make our investment through our Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, LP (“ROTR Fund”), we do not accept any applicants that are taxed as S-corporations. If your company is a C-Corp, LLC, or B-Corp you are eligible to apply.

What stage of development should my product/service be?

Eligible startups have a product/service that’s live or in beta form and has measurable performance indicators such as revenue, customers, successful beta results, etc. We encourage pre-seed, seed stage, and series A stage companies to apply.

Is my startup eligible to apply if it has raised money already?

Yes. You are encouraged to apply.

What stage startups should apply?

Startups that are currently raising an early-stage round or planning to raise an early-stage round in the next 6-12 months are eligible.  We define early stage as angel, seed, Series A. 

If you have never raised any outside capital you are also still eligible to apply.

When is the application deadline?

Monday, March 11, 2019 by 11:59 PM EST

Can I start my application, save, and come back later?

Yes, by creating a login with our pitch application platform, you will be able to start an application and return to it later. 

What is the review process?

A team of ROTR Seed Fund investment professionals review all applications.

Companies are judged on:

  • Bold Idea — Does the idea “swing for the fences” and have the potential to disrupt a big industry, affect your community, or even change the world?
  • Jobs — Will the idea, if it scales, employ a large number of people?
  • Team — Does the team have the skills and leadership to move forward on this idea?
  • Execution — Is there strong customer growth, revenue, or other measurable traction?
  • Business Model — Has a revenue model been defined and is it realistic and sustainable?


Do I have to include a pitch deck in my application?



Do I have to include a video in my application?

No, but it is highly recommended. We encourage you to post a video that is either a demo or a 60-second clip of the founder(s) explaining what the company does. We find it’s helpful to hear directly from you, and we aren’t looking for high production quality. You can include a link to a video you have posted on your website or a link to a hidden video on YouTube. 

Do I have to include a reference in my application?

No, but it is highly recommended. If you received the invitation to apply from a local accelerator, co-work space or fund with which you are affiliated, we suggest you list that organization and your primary point of contact there as your reference.

What happens at the pitch competition?

If selected, you will pitch your company in front of a panel of judges, including Steve Case. One representative of your company will give a 4-minute presentation, followed by 3 minutes of Q&A from our judges. Following the presentation, the judges will deliberate and announce the winner of a $100,000 investment. The event is free and open to the public; friends and family are invited to attend. Check www.events.revolution.com for the opportunity to RSVP.

Can more than one-person pitch per company?

No, only one founder is permitted to pitch. We permit a co-founder to join on stage for Q&A. 

If I am not selected as a finalist, can I still attend in the event?

Yes! The pitch and is free to attend, but space is limited. We encourage you to RSVP at www.events.revolution.com

What are the terms of the investment?

If the winning company currently has an open round of funding, the ROTR Seed Fund will target participation in the current round, provided that such round is for preferred equity or convertible securities convertible into preferred equity.

If the company is not currently fundraising outside of the competition, the ROTR Seed Fund will invest via a convertible note with the following terms: 18-month maturity; 6% simple interest; 20% discount and valuation cap. ROTR Seed Fund also requires certain information rights and participation rights in future financing rounds.

Investment is subject to standard due diligence procedures and compliance with standard ROTR Seed Fund administrative and reporting requirements.

When will finalists be notified?

The finalists will be notified by Monday, April 1, 2019.

If I am selected as a finalist, what happens next?

  • You will be required to confirm within 24 hours that you are available to pitch in your city on the date the tour stops in your city.
  • You will be required to be available from 12PM—5PM the day prior to the pitch competition and to be available from 8AM—7PM the day of the pitch competition. Pitch finalists are invited to participate in other Rise of the Rest tour programming in the morning, then have mandatory pitch rehearsal session mid-day. The main event is 3PM—7PM, with the pitch competition occurring from 5:30PM—7PM.
  • You will receive professional storytelling and pitch coaching, courtesy of Rise of the Rest. This is a required prep session.
  • You will be invited to join a group call to review the terms of the investment should you win and to answer any general questions about the pitch process.
  • You will sign a release, granting Rise of the Rest permission to use your company and persons affiliated with your company in promotional and press materials for the tour. 

What types of companies have won in the past?

Learn more about the winners of the ROTR 7.0 pitch competitions here.

How long will it take to apply?

The application should only take 20-30 minutes to complete, and you can start the application, save, and return to the page later. To prepare, see below for application questions.



Rise of the Rest city where you are applying to pitch: *

Your startup has to be based within a 100-mile radius of one of our tour stop cities.

  • For our pitch competition in Orlando, startups based in Gainesville, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville are eligible to apply.
  • For our pitch competition in San Juan, startups from anywhere in Puerto Rico are eligible to apply.
  • For our pitch competition in Space Coast, we are opening up applications to companies located anywhere in the United States and its territories, provided they meet the core focus requirements.

You may only apply to pitch in one city. Since Tampa Bay and Orlando are located inside 100 miles from one another, you may choose either city. There is no advantage to applying in one city versus another.

Company name: * 

Company website:*

Company industry:*

Founding month / year: *

Your name: *

Your email: * 

Your position in the company: * 

Phone number: * 

LinkedIn profile: * (e.g. http://www.linkedin.com/in/janedoe)

Do you plan to pitch on stage? If no, please list the name and LinkedIn profile of the person pitching: *

Number of employees in the company:*

To date, how much money has your company raised:*

(Please include angel, friends & family, institutional capital, and any non-dilutive funding. If you currently have an open round that is not closed, do not include that.)


Please explain what your company does in one short, succinct sentence.

“X company is a B2B marketplace connecting purchasers of widgets with global manufacturers of widgets” or “X company is an app-based, on-demand medical transportation company.”


In one short paragraph, please explain why your company is positioned for scalable success.

Include details like the problem you are solving, customers you are serving, market opportunity, and how you make money. Limit 200 words.


In bullet point format, please share some key metrics and indicators of your progress to date.

As applicable, include revenue or other performance metrics, user data, customer traction, key partnerships, patents, and any other key information you think is important.


How have you funded the company to date and what are your current fundraising goals?

Provide a short timeline that includes date of funding, type of funding, and notable investors. Please also list any accolades or non-dilutive funding such as pitch competition wins, accelerator participation, and/or grants.


Tell us about the team you have assembled with detail on your executive leadership team and plans for upcoming hires.

How is the team uniquely qualified to build this company? Limit 200 words.

REFERENCES (recommended)

Please list 1-2 references who can speak to your experience and/or your company.

References can include investors, angels, advisors, mentors, or professors/university representatives. Please provide name, title, company, and email address.


Pitch deck (required)

Acceptable file types: pdf, mp4, mov, ppt, pptx, avi, mpg, 3gp, flv, webm, wmv, mkv, m4v.

Link to demo or company video (optional)

Please upload a brief video describing your company and vision. Examples of videos include: a past pitch competition, a product demo from your website, or a private YouTube link of the founder speaking about the company.

Note: eight companies will be selected to pitch in each city, but through the pitch application process, we learn a lot about your company and experience. We may invite you to participate in another part of the day.