OPPORTUNITY to show off your business and WIN Pitch Funds!


The 2023 Battle of Pitches seeks the top veteran entrepreneur pitches in Florida.

Veterans, service members, and members of the National Guard or Reserves who have a business in Florida may submit video pitches. Fourteen finalists will pitch live, on-stage at the Expo for a chance at cash awards provided by generous donors. Open to all veteran small business owners across the state of Florida. See full guidelines below for eligibility and submission requirements.

Read all of the guidelines below and submit your video pitch to steinbach@veteransflorida.org by Monday, May 1 at 5:00 PM ET. The finalists will compete in-person on Saturday, June 10 at the Expo.

Minimum Requirements to Compete:

  • Business owner must be a veteran, active duty servicemember, member of the National Guard or Reserves in Florida
  • Business must be a for-profit entity
  • Business must be Florida-based to enter
    • Business must be registered in the state by June 10, 2023 to obtain prize money
  • Annual revenue cap of $10 million
  • Veterans with administrative, non conduct-related discharges are eligible to enter. Including: honorable discharges, general discharges, and other than honorable discharges

Submission packet – Deadline: Monday, May 1, 2023, by 5:00 pm ET

  1. Video pitch, consisting of the following components (the listed components are recommended but not required):
  2. Company team photo in PNG or JPEG file format
  3. Submit videos with a YouTube link
  4. Videos should be not less than five (5) and no more than ten (10) minutes in length
  5. Company logo, preferred in EPS or AI
  6. Signed Veterans Florida Expo Photo & Video release form
  7. A copy of Florida business registration in Sunbiz, if available
  8. A copy of DD-214, letter from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, or official letter from branch of service/commander verifying military status and character of service


  1. Be aware of the background
  2. Wear solid colors instead of patterns when possible
  3. Please test your computer’s camera and microphone before filming
  4. Film your video in a well-lit room
  5. Please film the video in landscape (horizontal) format, not portrait (vertical) format
  6. If filming on your phone, consider using a tripod
  7. Most computers have software preinstalled you can use to record your presentation:
    • Mac: QuickTime app
    • PC: Camera app

Submission Process:

  1. The competitor will email submission packet to Elena Steinbach, steinbach@veteransflorida.org
  2. All submissions must be received no later than May 1, 2023, by 5:00 pm ET.

Judging Process:

  1. Veterans Florida will view all qualified pre-recorded video presentations
  2. Veterans Florida will select nine (9) state finalists to compete on June 10, 2023 at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, based on the judging criteria
  3. Veterans Florida entrepreneur training partners will submit five (5) finalists from their training programs
  4. Veterans Florida will announce the finalists on May 12, 2023
  5. All finalists will be required to present in-person to the judges
    • If a finalist is unable to attend the judging session, the next highest ranked pitch will be deemed a finalist and be afforded the opportunity to compete
  6. Click here for Pitch Competition Judging Criteria
  7. Winners will be announced at the live event on June 10, 2023
  8. Award prize amount to be announced later, awarded funds will be paid to the registered Florida business of the winners

Wrap up:

  1. Rehearse your pitch
  2. Remember to have a really good hook for your pitch
    • Is there a story you can tell that illustrates the problem you are trying to solve? Why are you passionate about solving this problem?
  3. Look squarely toward the camera during your presentation
    • You may need to glance at notes periodically, but avoid reading them word for word
  4. Dress for success
  5. Test video sound and lighting
  6. Polish your presentation slides or skit