Sacramento, Calif. — Today, the Sacramento Kings announced their first ever startup, innovator contest, Capitalize. Velocity Venture Capital, a leading investment and advisory firm in Sacramento, is working with the Kings to highlight and strengthen the local entrepreneur community and develop the most promising startups from the region. The four finalists from the Capitalize contest will join the Kings and Velocity Venture Capital at Sleep Train Arena for Tech Night on April 5, where each finalist will pitch the fans for a chance to win a cash prize, consultation sessions with Kings executives and lunch with a Kings owner. The Kings are the first NBA team to host a crowdsourced local technology startup competition.
“We want to utilize our NBA platform to showcase Sacramento’s talented innovators and thinkers,” said Kings President Chris Granger. “The best and the brightest will have the chance to pitch over 17,000 judges and move their start-up closer to their goals, making an impact on our region and communities around the globe.”
Capitalize is a four-round tournament where 32 local innovators will compete to showcase their product on center court. Startups within 75 miles of Sacramento can submit applications starting February 29 through March 9. On March 22, the 32 finalists will pitch a panel of judges made up of local investors and technology executives at Velocity Venture Capital’s Sacramento office. For complete contest rules and applications visit, Kings.com/Capitalize.
“Capitalize provides a really unique and exciting platform for promising entrepreneurs to gain valuable exposure to the investors, mentors, and customers needed to take their companies to the next level,” said Velocity Venture Capital Partner, Monique Brown. “Velocity is enthused to support this initiative and to contribute, alongside the Kings, to the promotion and development of the Sacramento region’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem."
On April 5, when the Kings take on the Portland Trail Blazers, the four finalists will present their pitch to fans at Tech Night. Fans will be able to vote for their favorite finalist in real-time through Twitter.
In addition to the Capitalize final round, Tech Night will showcase the innovative technology that will make Golden 1 Center the fastest, most connected arena in the world and feature special fan giveaways and in-game entertainment.