Special to The Sun
Copyright © 2013, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.
OKLA. CITY — Oklahoma’s most promising interactive entrepreneurs will make their best pitches deep in the heart of Texas next March in the second annual Buffalo Lounge Elevator Pitch Competition at the annual South By Southwest Conference & Festival.
Oklahoma entrepreneurs will compete for $10,000 in prizes in the one-night pitch competition before a live audience at the Avenue on Congress in Austin, Texas. Winners will be selected by a panel of angel investors, with the top pitch earning a $5,000 grand prize, along with two other $2,500 prizes.
The process of selecting finalists for the Buffalo Lounge event begins with submission of videotaped pitches by a 6 p.m. Dec. 20 deadline. To enter a video pitch, visit www.i2E.org and click on the Buffalo Lounge logo.
Finalists will be selected and announced in January by a panel composed of i2E Inc., and Greater Oklahoma City Chamber staff.
Live pitch competition will begin at 9 p.m. March 10.
The Buffalo Lounge Elevator Pitch competition is sponsored by i2E and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. It is part of Oklahoma’s Buffalo Lounge activities at SXSW on March 10-12.
“We’re excited to once again showcase promising Oklahoma entrepreneurs before a SXSW audience that wants to see innovative, new concepts,” said Josh O’Brien, Director of Entrepreneurial Development for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “The Buffalo Lounge Elevator Pitch competition exposes top Oklahoma innovators to an audience that otherwise might never be exposed to the best that our state has to offer.”
The Buffalo Lounge is a collaborative effort to spotlight Oklahoma companies and innovators at the massive SXSW conference, which last year attracted more than 65,000 visitors in areas of film, music and interactive software. Several successful companies including Twitter, Foursquare, Phonebooth and Highlight were either introduced or spotlighted at SXSW.
Applicants submitting video pitches will be ranked against competing submissions based on angel investor interest level. Criteria includes the quality of the pitch, business viability, market opportunity, competitive advantage and management.
The 2013 Buffalo Lounge Elevator Pitch competition grand prize winner was Tulsa-based Spectrum FX. Runners-up were ICEdot and ReTenant LLC, both also from Tulsa.
The Buffalo Lounge began in 2010 when the Oklahoma Film & Music Office, the Idea Collective and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber led an effort to create a collaborative effort to increase Oklahoma’s presence at the SXSW festival.
More than 30 Oklahoma companies, agencies and organizations have participated in numerous events held by The Buffalo Lounge at a local Austin venue. This year, The Buffalo Lounge will present several events at the Avenue on Congress (www.avenueoncongress.com), as well as a booth at the SXSW Exhibit Hall.
FOR MORE information or questions about the Buffalo Lounge Elevator Pitch competition, contact Josh O’Brien at jobrien@i2E.org or call 813-2412. For more information about The Buffalo Lounge and other Oklahoma activities at the SXSW festival, visit www.thebuffalolounge.com. For more information about SXSW, visit http://sxsw.com.