What You Need To Know About SXSW Sydney Pitch 2023

June 21, 2023

A vital part of SXSW Sydney 2023 is unearthing those ideas that will change our world. We want to highlight and platform creatives and businesses that impact our lives – through healthcare, sustainability, finance, entertainment and more.

We’re incredibly excited to introduce SXSW Sydney Pitch – a competition that will showcase the most ground-breaking startup ideas, and those behind them, across six key categories. We’ll dive deep into the technologies and innovations that will revolutionise how we live in the future.

For SXSW Sydney Pitch 2023, we’ve chosen the theme ‘Big Shifts’. As the name suggests, we want to reflect the disruption that’s currently taking place in every global industry – a force that’s been given the nickname “fire” by those in the business world.

So how does SXSW Sydney Pitch work? We’ve prepared this handy breakdown just for you. Let’s jump in.

The Nuts And Bolts Of SXSW Sydney Pitch

SXSW Sydney Pitch will run over two days within SXSW Sydney 2023 – 18 and 19 October. The first day will involve category-focused Pitch Rounds, in which three participants will deliver 2-3 minute pitches before a panel of industry experts.

The winners of these Pitch Rounds, will go through to the Final Showcase on October 19. The finalists will once again deliver their pitch to a high-profile judging panel in front of a live audience of investors and potential business partners, and one winner will go home as the Best in Show.

With the ability to rub shoulders with engaged investors, foster collaborations with business leaders and capitalise on media exposure, everyone who participates in SXSW Sydney Pitch has a multitude of golden opportunities within reach.

What Are The Actual Categories?

Great question. There are six categories within SXSW Sydney 2023 Pitch:

  • Sustainability, Circular Economy and Urban Innovation
  • Generative AI and Robotics Innovation
  • Healthcare, Biotech, Future of Medicine, Augmenting Humans
  • Space Habitation, Travel and Transport
  • Law and Order in Cyberspace, Security and Fintech
  • Game On, Let’s Play

Startup pitches must fall within these categories – but there’s a lot of room to move within them. For a more detailed breakdown of the categories, head over to the SXSW Sydney 2023 Pitch page.

That Sounds Great, So How Do I Apply?

Submissions for SXSW Sydney Pitch are open to the public. We’re casting the net far and wide – we want as many great pitches as possible. The submissions will be judged on a range of criteria, including:

  • Innovation / Originality
  • Viability
  • Marketability
  • Potential for Growth
  • Capacity for Impact
  • Team / People

Submissions will be whittled down to three participants in each category.

Once again, if you want more detail on the criteria, as well as the broader eligibility conditions, have a read on the SXSW Sydney 2023 Pitch page.

And What Would I Win?

That’s the fun part. The Best In Show winner will walk away with 2x Platinum Badges for SXSW in Austin 2024, as well as two economy return airfares and will receive a mentorship package from our partner VentureCrowd. The winner will also get the opportunity to pitch in front of an audience at SXSW in Austin.

We’re Bringing Aboard VentureCrowd As Our Partner

On that note, we’re very excited to announce VentureCrowd as the sponsor of SXSW Sydney 2023 Pitch.

“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.”

Keen To Get Involved?

We want to hear as many brilliant pitches as possible: submissions for SXSW Sydney Pitch are now open and will close at midnight on August 3, 2023. For more information and to submit your pitch, head over here.

If you’re not looking to pitch, but still want to be involved, purchase your SXSW Sydney badge now so you don’t miss a thing. With the end of the financial year fast approaching, now is a great time to purchase your badge. In fact, if you snap one up now you’ll save hundreds when compared to final release prices – up to $200 on Industry Badges and up to $400 on Platinum Badges. Head here to buy your Badge now – and if you’re unsure which badge is right for you, read this handy explainer. Trying to get your boss to buy a badge for you? We’ve got that covered too, check out all the business benefits to help convince your boss here.

Still need even more reasons as to why you should attend SXSW Sydney?

We’ve got you covered. Check out some of the awe-inspiring announcements we’ve made to date and stay tuned as there’s still so much more to come.

  • We’ve got the future of games at your fingertips. Check out what the SXSW Sydney Games Festival has to offer as we play host to the Intel® Extreme Masters & reveal the first selection of indie games featured in the games showcase. Read all about it here.  
  • The SXSW Sydney Music Festival line-up continues to grow. Take a peek at the homegrown talent & international artists who will be gracing the SXSW Sydney stage so far here. With a heap more artists yet to be announced, this is something you won’t want to miss.
  • From panels and presentations to workshops, mentor sessions and more, there will be so much to discover at the SXSW Sydney conference. Our growing line-up of speakers will tackle timely topics as they take a deep dive into our 18 conference tracks. Check our latest speakers heading to Sydney shores in October here. They’ll be joining our first round of speakers who you can check out here.
  • Speaking of the conference line-up, the Session Select process has played a vital role thanks to the contributions of the SXSW Sydney community. Take a look at the first of many submissions picked via Session Select that are shaping our conference here.