TechRise hosts weekly pitch competitions for Chicagoland’s overlooked, early-stage Entrepreneurs.

Founders are invited to submit an application for the chance to be selected for an upcoming competition. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and we invite entrepreneurs to pitch 1-2 months in advance of their competition date. Pitch coaching and mentorship are provided in advance of your competition.

Every Friday at 12 CST, we host 5 founders on Zoom (unless otherwise noted), and competitions are livestreamed to YouTube. Founders have 4 minutes to pitch their business to a panel of VC judges, and at the end of the hour one startup is awarded a non-dilutive grant prize between $25-$50K. Tune into any past TechRise competition here!

To participate as a sponsor, judge, or pitch prep mentor, please fill out this form.

Chicagoland overlooked founders, create a profile on the TechChicago CommonApp platform to apply.

What to Expect

  • Each competitor will be matched with an existing mentor or founder to help you prepare your pitch.
  • While slides are most definitely encouraged, they are not a requirement during your presentation.
  • Pitches will be virtual via Zoom and live streamed to YouTube so friends and family can watch!  
  • The format will be 4-minute pitches and 4-minute Q+A sections with the judges.
  • No matter if you win or not, TechRise works to help you find additional resources to help your business grow.  


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1234 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607


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