Be a part of the nation’s leading Technology festival. Hear from the leading names in local tech, learn from companies on the cutting edge, see what the hottest startups are up to, and network with other talented professionals in tech.


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LAUNCH is Techweek’s startup competition for pre-series A companies.
  • Companies from around the world demo and pitch to judges, attendees and investors who evaluate their ideas and business models
  • From among all entrants, a small number are chosen to reach the LAUNCH city finals
  • One company is selected per city as the LAUNCH Regional Champion
  • The champion is eligible to win potential investment and prizes as well as is entered into the National competition to be crowned the LAUNCH National Champion!
Competitors annually
National Prize
LAUNCH supports our mission to spread and support innovation ecosystems by driving BUSINESS FORMATION
  • Showcases breakthrough technology companies
  • Brings together the companies that offer professional services and advice for entrepreneurial companies
  • Connects startups with investors and professional services companies to stimulate
  • Find and celebrates the best new startups in the ecosystem

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Interested in learning more about LAUNCH partnership opportunities?

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SPONSOR: Discover ways to partner with LAUNCH in your city

Who should partner with LAUNCH?
  • Companies looking to attract extraordinary and entrepreneurial talent
  • Services and product companies targeting early and growth stage companies, e.g.:
    • financial services companies
    • law firms
    • co-working spaces
    • marketing agencies
    • accounting firms
    • cloud service companies
  • Brands looking to make a powerful statement about their support of local innovation ecosystem, such as locally-based technology brands
What solutions does LAUNCH offer our partners?
  • Be seen as supporting local innovation
  • Generate leads from early growth-stage companies
  • Brand Exposure with one of the most visible and press-covered Techweek activations
  • Talent acquisition from entrepreneurs and early stage companies

NEWS: The latest breaking LAUNCH news!

October 24, Dallas: We are delighted to announce Addison TreeHouse as the title sponsor of LAUNCH Dallas!

We are excited to announce Addison TreeHouse as the title sponsor of Launch Dallas!

Founded by the Town of Addison and the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC), the Addison TreeHouse is a resource centered co-working space focused on providing aspiring entrepreneurs with education, programing, and mentorship that are vital for the growth and sustainability of businesses.

The regional champion of the Dallas Launch competition will be awarded a free year of co-working space at Addison TreeHouse! Techweek is honored and excited to be partnered with such a supportive and innovative Dallas institution.

June 2, Chicago: We are delighted to announce Pounce as a supporting sponsor of LAUNCH

At Pounce we are agents of change for our clients, our communities and our society. As one of Mexico’s leading technology firm and innovation companies, Pounce is the only provider of integrated services to develop, transform and integrate hardware & software products, systems and platforms. For over 15 years Pounce has operated under the premise of providing optimal, top quality and affordable technological solutions to companies in North America. For more information visit the Pounce corporate website at

We are always excited to support Innovation in North America and to be part of a Game Changing idea, it is part of Pounce DNA. Been part of Launch give us an opportunity to support the hard work of entrepreneurs in their quest to transforming the marketplace.

One Chicago LAUNCH competitor will be selected as the hardware champion and receive up to $25k in manufacturing services.

May 20, Chicago: We are delighted to announce K & L Gates as a Supporting Sponsor of LAUNCH

Techweek is delighted to announce K&L Gates as an official Techweek Chicago Launch Sponsor for 2016!

One of the world’s leading law firms, with more than 2,000 lawyers in 45 cities across the globe, K&L Gates advises in all areas of corporate and intellectual property, as well as litigation and regulatory. Its team of lawyers here in Chicago provides counsel to companies at all stages of growth from start-ups to some of the world’s largest companies.

We are excited to work together in support of Chicago’s tech founders and the next generation of world class startups.

May 9, Detroit: Congratulations to SPLT for winning Techweek Detroit LAUNCH 2016

Detroit-based SPLT, a carpooling app for enterprise, continues its great momentum, beating out Unboundly and Maker OS in a tight Finals pitch round to take the title of Detroit LAUNCH Champion 2016! The finalists had emerged from the field of twenty semi-finalists who exhibited on the day, showcasing the depth and vibrancy of the Detroit startup community.

Special thanks to Presenting Sponsor Rocket Ventures, hosts Techtown Detroit and caterers Grubbable, and the Finals judges Greg Whitlow (Rocket Ventures), Sean Simpson (GMV), and James Chapman (Rock Ventures).

Detroit Launch Winners – SPLT

Techweek Launch Detroit 2016 Winners: Benjamin Seidman (SPLT), Judge Greg Whitlow (Rocket Ventures), and Anna Isachenko (SPLT)

April 5, Detroit: Rocket Ventures announced as official Sponsors of Detroit Launch 2016

Techweek is proud to announce Rocket Ventures are the official Detroit Launch presenting Sponsor. Rocket Ventures is an investment and entrepreneurial services company for high-tech, early-stage companies in Northwest Ohio.

Since 2007, Rocket Ventures has assisted client companies in achieving over $300 million in sales revenue, investments, and other income. Techweek Launch is honored and excited to partner with such an important Midwest investment institution.

Mar 15, Chicago: We are delighted to announce Amazon Launchpad as the official Presenting Sponsor of LAUNCH, Chicago 2016

Techweek is delighted to announced Amazon Launchpad as the official Techweek Chicago Launch Presenting Sponsor for 2016!

Amazon Launchpad makes it easy for startups to launch, market, and distribute their products to hundreds of millions of Amazon customers across the globe. The program has worked with leading venture capital firms, startup accelerators, and crowd-funding platforms to help more than 700 startups launch over 1,400 products in the U.S., U.K., China and Germany. With Amazon Launchpad, startups can overcome many of the challenges associated with launching new products by using Amazon’s retail expertise and infrastructure to create awareness and drive sales. To shop the Amazon Launchpad store, visit


JUDGE: Submit your name as an eligible judge for LAUNCH in your city

Why Judge?

Network: Meet investors, startup talent, and potential customers among the thousands of attendees at the Techweek Launch Championship

Mentorship: Help push founders’ thinking about their business in a low-risk environment and maybe even wind up becoming a mentor to the next billion dollar tech startup

Personal brand: Build your personal brand and followership amongst a group of talented tech professionals from your region and from all over the country

Techweek: Receive a free ticket to the remainder of Techweek festivities for serving as a judge

What is involved in judging LAUNCH?

Before: Please register here and watch out for logistics emails. We will also ask you to disclose any conflicts of interests that you may have with the companies that we assign you to evaluate so that we can adjust and ensure an equitable judging process for our startups

Preliminary Rounds: Judges spend 1-3 hours speaking with and anonymously evaluating competitors one-on-one as they exhibit for several hours

Finals Rounds: Judges spend ~2 hours on stage, serving on a panel watching formal pitches and asking questions of startups

Who can serve as a judge?

We seek experienced investors, entrepreneurs, business professionals and professors to serve as judges.

Enter your name to be considered as a LAUNCH judge!

CONGRATULATIONS: to our 2016 Launch Winners!


Aces Health
Techweek Chicago


Techweek Detroit


Techweek Toronto


Cucumber Tony
Techweek New York

2015 Winners

2015 Miami – PickMySolar

Max Aram and Chris Blevins win the LAUNCH competition with PickMySolar on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. They went on to win the LAUNCH Nationals in Miami in December – congratulations!

2015 New York – Findmine

Please enjoy an interview with our New York LAUNCH winner, FindMine.


FindMine wins LAUNCH Techweek New York, 2015

2015 Chicago – Apollo Medical Devices

Apollo Medical Devices wins Techweek LAUNCH Chicago 2015

2015 Kansas City – 10 winners

Kansas City, 2015: Techweek and LaunchKC announce the winners of the $500,000 LAUNCH prize money

2015 Detroit – Slope
Slope- CityPartner

Slope wins LAUNCH Techweek Detroit 2015

2014 Winners


Techweek Detroit 2014


Jail Education Solutions
Techweek Chicago 2014


Techweek New York 2014


Techweek Los Angeles 2014


Modernizing Medicine
Techweek Miami 2014 Later Stage


Hair Construction
Techweek Miami 2014 Early Stage

2013 Winners


Techweek Chicago 2013


Techweek New York 2013


Tastemaker Mom
Techweek Los Angeles 2013

2012 Winner


Techweek Chicago 2012

2011 Winner


Techweek Chicago 2011

COMPETE: Apply for the LAUNCH competition

Why Compete?

Exposure: Meet investors, startup talent, and potential customers

Press: LAUNCH winners and participants have been written about in Forbes, The Economist, Inc, Time, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times among others

Prizes:All competitors typically take home in-kind prizes, including free tickets to the remainder of Techweek events; prizes and prize money varies by market: the Techweek National LAUNCH winner will win prizes including $50k in cash

Mentorship: All competitors will receive feedback from judges. LAUNCH champions can also receive mentorship from members of that region’s Techweek Executive Advisory Board.

Some recent LAUNCH judges


Greg Bettinelli
Partner | Upfront Ventures


Brian Cohen
Chairman | New York Angels


Reeve Collins
Co-founder & CEO | Realcoin


Jason Finger
Co-founder | SeamlessWeb


John Frankel
Partner | ff Ventures


Hadley Harris
Founding General Partner | Eniac Ventures


Troy Henikoff
Managing Director | Techstars


J.B. Pritzker
Managing Partner | Pritzker Group


Cody Simms
Managing Director | Techstars


Rick Smith
Co-founder & Managing Partner | CrossCut Ventures


Alicia Syrett
Founder & CEO | Pantegrion Capital


Chris Thomas
Founder & Partner | Fontinalis

Companies looking for a powerful brand amplification and association and visible support of entrepreneurial passion and innovation are excellent partners for LAUNCH.  Many of iconic international brands have found LAUNCH to be a powerful story-telling platform over the past 5 years