Hero Image


SXSW Sydney Pitch 2023 Submissions Now Closed


About SXSW Sydney 2023 Pitch Submissions

One of SXSW Sydney’s core missions is to elevate incredible ideas and help creative people achieve their goals. 


One of the ways we’ll do this is through SXSW Sydney Pitch: our competition which will showcase the next wave of ground-breaking, impactful, and exciting startups that will disrupt industries and change our lives for the better. 


Startups from around the world will pitch their big ideas to a panel of industry experts, high-profile media professionals, and venture capital and angel investors – all in front of a live audience. See the SXSW Sydney Pitch Judging & Advisory Panel here.


Finalists will be chosen from the public submissions process and they’ll present their ideas in the Pitch Rounds during SXSW Sydney, with the winners of the rounds going through to the Showcase Final. From there, the panel will determine a final Best In Show winner, who’ll win a chance to pitch their idea at SXSW in Austin in 2024.


The  theme for SXSW Sydney Pitch in 2023 is ‘Big Shifts’, which reflects the global upheaval and change that is galvanising all industries – from the challenges posed by climate change to the rapid integration of AI, and beyond. 


SXSW Sydney Pitch will run from 18 – 19 October 2023. 


SXSW Sydney Pitch submissions are now closed

Thank you to all the innovative startups who submitted their ideas, we are currently reviewing all Pitch submissions received. Successful applicants will receive an email confirming they have been selected to participate in SXSW Sydney Pitch by 21 September 2023. This confirmation will include the date and time slot of their Pitch Round. Successful applicants must ensure their nominated Pitcher is available in person to pitch for both the Pitch Round (Wednesday 18 October 2023) and the Showcase Final (Thursday 19 October 2023).  

All finalists for the Showcase Final will be announced at the end of the Pitch Rounds on Wednesday 18 October 2023, and this will be confirmed in an email to successful finalists. 


Key Dates And Program Information


All participants in SXSW Sydney Pitch will be chosen from public submissions, which are open now. There are six categories within SXSW Sydney Pitch, which you can read more about below. 


Successful  participants in each category will be chosen from the public submissions, and the competition at SXSW Sydney Pitch will work like this: 


  • The participants will present their ideas in a 2-3 minute pitch in the Pitch Rounds of each category, which will take place on Wednesday, October 18. These pitches will be heard and judged by a small panel of industry experts in that category. 
  • The winner of each Pitch Round will go through to the Showcase Final, which will take place on Thursday, October 19. 
  • In the Showcase Final, participants will present their pitches again to a panel of high-profile industry judges, who will determine the Best In Show winner.




SXSW Sydney Pitch 2023 presented by VentureCrowd


“We’re thrilled to be part of the highly anticipated SXSW Sydney Pitch event in 2023, where brilliant minds and creative thinkers worldwide converge,” said Steve Maarbani, VentureCrowd Founder & CEO. “This partnership reaffirms our commitment to empowering innovators and entrepreneurs to back what they believe in.’’


“As sponsors of the SXSW Sydney Pitch 2023 competition, we are providing a platform for remarkable individuals to showcase revolutionary ideas, forge valuable connections and, together, shock the system! Together, we contribute to a vibrant global community of trailblazers, paving the way for an awe-inspiring future at SXSW Sydney and beyond.”



How Does The SXSW Sydney Pitch Process Work?

So who is eligible for SXSW Sydney Pitch? The good news is that we’re casting the net wide – we want to get as many brilliant startup pitches as possible. Our eligibility criteria is simple: 

  • The applicant must have been activated no earlier than October 15, 2019. 
  • The applicant must not have raised more than five million dollars in funding at the date of entry into SXSW Sydney Pitch 2023.
  • Only one company/product/innovation will be allowed per applicant and the pitch must fall into one of the six categories detailed below.
  • The Pitcher (read more on that below) must be available in person at SXSW Sydney on Oct 18 and 19, 2023.


If you’ve been successful, the process will then go like this: 

  • Each applicant will nominate their Pitcher, who’ll present during the Pitch Rounds. Please note there can only be one Pitcher per Pitch. 
  • The Pitcher (and their team) is required to attend the Pitch Preparation Webinar on September 28, 2023.
  • A final Pitch Deck must be submitted to SXSW Sydney by October 5, 2023 at 5:00PM AEDT through the SXSW Sydney Pitch application portal.
  • Your Pitcher must be prepared to deliver their pitch at the allotted time in the Pitch Rounds (and the Showcase Final if successful) and be ready to answer questions from the panel.


Here Are The SXSW Sydney Pitch Categories 

For more detailed information on the categories, please check the FAQs below. 


Sustainability, Circular Economy and Urban Innovation

This category will showcase ideas around renewable energy, sustainable solutions, waste management, carbon footprint reduction, civic services, public works, smart city design and other ground-breaking ideas that aim to address environmental and sustainability challenges. 


Generative AI and Robotics Innovation 

This will focus on ideas around the adoption of artificial intelligence and other automation technologies to assist and elevate human creativity and learning. 


Healthcare, Biotech, Future of Medicine, Augmenting Humans

This will feature startups and individuals who are revolutionising healthcare and the way we approach medicine in the modern age. Everything from medical diagnostics, nanotechnology, personalised medicine, digital therapeutics, to nutrition, ageing, fertility and more. 


Space Habitation, Travel and Transport

Time to aim for the stars. This category will highlight those who want to lead the way in the space industry, whether through sustainable transportation and technologies, through to space exploration and beyond. 


Law and Order in Cyberspace, Security and Fintech

We’ll spotlight innovative ideas in the cybersecurity space and also platform those who wish to disrupt the legal and financial industries with innovative technologies that will change our day-to-day lives and how we do business in the future.


Game On, Let’s Play

We’ll highlight ground-breaking ideas across the entertainment industries, including in Games, Music, Screen, art, fashion, media, XR/AR/VR, streaming and online storytelling, and so much more. 


Judging Criteria

Many factors will come into play when assessing submissions for SXSW Sydney Pitch, but this is the criteria that the judges will be looking at very closely: 


  • Innovation / Originality: Is your idea truly unique? Whether through its concept, innovation, or business. We want to see ideas that are out of the box and different from what is already out there.
  • Viability: Is your idea going to be sustainable in the market? Profitability, actualisation and a solid business model are a must.
  • Marketability: Your idea must be able to gain market traction and be adopted by consumers and users. Existing marketing exposure or brand awareness is also a big plus. 
  • Potential for Growth: Do you have a growth or market strategy for your idea? The potential to scale is hugely important. 
  • Capacity for Impact: How does your idea/product impact or improve our world?
  • Team / People: We’ll look closely at your team and the people within it. Do they have the ability to make the company and core idea a success? What are the dynamics within the team, the values, and the mission and culture? 


The Prize 

Now for the fun part. The Best In Show winner will take home a big prize, which includes: 

  • Two Platinum Badges for SXSW in Austin, Texas as well as two economy return airfares.
  • The opportunity to present their Pitch as part of the Winner Ceremony at SXSW in Austin (to be billed as the ‘SXSW Sydney Pitch Best In Show Winner’).
  • A tailored mentorship package from SXSW Sydney Pitch partner, Venture Crowd.

The wider finalists for SXSW Sydney will also receive additional prizes – to be revealed closer to the event date. 

stay tuned with the latest

Sign up to receive the latest announcements, tips, networking invitations and more

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and that you have read our Privacy Policy.