5 Reasons to Apply to Ski Lift Pitch 2019

Applications for Ski Lift Pitch close January 11 @ 11:59pm MST. Don’t let your early-stage company miss out on this incredible opportunity to meet some of the best investors around at an event like no other!

Need a reason to apply? We have five!

  1. Connections. Ski Lift Pitch offers the opportunity to meet and make meaningful connections with investors from around the country who represent over $100m in deployable capital. You’ll be pitching your startup on the lifts at Taos Ski Valley. A discussion on a chair lift is special for a number of reasons including, a) the fresh air: adrenaline and forward momentum makes for memorable conversations; b) the full attention of the person you’re talking to since they can’t look at their phone (too cold to take off gloves and don’t want to drop it); and, c) a shared experience making a more memorable connection, meaning the investor you’re pitching is way more likely to be willing to help you out with connections and intros and advice in the future.
  2. Cash. A shot at the grand prize, $10K of capital (non-dilutive!) for your startup. Cash is pretty much everyone’s favorite.
  3. Networking. You’ll not only meet investors during the pitches; you’ll have a chance to spend the rest of the day skiing with them and other startup founders. You’ll get to know folks who can open doors, help you with intros, and provide valuable advice.
  4. Taos Ski Valley. A chance to spend a full day outdoors, skiing beautiful Taos Ski Valley–an amazing New Mexico experience. Startup founders work really hard and we don’t always take care of ourselves as well as we should. An active day of skiing is good for the body, mind and soul, especially for those of us who are overworked entrepreneurs. This year, we’ll also be hosting a panel with four Taos companies who have each innovated in their space and are putting this region on the startup map!
  5. Attention. You’ll be part of a unique experience and there’s always the potential to be included in some of the Ski Lift Pitch media coverage. Did you know that the ABQid Ski Lift Pitch has been covered by NPR not just once, but two separate times? See you at Taos Ski Valley!

So, should you apply?

If you’re actively seeking venture funding, have a startup with meaningful validation and traction for an innovative value proposition, and are ready to have productive conversations with investors, YES, YOU SHOULD APPLY. Just note that one of your team members needs to be able to ski or snowboard; and heads up, Taos is known for its steepness! The first round of pitching is done on the ski lifts. If your company makes the final round, a non-skiing member can then do the pitch from the stage.

And the winner of Ski Lift Pitch 2018 is… Twistle!

Yesterday marked our fourth-annual Ski Lift Pitch competition, and we’re excited to announce that Albuquerque-based Twistle is the winner!

Ski Lift Pitch Contest began in 2015 after ABQid board member, Katie Rice, came up with the idea in order to attract more investors to the state. With the support of Taos Ski Valley, the event has successfully brought together snow-loving investors and startups for the past three years. Former Ski Lift Pitch Contest winners include Taos Mountain Energy Bars, UBQid, and EquiSeq.

This year’s event was the largest ever with a field of 15 startups broken into three groups. Competitors pitched five judges one at a time while riding up the ski lift. The judges then scored each pitch on a five-point scorecard to determine which of the five companies made it to the final round. 

Twistle, represented by Director of Marketing Brad Woodward, is a messaging platform for health systems that delivers “the easiest and most powerful way to engage with … patients across all clinical specialties, procedures, and chronic conditions.”

There’s no event quite like Ski Lift Pitch, but don’t take our word for it! Check out posts from Instagram to hear directly from the participants. Congratulations to all the competitors, judges, and day-of attendees who made tons of great connections in the entrepreneurial community.


Announcing the Competitors for Ski Lift Pitch 2018!

The field is set for Ski Lift Pitch 2018, and we couldn’t be more excited to tell you about the amazing companies who will converge on Taos Ski Valley February 21-22 for an event like no other.

This year we received our highest number of applicants ever for Ski Lift Pitch (the word’s getting out about the scene in New Mexico!). In fact, we had so many quality applicants that we’ve increased the competitor field from 12 to 15 companies, making this year’s event the biggest and best yet.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

  1. AdWallet
  2. Apostrophe
  3. Charge Running
  4. DataButterfly
  5. DeferPanic, Inc.
  6. Drop Water
  7. Elemental
  8. Hangtime
  9. IP Fact Scout, Inc.
  10. Makeena
  11. PhenoMx
  12. Rodin Scientific
  13. Tesseract Space
  14. Trusted Herd
  15. Twistle

These companies hail from around New Mexico as well as California, Colorado, Illinois, and New York. They’ll each present to an esteemed group of judges, some of whom are Ski Lift Pitch regulars like Bert Roberts of Sorenson Capital in Utah. Others are brand new to the event like Hemai Parthasarathy of Breakout Labs in California, and Pat Riley of GAN Ventures in Colorado. For a full list of judges visit www.skiliftpitch.com.

Join us on the slopes or in the lounge

Day-of tickets are available for $50 and cover lunch pitch session, finalist announcement reception, and, new for this year, access to The Lounge, a space that will host non-skiing participants, entrepreneurs, and investors. ABQid’s Directors, T.J. Cook and Trisha Terhar, will be on hand to help you make connections, talk all things startups, and host special guests like Andy Lim, Founder/CEO of Albuquerque startup Addmi.

Thanks to our amazing sponsors and partners!

And, of course, a huge shout out to our major sponsors, Taos Ski Valley and Wells Fargo for helping us make Ski Lift Pitch a reality. Other amazing sponsors include Crosslink CapitalFeynman Center for Innovation, Peacock Myers, Sun Mountain Capital, Sorensen CapitalEpic Ventures, GAN VenturesSiarza Social Digital, Taos Mountain Energy Bars, and Taos Mesa Brewing. Lastly, we’re honored to be joined by ICELab at Western State Colorado University as a Partner Program for this year’s contest.

ABQid Ski Lift Pitch 2018 Applications Now Open!

It’s Ski Lift Pitch Contest season! We’re excited to announce our fourth-annual event February 21-22, 2018.

Entrepreneurs and investors alike are all-too-familiar with a typical elevator pitch. We think New Mexico is known more for its elevations than its elevators. ABQid is once again teaming up with Taos Ski Valley to bring New Mexico’s entrepreneurial community together for a special event. And no, there are no elevators involved. Not the usual kind, anyway.

Head on over to www.skiliftpitch.com to apply to compete or purchase a ticket.

Seeking Startups for Ski Lift Pitch in Taos, NM

Pitching a startup on a ski lift in the world renowned Taos Ski Valley can only be topped by the opportunity to win $10,000. ABQid, a startup accelerator based in Albuquerque, NM, is seeking nationwide startups to participate in the unique ABQid Ski Lift Pitch, which will be held on March 1, 2016.

The pitch event pairs startup founders with venture capitalists (VCs) and industry leaders on Taos Ski Valley chair lifts. The startup founders make their pitches as the elevation rises. Each founder will have three opportunities to pitch and the VCs will vote on their favorites. Three finalists will then pitch to a full crowd, including the VC judges, over lunch at 1pm. The grand prizewinner will be selected among the three finalists and announced at the 3:30pm Aprés Ski event.

New Mexico attracts entrepreneurs who seek instant access to outdoor adventure and seek opportunities to make a real impact where they live and work. New Mexico’s ultimate diversity of people and terrain make it an ideal home base for tech geeks and entrepreneurs seeking a fusion of rich culture and instant access to the southern Rocky Mountains and unlimited outdoor adventure.

Last year’s inaugural Ski Lift Pitch event allowed VC’s from all over the country to check off a box on their bucket list and declare they’ve skied the new Kachina Lift at Taos Ski Valley, a world-class destination for both amateur and die-hard skiers.

“This year we are expanding the Ski Lift Pitch to entrepreneurs from all over the country to apply and experience New Mexico’s ideal conditions for startups,” said Katie Rice, one of the event co-founders.

Last year’s Ski Lift Pitch Winner was Taos Energy Bars. “I have immense passion for the entrepreneurial spirit and opportunities that New Mexico offers. It’s an amazing place for entrepreneurs to greatly benefit the startup ecosystem while driving economic development forward,” said Brooks Thostenson, President and Co-Owner of Taos Mountain Energy Bars.

New Mexico Magazine editor, Dave Herndon, after participating in the 2015 Ski Lift Pitch said, “the takeaway for me was that this event represents the sweet spot nexus of New Mexico’s natural assets, the recreation/lifestyle/travel options they present and the opportunity for grass roots economic development they can inspire.”

Startup founders interested in applying for the Ski Lift Pitch, should visit www.skiliftpitch.com. All applicants should have some experience with either skiing or snowboarding.

ABQid (www.abqid.com) is an organization that supports local entrepreneurs who are building great businesses and is a key element in Albuquerque’s efforts to grow a culture of innovation, so organizing the contest aligned well with their mission. Current ABQid Ski Lift Pitch Contest sponsors include the New Mexico Tourism Department, Taos Ski Valley, Silicon Valley Bank, City of Albuquerque, ReCARnation, NewsCastic, Horizon Group at Morgan Stanley, Zia Trust, and Taos Mountain Energy Bar. Others interested in sponsoring the event can contact ABQid at pamela@abqid.com