2024 RoboBusiness Pitchfire competition opens call for robotics startups

Glidance co-founder Amos Miller surrounded by the 2023 RoboBusiness Pitchfire judges. | Credit: RoboBusiness

The 2024 RoboBusiness Pitchfire startup competition is officially open for applications. RoboBusiness, which takes place Oct. 16 and 17 in Santa Clara, Calif., is the premier event for commercial robotics developers. Attendees will gain the latest insights from experts in robotics and AI on cutting-edge research, industry trends, and innovative applications. They can also learn about investments and topics related to running a robotics business.

If you’re a founder of a robotics startup, Pitchfire is a great opportunity to showcase your ideas and propel your company to new heights. The competition takes place from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. PT on Oct. 16 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Startups will deliver five-minute pitches to a panel of judges describing their solutions, business models, value propositions, and more. The judges will pick a winner and two runners-up based on the startups they believe to be best primed for commercial success. The 2024 RoboBusiness Pitchfire first-prize winner will take home $5,000.

Participating startups receive a free booth on the expo floor, can schedule meetings with investors in attendance, network with industry leaders, and have an open invitation to appear on The Robot Report Podcast.

How to apply to 2024 RoboBusiness Pitchfire

Startups must meet the following criteria to be eligible for this year’s competition:

Currently developing or commercializing robots or related technologies
Less than 5 years old
Fewer than 30 employees
Unfunded or has received Seed funding

The deadline for submission is Aug. 31, 2024.

To submit your company as a potential 2024 RoboBusiness Pitchfire participant, fill out the entry form below or here. If you’d like to be a judge for the event, please contact Steve Crowe: scrowe AT


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About past Pitchfire winners

Tatum Robotics was the 2022 Pitchfire winner for its robotic hand-signing solution for deaf-blind individuals. Through its participation in Pitchfire, the company founder Samantha Johnson was invited to tell her story on The Robot Report Podcast. She shared her company’s journey to helping improve the lives of an often isolated user base that now has a much more connected future in the palms of their hands.

Glidance won the Pitchfire competition in 2023. The company’s flagship product, Glide, offers autonomous mobility assistance for the visually impaired, incorporating advanced guiding technologies and a unique mechanical design to foster independence. CEO Amos Miller, himself blind, brings a firsthand perspective to Glidance’s mission.

In the U.S., around 1 million adults are blind. Yet, only 2% to 8% use a white cane for navigation. Most instead rely on guide dogs or sighted companions, according to the Perkins School for the Blind. This reliance limits independence and mobility, a challenge Glidance is addressing through robotics.

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