Spokane Journal of Business

Popular Founders Live pitch event to come to Spokane

Founders Live slates first INW competition for early next month

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Founders Live, a Seattle-based media company for entrepreneurs, is bringing its popular 99-second pitch competition to Eastern Washington with a pitch and happy-hour networking event Jan. 12, in Spokane Valley.

Founders Live is a media platform that provides entrepreneurial education, networking, and resources, and hosts pitch competitions and networking events in about 100 cities and 30 countries, according to its website.

Kelli Thompson, a volunteer leader of Founders Live Spokane, says the free event will feature up to five startup founders who will pitch their businesses in 99 seconds, followed by four minutes of questions and answers. Audience participants will vote on a winning presentation and the pitch winner will receive an award, have an opportunity to share more about their company, product, or service, and receive entry into a global Founders Live competition.

The event will be held at Burbity Workspaces, at 2818 N. Sullivan Road, in the Sullivan Valley Commons office complex.

Thompson says any startup business can apply as long as its annual revenue is less than $5 million.

She adds that businesses should “have a new product, service, or company they’re starting and are either looking for venture capital to fund a business venture, or they’re looking for employees or services to help them build their business. So, it’s just helping connect them with people in the community who can support entrepreneurs.”

Award winners will receive a $10,000 Amazon Web Services credit for technical infrastructure assistance.

About 50 attendees are expected at the pitch event.

Thompson says she plans to schedule six Founders Live events in 2023 and grow attendance to an average of 100 to 250 people.

Pitch applications will be accepted through Jan. 6, she says. 

“We’ll also be helping the founders … with the delivery of their pitch,” she says. “It’s just good practice for a startup to be able to craft their pitch and present in front of a group of people to get feedback. It’s also a way for the audience members to see what’s going on with their community and who’s creating things in their community.”

Founders Live was formed in 2016 by CEO Nick Hughes, in Seattle. According to the organization’s website, Hughes was inspired to create a casual and entertaining networking event that offered early-stage founders an opportunity to announce new business venture.

Thompson also is the founder of Spokane-based business consulting and services company, Tokens Square, which helps entrepreneurs learn how to use digital assets. 

Erica Bullock
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Reporter Erica Bullock has worked at the Journal since 2019 and covers real estate and construction. She is a craft beer enthusiast, who loves to garden and go camping with friends.

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