Pitch. Launch. Grow. Applications Open

Orange County's inaugural pitch competition for technology and life science startups. 

Launch Your Innovation

Announcing the launch of the annual pitch competition for technology and life science startups. If your startup is looking for a financial boost to achieve your next measurable milestone, apply today. Applicants will receive 2-months of no-cost consulting to hone their pitch, which will then be reviewed by a panel of judges. Finalists will present live on August 26, 2021, where a winner from each of the three tracks (technology, life science, specialty diagnostics) will be announced.

Applications close May 31, 2021, 11:59 PM PST.



3 Tracks


Includes software or hardware in the following sectors: Communications, Wireless, Cybersecurity, EdTech, Environmental Technologies (e.g. AgTech, CleanTech, BlueTech, EnergyTech), Information Technologies (e.g. SaaS platforms), Internet of Things (IoT), Media, and AdTech.

Life Science

The life science industry is one that encompasses a wide range of areas. These areas can include companies operating in the fields of drug discovery, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and therapeutics offering innovative products and services.

Specialty Diagnostics x Showa Denko

Are you developing an antibiotic susceptibility technology (AST)? The AST technology should allow for rapid analysis (minutes, not hours), work in real patient matrices (urine, whole blood or CSF), and be simple enough that the final product can be used by non-trained medical personnel in a physician office environment (CLIA waiveable). The technology should enable an embodiment in which sample preparation is automated and incorporated into the test device. A phenotypic AST is preferred. Genotypic entries will be allowed, but consideration should be made to identify as high a percentage of resistant bacteria or fungi as possible while optimizing specificity.

This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for relevant companies / academic developers. If selected, you will be connected to partners at Showa Denko Materials (America), who are actively looking to commercialize a rapid antibiotic susceptibility test technology to further develop your diagnostic technology and connect you to key stakeholders.


Pitch. Launch. Grow. Timeline updated may 13

May - Applications Open
  • May 3, 2021 - Applications Open
  • May 31, 2021 - Applications Close
  • 3 tracks: Technology, Life Science, and Specialty Diagnostics
June - Pitch Prep Consulting
  • Receive 1:1 consulting and insight on how to refine their elevator pitch and proposal from an SBDC Consultant.
  • Applicants can attend Creating an Investable Startup a 4-part series hosted by the SBDC @ UCI Beall Applied Innovation. The 4-part series is designed to take you through the fundamentals of creating a startup that meets investor’s criteria. We will cover the key elements of a pitch deck that will help you tell your story and attract funding, focusing on 3 major areas: business essentials, the market, and financial projections.
July - Judges Review Proposals
  • July 6, 2021 - Deadline to submit pitches to vetting judges.
  • 3 semi-finalists will be selected from each track and will receive a digital media audit by SBDC Digital Media Lab.
August - Virtual Demo Day
  • August 6, 2021 - Finalists will be announced
  • August 26, 2021 - Track winners will be announced at a live webinar.


3 Prizes

Technology: Cash prize equal to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000).

Life Science: Priority admission or renewal to University Lab Partners and 1-year ULP lab space (one (1) - 6ft lab bench) valued at $23,400.

Specialty Diagnostics x Showa Denko: Priority admission or renewal to University Lab Partners and 1-year ULP lab space (one (1) - 6ft lab bench) valued at $23,400.

Contest Official Rules and Terms Here


Event Sponsors

showa denko logo in square

Showa Denko Materials (America)

Sales and Technical Service Provider

Showa Denko America, Inc. is a 100% subsidiary of Showa Denko K.K. which is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. We provide sales and technical services for a wide variety of products produced by the Showa Denko Group. Our products serve a wide array of fields ranging from heavy industry to the electronic and computer industries. The company is divided into five business sectors: elastomer, aluminum, electronics, chemicals, and inorganic materials. Showa Denko has more than 180 subsidiaries and affiliates around the world.

Founded in 1938, Snell & Wilmer is a full-service business law firm with more than 450 lawyers practicing in 15 locations throughout the United States and in Mexico. The firm represents clients ranging from large, publicly traded corporations to small businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs. Snell & Wilmer and its lawyers have been recognized by clients and peers for exceptional legal skills and ethical business practices with various distinguished awards. Corporate Board Member magazine recognized Snell & Wilmer as the number one law firm to work with in Phoenix for 12 consecutive years; and the firm was named a “Go-To Law Firm®” as reported in Corporate Counsel®, a national magazine for general counsel. Snell & Wilmer is renowned for having extensive experience in a full range of transactional and litigation legal services. The firm’s range of practices include, among others: bankruptcy, bioscience, business litigation, construction, corporate, employee benefits, energy/environmental, healthcare, intellectual property, international, labor/employment, product liability, real estate/zoning, tax, and trusts/estates.

At Troutman Pepper, our higher commitment to client care is a promise that every interaction with our attorneys and staff will exceed expectations. Drawing on teamwork, technology, and innovation, we bring our combined experience to bear in diverse sectors and critical practices nationwide. As a top 50 U.S. law firm, we combine the resources of a large firm with the personal engagement of a trusted adviser. See troutman.com for more information. Attorney advertising.

insperity sqaure logo


Human Resources

Insperity believes startups/emerging companies/nonprofits are critical to the American economy’s vitality. Insperity provides outsourced human capital management innovation by providing HR solutions to accelerate growth and minimize risk. Building a successful business requires bravery, tenacity, and a commitment to crafting a top-flight workplace culture. It also hinges on getting the foundational stuff right – things like payroll, policies and procedures, employee benefits and employer-related compliance. Insperity can provide HR support designed to help move you closer to your long-term goals. 

Our team can support your business with the required subject matter expertise from design concept through commercialization and post market surveillance. Offering a complete range of resourcing solutions, from a singular placement through to the deployment of functional teams, PTS Advance works collaboratively to create custom engagement models to meet your short and long term business objectives.

Event Partners


The SBDC @ UCI Beall Applied Innovation is a resource for any high-technology, high-growth, scalable venture from both the Orange County and UCI ecosystem that needs assistance with business planning, business development and funding-readiness. The center hosts several VC and Angel investors on site, as well as various ecosystem partners and industry professionals who work closely with the entrepreneurs.

Meet with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Whether you’re looking for guidance with starting your new tech venture, obtaining angel or venture capital, or looking for SBIR/STTR assistance, we're here for you!

Register Now

Event Details

Monday, May 31, 2021

11:59 PM PST

Applications close May 31, 2021, 11:59 PM PST.

Register Now

Upcoming Event

May 18, 2021
6:30PM - 8:30PM

MedTech Minds

Register Now

Apply for residency today

Do you have a great company in the bioscience or medtech industry? Do you need wet-lab and/or fabrication space to develop and test your product?


Other Events

May 18, 2021
6:30PM - 8:30PM

MedTech Minds

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May 26, 2021
4:00PM - 5:00PM

OC LIFe (Lifesciences Innovators Forum)

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June 8, 2021
12:00PM - 1:00PM

Common Start-up Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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