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Entrepreneurs invited to pitch ideas at ASU Venture Catalyst Rapid Pitch Competition

February 07, 2013

Entrepreneurs are invited to pitch their new ideas, companies and inventions at the ASU Venture Catalyst Rapid Pitch Competition at the City of Tempe’s Geeks’ Night Out event, Feb. 21.

The competition, part of ASU Venture Catalyst Geek Week, offers the opportunity for entrepreneurs to practice their pitches while competing for prizes that include a $4,000 package of legal services from Quarles and Brady, a $5,000 package of legal services from Hool Law Group, 10 hours of audit/digital marketing strategy from Terralever valued at $1,650, mentoring, a membership to the Tempe Chamber of Commerce and more. The event is hosted by Terralever, 425 S. Mill Ave., and runs from 3 to 6 p.m.

To enter the competition, entrepreneurs must apply to pitch at by Feb. 14. An ASU Venture Catalyst team will select the finalists, who will be notified shortly thereafter.

Pitches will be judged by Patrick Armstrong, Canal Partners; Geoffrey Ossias, Quarles & Brady; Dan O’Neill, GM Sustainability Solutions; Michael Hool, Hool Law Group; and Scott McAndrew, Terralever. Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president for entrepreneurship, innovation and venture acceleration in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU, will serve as the event’s master of ceremonies. 

“The Rapid Pitch Competition will be a fun event that aligns with the Geek Week theme,” said Fred von Graf, a senior venture manager at ASU Venture Catalyst and the event organizer. “We’re not taking ourselves too seriously on this event, with special guest appearances from Comic Con celebrities, among others. This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas and startups in a relaxed environment.”

In addition to ASU Venture Catalyst, the competition’s sponsors include Terralever, Hool Law Group, LaunchSpot and Quarles & Brady as well as the City of Tempe Economic Development team.

The event, which also features audience giveaways and networking opportunities as well as an appearance by the Comic Con Calendar Girls, is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and registration is required. Register to attend at

ASU Venture Catalyst Geek Week, which runs Feb. 15-24, is part of the Arizona SciTech Festival, a six-week celebration of scientific wonders, resources and opportunities throughout Arizona. Geeks’ Night Out, sponsored by the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, is a signature Geek Week event.