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Trout Tank CPG Pitch Event @ Denver Startup Week

Denver is at the forefront of food industry innovation with a growing community of packaged food and beverage entrepreneurs. The Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Colorado Food Works are joining forces to bring Denver Startup Week a pitch competition consisting of Denver’s best up and coming food entrepreneurs.

TROUT TANK – CPG EDITION is about highlighting CPG food and beverage entrepreneurs and businesses in Colorado and giving them opportunities to sharpen their pitching skills, gain exposure, secure funding, and build connections with lenders, investors, decision-makers, and key stakeholders within the Colorado business and investing community. 

Hear pitches from 5 food businesses chosen by industry leaders as they pitch their concepts in front of the local lending, investing, and business community. Who will pitch their way to victory and to the next level!?

The winner of Trout Tank – CPG Edition will walk away with a “foodtrepreneur prize pack”, which is highlighted by a $2000.00 cash prize and a formal product review from prominent national food retailers, Whole Foods and Kroger!

Judges will include:
Mike O’Donnell – Colorado Lending Source
Doug Helbig – Colorado Food Works
Rachel Kopfensteiner – King Soopers
Darcy Landis – WFM
Alex Hanifin – Alpine Start
Jim Lamcusa – Cusa Tea

Following the pitch competition, enjoy a happy hour and demo day featuring 20 entrepreneurs and businesses sharing their products with attendees.

The pitch event will be followed by a unique opportunity to connect with the region’s funding, startup, hospitality community. As a part of the networking, all Trout Tank: Pitch Accelerator participants will demo their ideas and share their business with attendees to give an opportunity for participants to engage with and learn more about the companies in the program.

September 18, 2019

4:00-6:00 pm
Pitches • Connections • Happy Hour

INDUSTRY Stadium (Brighton Blvd)
3001 Brighton Blvd., Denver CO

Cost: Complimentary for Denver Startup Week

Trout Tank FAQs

We, along with our partners, have designed Trout Tank to educate and integrate entrepreneurs into the business community and serve as a platform to connect them with funding sources and connections they need to be successful.

  • 5 three-hour sessions including pitch practice, expert panels and interactive group work
  • Get paired with a rockstar mentor
  • Complete a pitch deck with expert help
  • Multiple pitching opportunities in a supportive space
  • Instant feedback and coaching
  • Face to face meetings with lenders and investors
  • Free registration to workshops at the Denver Metro SBDC
  • Access to a powerful alumni network of over 100 past Trout Tank companies
  • VIP attendance to the Trout Tank Pitch Event with a demo booth for extra exposure
  • Private public speaking class and coaching
  • Special Rockies Venture Club Pitch Academy

Throughout Trout Tank: Pitch Accelerator, you will be able to sharpen your pitching skills, gain exposure, secure funding and build connections with lenders, investors, decision-makers, and key stakeholders within the Colorado business and investing community.

We accept 15 companies in each Trout Tank: Pitch Accelerator class.

  • LEADING EDGE students (past and present): $75
  • Trout Tank Retake fee: $75
  • Chamber members: $75

We welcome all companies—from beginning stage startups to existing businesses looking to expand.

Yes, both founders and co-founders are welcome to apply.

Yes, you are eligible, as long as you have a specific financial ask.

Yes, as long as you meet all the requirements, and are able to attend all trainings and events in person.

Absolutely! Assuming you still meet all of the criteria, you are welcome to go through the program as many times as you would like.

Yes, you are both welcome to do so, but that is not recommended.

Only key leadership roles are able to pitch (ex. Founder, Co-Founder, CEO, President, etc.).

Following the final auditions, the top 3-5 companies are chosen to pitch at the Trout Tank: Final Event. Those not chosen will be given booth space to demo their product during networking.

The judging panel is made up of key partners and business leaders within the Denver region.

The event is open to the public, but we invite lenders, investors and business leaders to attend.

No problem! That's what this process is for.

See a summary of the final event for Trout Tank H2O!

In Partnership With


Community Partner Sponsorship

$ 200
  • Includes 5 VIP tickets and food and beverage

VIP Investor / Lender Ticket

$ 50
  • Includes food and beverage

General Admission Ticket

$ 35
  • Includes food and beverage

Bronze / Silver DMCC Members

$ 20
  • Includes food and beverage

Gold and Above DMCC Members

  • Includes food and beverage
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