‘Shark Tank’-style college competition meets EDM concert today at the TLA

Dubbed “the nation’s only startup pitch competition and music festival,” the RECESS Music + Ideas Festival is coming to Philly today.

The bracket of the pitch competition.

The bracket of the pitch competition.

Student entrepreneurs from Penn, Drexel and Temple today will pitch their ideas to venture capitalists and startup leaders with a quarter of a million dollars is on the line — and then there’s an EDM concert afterwards.

The RECESS Music + Ideas Festival, dubbed “the nation’s only touring startup pitch competition and music festival,” is bringing its spring 2016 tour to the TLA today. Students from 18 colleges across the country were pre-selected to pitch venture capitalists that in the past have represented Upfront Ventures, BAM Ventures and Mark Cuban Companies. Students pitching their ideas are enrolled in a bracket format set-up and the overall winner of both the RECESS Tour and what’s called the Capital Championship tournament stands to win a $250,000 cash prize.

And today after students pitch their companies in a “Shark Tank” style, electronic music producer Giraffage will play the TLA on South Street.

Five students from each of three local colleges (Penn, Drexel and Temple) were selected from a pool of applicants and already pitched in an initial qualifier round held on each school’s campus. Today at the TLA are the Regional Semifinals, where three winners will compete against the winning startups from the other schools. The winning team from today will get an all-expenses-paid trip to RECESS’ Field Trip in Los Angeles in June where they’ll compete on a national level.

Today’s free event is open to all, but students who RSVP with a college ID will have priority entry.

RECESS, a live events company, launched the RECESS Music + Ideas Festival in 2013 and, since then, has engaged 70,000 students on 35 campuses from Cornell to NYU to Penn who have raised aggregate seed funding of more than $12 million. In addition to the cash prize, one travel-related startup will win a trip to Dallas to meet with Southwest Airlines leaders and one environmentally-focused team will be invited to a private pitch session at the Pivot/ Participant Media headquarters in Los Angeles.

This year, RECESS has partnered with the Capital Championship competition, another nationwide entrepreneurial tournament, that’s occurring alongside later rounds in the RECESS Pitch Competition.

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