The Westlake Business Incubator presents its 2nd annual Pitch Night on Friday, May 18, at the Westlake High School PAC, 4100 Westbank Dr. This culminating event (produced in the style of the popular CNBC television show “Shark Tank”) will be emceed by Brian Sbrocco of Teamings. From 6:30 to 8:30pm, student entrepreneurs will present their startup ideas and projects for actual funding from a panel of Austin business leader investors.
The top four teams are pre-selected to present to professional investors May 18, as well as one Wild Card Team, voted on at Pitch Night. The winning team secures $10,000 to continue its business concept. Investors judge the teams that merit funding and teams are invited to enroll in next Fall’s Incubator Accelerator course to start their business.
From 6:30-7:00pm, all Wild Card Teams get one more shot to become a finalist and formally present to investors at Pitch Night. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear these team’s informal pitches and then vote for their favorite. The winning team will then join the four pre-selected teams and compete for funding.
The Business Incubator class is in its second year and is a rigorous entrepreneurial class based on the Lean Startup method. In the program, students acquire foundational business concepts, then apply those concepts to the team’s new business idea. From concept to Minimum Viable Product to Pitch, students are hypothesizing, testing, adapting and learning. Importantly, they work and learn in teams.
In addition to the excitement and fun of a capital-raising contest among high school Juniors right here in Austin, there will be a few surprises and several exciting announcements will be made. Last year the Westlake Innovation Fund was launched as a broader effort to bring authentic, rigorous entrepreneurial education to Westlake High School students and across the broader community. This fund works to raise money that will be used across disciplines and venues toward its mission. This year, an Accelerator class was added, for the student teams whose companies get funded or are making money. Immediately, the Westlake Innovation Fund is working to support efforts to create a Code Academy to teach the essential IOS app development skills (SWIFT), so essential to start-ups.
Thank you to our Pitch Night Sponsors!
PRESENTING SPONSOR – GPB Capital
PLATINUM – American Campus Communities
GOLD – ARRIVE Luxury Vacation & Property Management
Kendra Scott | On Your Mark Research | DLA Piper
Stratton Cyrus, Jardine Cyrus Properties
Support the Westlake HIgh School Incubator Program and give to Westlake Innovation Fund. Donate today!