Sacramento Kings Launch Fifth Annual Crowdsourced Startup Contest
Following another successful year, today the Sacramento Kings launched the Fifth Annual Capitalize contest. Capitalize, the league’s first crowdsourced startup competition, will offer local entrepreneurs a chance to gain publicity, receive mentorship and secure funding for their business. For the third year, the contest will be powered by Sacramento Urban Technology Lab, which aims to bring awareness to current and future city initiatives as well as develop programming to support the growth of numerous industry verticals.
Applications for this year’s competition are now open, and will close Sunday, February 23, at 11:59 p.m. Startups located within 75 miles of Sacramento are eligible to apply. Sixteen companies will initially be selected, and over the next month, the competition will progress until the final four semi-finalists are chosen. On March 26, the winner will be announced and awarded a $10,000 cash prize towards the development of their startup.
“We are proud to host this competition for a fifth year and continue to encourage innovation in the Sacramento region,” said Sacramento Kings President of Business Operations John Rinehart. “The Capitalize contest is an opportunity to foster the local startup community and provide entrepreneurs with meaningful resources and support to help advance their companies.”
The “Sweet 16” companies that are selected for Capitalize will be notified on Tuesday, February 25. The Kings will then host a Pitch Workshop on February 27 and Coaching Sessions on March 2 to help the "Sweet 16" solidify their pitches. On March 4, the 16 companies will deliver a brief “elevator pitch” and interview with representatives of the judging panel to earn one of the “Elite Eight” semi-finalist spots.
On March 9, the “Elite Eight” will participate in Pitch Day, during which they will present their business ideas in front of a panel of successful entrepreneurs, executives and investors to potentially earn a spot as one of the top companies to continue to the Capitalize Finals.
The four finalists will work with the Kings to create pitch videos that will be displayed on the Capitalize website and used for fan voting, which will be open from March 18 until halftime of the Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks game on March 26. At that time, the judges’ votes, along with the fan vote will be tallied to determine the winner of the 2020 Capitalize contest, who will be awarded $10,000 at center court.
“This is our third consecutive year partnering with the Kings to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Sacramento area through the Capitalize contest,” said City of Sacramento’s Chief Innovation Officer Louis Stewart. “We are excited because this competition helps to highlight the thriving tech ecosystem in Sacramento thanks in part to the Kings and innovative frameworks like the Sacramento Urban Technology Lab.”
Since the inaugural launch of Capitalize in 2016, hundreds of applicants from Sacramento’s growing technology and innovator community have submitted their business to be recognized in this competition.
For more information and details on how to enter, visit Kings.com/Capitalize.