Startup Eligibility: Any startup raising capital may apply for the Most VC-Backable Startup competition. Apply here. Preference is given to startups raising an equity round, though convertible debt will be considered.
Selection Process: For each regional finals event, three (3) startups will be selected to participate. A total of 60 startup will participate across our 20 regional events. Each regional event will have its own selection committee which will be a combination of individuals selected by VCIC HQ and regional coordinators, which may include investors, tech leaders and other individuals in the startup ecosystem. All decisions by selection committees are final.
Priorities of Selection Committees: Priority #1 is to identify the top 3 most VC-backable startups in the region. A second priority is to have a variety of sectors represented at the event. Your startup could be the #2 candidate in your preferred region but also be too similar to another selected startup. When this is the case, you may receive an invitation to another region if you have identified other regions on your application.
One Regional Event Only: Startups may be considered for numerous events depending on what you indicate on your application; however, you may only participate in one region. Organizers will make every effort to match you with your preferred region.
Judging Criteria at Event: It is a simple game. Get the most term sheets from the six participating VC teams and win Most VC-Backable Startup of that region. In case of a tie, the startup chosen by the winning VC team will receive the honor.
Invitation to Global Finals: Winning a regional finals event makes a startup eligible but not guaranteed to be invited to the Global Finals in Chapel Hill, NC.
Lodgings in Chapel Hill: Founders must cover their own travel expenses, but VCIC will pay for lodgings while you are in Chapel Hill.
What if we close our round prior to VCIC? If you are invited to participate in a regional event and then close a round of financing prior to the event, you must email VCIC coordinators to determine how we will proceed. If your financing has not been publicly disclosed, it is possible that you may still participate.
What size of raise is the best fit? The best candidates are raising their first institutional or later seed stage round, having already raised significant funding from angels and/or friends and family. This may vary by region, but prior funding ideally is in the $150k-1.5M range, with the current raise in the $2-15M range and future plans to raise $5+M. There are always exceptions, so please do not hesitate to apply if you fall outside of these guidelines.
Who from the startup should pitch? It is most common and most effective to have a founder/CEO pitch at the event, but exceptions can be made in special cases. Up to two other members of the team are invited to attend.