Applications for the Spring 2023 Crossroads Pitch Competition open in February!

Congratulations to heARsight, the Crossroads Fall 2022 pre-seed winner!

Fall 2022 pre-seed finalists: BeautyAround | Dynamic House | heARsight | Soloist

Congratulations to Wave Therapeutics, the Crossroads Fall 2022 seed winner!

Fall 2022 seed finalists: Juke | Plantennas | Quiptu | Wave Therapeutics

Explore all the contestants!

TENTATIVE SPRING 2023 TIMELINE

February 10, 2023: applications open

March 15: applications close

May 15: finals live at The Mill

Crossroads now has TWO tracks!

two tracks. two sets of finalists. two winners!

We’ve leveled the playing field by creating separate tracks for startups at the pre-seed and seed stage. The competition will be better than ever with two tracks, two sets of finalists, and two winners!

The pre-seed winner takes home a $10,000 investment from Flywheel Fund, and the seed winner takes home a $20,000 investment. Winners also get access to an extensive network of mentors and resources, plus priority consideration to pitch at the prestigious Nexus Regional Pitch Competition for up to $80,000 more. Crossroads puts your startup on the map!

Not sure which stage you’re at? No problem. The application is easy. If your startup already has a product or an MVP, select “seed.” If not, select “pre-seed.”

Applications must include two pieces:

Your pitch deck

Your pitch video (3–5 minutes)

An Executive Summary is optional (2 pages max).

Be sure to read our Tips & Tricks before you prepare your materials.

JESSICA BUSSERT, CEO, WAVE THERAPEUTICS

The Crossroads competition brings in great companies from across the state, and I’m honored to be selected as the winner. We’re working on a life-saving technology to prevent bedsores, and it’s gratifying to know that the judges understand and support the work we’re doing. We’ve been a part of The Mill for several years, and we appreciate the support we get there and from the Indiana business community.

RILEY ELLINGSEN, CEO, HEARSIGHT

We’re proud to have been selected as the winners of the Crossroads pre-seed track, amongst an impressive and diverse group of startups. The feedback we received from each round of the competition was invaluable, and the cash award gets us closer to our target for unlocking our next product development milestone. We’re excited to be one step closer to creating a more accessible world for people who are hard of hearing and/or d/Deaf and incredibly grateful for Crossroads’ support of this mission.

STUART LOWRY, COFOUNDER, ARCTICRX

We are beyond grateful for the opportunity this affords ArcticRx. It’s really satisfying for others to understand the change this product can bring across the globe, and we can’t thank The Mill enough for their part in the future of #VaccineEquity. The Mill has done a tremendous job fostering a spirit of camaraderie in the Hoosier community of entrepreneurs and change makers. We hope all the participants find paths for success.

ELLIE SYMES, CO-FOUNDER, THE BEE CORP

Crossroads Pitch Competition came at a great time. We had just finished our first season deploying the product, and it was great to have this win on the tail end of our product launch. Every company hits an inflection point where they transition from competing in competitions to competing for customers for big checks. Crossroads ended up being the last competition we needed to rocket our company into the competing for customers phase!

JENNIE MOSER, CEO, STAGETIME

I can’t overstate how positively Crossroads changed the trajectory of the end of the year (and the first full year of Stagetime!). The non-dilutive prize money allowed me to move to Stagetime full-time before I had originally planned, and even more importantly, it gave me the confidence and ability to seize the opportunity to bring one of my most valuable contractors onto Stagetime full-time. These two items have changed my day-to-day dramatically — professionally and personally.

JACKSON BOLEK, CEO, UTILIZ

We’re absolutely thrilled, and our team is excited to be developing software that will change how utilities look at their infrastructure. Utilities of all sizes need access to cutting-edge tools at a price point they can afford, and we believe that we’re equipped to deliver those tools later this spring.

 

Tips & Tricks

PITCH DECK

Your slide deck should, at minimum, address the following:

  • Title (Your startup’s name)
  • Customers (Show a clear understanding of who your customers are)
  • The Problem (What problem, need, or pain point have you discovered?)
  • Solution (Your product or service)
  • Team
  • Market
  • Competition
  • Revenue Model/Business Model (How you make money)
  • Go to Market Strategy (How you will find first customers and gain market traction)
  • Key Next Steps (Your plans and/or your needs)

Learn more about the art of creating a great pitch and designing a pitch deck on The Mill’s blog.

PITCH VIDEO

Your pre-recorded pitch should be 3-5 minutes long. We recommend that you use the Zoom platform, so that your video shows you talking and your pitch deck simultaneously. The free version has the record feature. You may want to have someone assist you with pressing the buttons so that you can focus on your presentation.

Setting counts. Tidy up your background, or consider a realistic and professional Zoom virtual background.

Judges want to see you. Make sure your light source is in front of you and not behind you. Stack your computer on books if needed to get a camera angle that is at eye level. 

Practice. Practice. Practice.

And remember, since this is a pre-recorded pitch, you can record yourself more than once until you get something you’re happy with!

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

An Executive Summary is optional. It should be no longer than 2 pages. An Executive Summary provides a brief overview of your startup. It includes:

  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Market Size
  • Competition
  • Business Model/Revenue Model
  • Marketing/Sales
  • Traction
  • Future Milestones
  • Team

Learn more about writing an executive summary on The Mill’s blog.