A new backer — one of Kansas City’s biggest corporate names — will help amplify the laser-focused mission of the Pure Pitch Rally, said Karen Fenaroli, announcing open applications for the 2022 startup competition.
Burns & McDonnell, an industry leader in construction engineering, joins the Pure Pitch Rally as a major sponsor of the annual event, now in its seventh year. The competition offers more than $1 million in cash funding and resources to early-stage tech startups who wow local funders with their pitch.
“As a Kansas City company that exemplifies innovation and technology advancement, [Burns & McDonnell is] a perfect complement to our goal of growing the economy by supporting and mentoring startups with the potential to become significant local employers,” said Fenaroli, founder and CEO of Fenaroli & Associates and architect of the Pure Pitch Rally.
Applications are open through Aug. 19 for the fall competition — set as an in-person event Oct. 17 at the Burns & McDonnell Global Headquarters Auditorium on Ward Parkway. Enterprising startups based in the Kansas City area can apply for the opportunity to be one of eight companies selected to pitch at the event.
Click here to apply for the Pure Pitch Rally’s 2022 cohort.
The program seeks innovators from across all aspects of technology who are creating solutions to enhance communities and improve quality of life, Fenaroli said.
In 2021, the Pure Pitch Rally funded a wide range of early stage startups, including ventures that dipped into ecommerce, cybersecurity, health care, child care and education, and fintech.
Click here to read more about the 2021 competitors, including one prize-winner who took home more than $32,000 for his startup Vetelligence.
The live event brings together more than 130 CEOs, VIPs, angel funders and investors to network and collaborate while supporting the local tech startup community with non-dilutive spot-cash funding to pitchers.
Pure Pitch Rally also prides itself on inclusivity, Fenaroli said, with 50 percent diverse startups and funders.
Playing off the ABC hit show Shark Tank and Kansas City’s landlocked location, a pre-selected panel of executives called “land sharks” will judge the startups’ pitches. Each land shark will directly fund and donate $1,000 to the startup pitcher of his or her choice. Attendees will vote for a People’s Choice winner, who will receive an additional funding prize.
On top of cash funding, selected pitchers will be invited to five exclusive events that aim to help founders to make the most of the PPR spotlight. Sponsors will provide expert advice and mentorship at bootcamps focusing on Pitch, Brand, Fund, Product Development and Revenue.
Presenting sponsors include Burns & McDonnell, Circle Sideways, Fenaroli & Associates, Forvis, nbkc Bank, Park University and Polsinelli. Supporting sponsors are Morningstar Communications, Plexpod and Viagio Technologies.
“This sponsorship is in alignment with our company’s entrepreneurial focus,” said Cliff Cate, director of business development for the Burns & McDonnell Water Group. “Engineering startup success is part of our heritage, and we’re thrilled to pull in national experts from our technology team, Melissa Lavin-Hickey, Corporate Marketing Director, and our innovation team to host a great Pure Pitch Rally.”