No matter what stage your business venture is at, conferences and conventions are a key way to expand your network, hear about opportunities, and keep up with current and emerging trends in your industry. Alternatively, pitch competitions are a great way to gain funding for your business.

Because these two event-driven opportunities are so vital to the entrepreneurial process, we’ve compiled a list of conferences and pitch competitions in the United States during 2023. Many are exclusively for veterans and military spouses, but there are also many listed that are open to all ventures, or those within specific industries. Be sure to read closely and check the event’s website. Our hope is that it can help you plan your year and make you aware of nearby events that can make a difference for your venture.

Many of the events listed (particularly those more than six months out) have not yet finalized dates or locations. We have listed the traditional time of year and location for those events, but it is subject to change. For pitch competitions, keep in mind the applications tend to open a few months before the competition. Keep checking the event’s website for the most up-to-date details.

Are We Missing a Conference or Pitch Competition?

If there is a great conference or pitch competition for veterans and military spouses that isn’t listed below, feel free to let us know! Leave a comment below with the name of the event, the 2023 dates, and a link to the website, and we’ll be sure to update the list.

January Conferences & Pitch Competitions

Affiliate Summit West (ASW) Conference

At ASW, you’ll find thousands of partners of all shapes and sizes, from mass media publishers and bloggers, to coupon and cashback websites, to other brands with the same goals as you, to innovative technology partners.

Website: https://www.affiliatesummit.com/west?

Dates: Jan 23-25, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, NV

SubSummit Pitch Competition

$50,000 pitch competition for subscription-based services

Website: https://subsummit.com/pitch-competition/

Dates: App deadline Jan 26, 2023, event is May 31, 2023

Location: Dallas, TX

FedEx Small Business Pitch Competition

10 grand prize winners receive $30,000 in grant money, and one will be a US veteran, who receives an additional $20,000, another 10 “people’s choice” selections receive $1,000 in prize money

Website: https://www.fedex.com/en-us/small-business/grant-contest.html

Dates: Apps open Jan 31-Feb 21, 2023, winners announced May 11, 2023

Location: Virtual via pitch video

February Conferences & Pitch Competitions

MilVet Startups Conference

Hosted by Context Ventures

Website: https://www.milvetstartups.com/

Dates: Feb 2-3, 2023

Location: San Francisco, CA, Marines’ Memorial Club

DistribuTech International Conference

A conference related to smart cities and tech startups that reshape cities

Website: https://www.distributech.com/welcome

Dates: Feb 7-9, 2023

Location: San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

Rice Business/Jones Graduate School of Business Veterans Business Battle Pitch Competition

Shark Tank-style event that historically has $30,000 in prizes, and has extended $4mm in investment offers to veteran entrepreneurs since 2015

Website: https://business.rice.edu/veterans-business-battle

Dates: Apr 20-22, 2023 Applications Close Feb 11

Location: Houston, TX

Arch Grants Pitch Competition

Open only to St. Louis-based companies (or those willing to relocate) for a $75,000 grant

Website: https://archgrants.org/competition/

Dates: Aug 1, 2023, Applications open Feb 21-Mar 31

Location: St Louis, MO

March Conferences

South x Southwest (SXSW) Conference

This mammoth conference is best known as an arts festival with an A-list musician lineup, but it has robust programming tracks for startups, tech, healthcare, transportation, and other industries.

Website: https://www.sxsw.com/conference/startups (or click the conference tab for other program tracks)

Dates: Mar 10-19, 2023

Location: Austin, TX

Adobe Summit Conference

The Digital Experience Conference is the premier event for digital marketers and advertisers to learn about and share key strategies for driving marketing innovation.

Website: https://summit.adobe.com/na/

Dates: Mar 21-23, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Veteran EDGE Conference

Hosted by the Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University for veterans and military spouses

Website: https://ivmf.syracuse.edu/programs/entrepreneurship/growth/veteran-edge/

Dates: Mar 22-25, 2023

Location: Hyatt Regency, Dallas, TX

April Conferences & Pitch Competitions

Startup Grind Global Conference

The Startup Exhibition is an annual showcase of startups from around the world who are building the next big thing. There are opportunities to pitch (apply on website now), get exposure, meet with investors and potential partners, and more.

Website: https://startupgrind.tech/conference/

Dates: Apr 11-12, 2023

Location: Silicon Valley, CA

TechCrunch Early Stage Conference

At this one-day founder summit, you’ll get actionable advice and takeaways from top experts, meet other entrepreneurs taking similar journeys, share your own experiences and build the confidence to take the next steps towards growing your business.

Website: https://techcrunch.com/events/tc-early-stage-2023/

Dates: Apr 20, 2023

Location: Boston, MA

RSA Conference

This cybersecurity-focused conference includes an innovation sandbox challenge that can put you in front of investors and their Shark Tank-Style Launchpad contest. Apps for both are due Feb 10th.

Website: https://www.rsaconference.com/usa

Dates: Apr 24-27, 2023

Location: Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA

Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition

This education-focused business and non-profit pitch competition awards $80,000 in prize money among four top finishers.

Website: https://www.educationcompetition.org/competition-details

Dates: Apps traditionally open in April

Location: Unclear, possibly virtual and Philadelphia, PA

May Conferences & Pitch Competitions

MedCity Invest Conference

INVEST 2023 will unite active investors with corporate business development executives to facilitate investment opportunities with the most promising healthcare startups

Website: https://events.medcitynews.com/invest/

Dates: May 22-24, 2023

Location: Ritz Carlton, Chicago, IL

Navy Veteran Small Business Coalition VETS’23 Conference

The Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium is a great opportunity for new or self-taught entrepreneurs to benefit from their fellow veterans’ hard won experience.

Website: https://nvsbc.memberclicks.net/

Dates: May 22-25, 2023

Location: Orlando, FL

SubSummit Conference

Conference for subscription-based services

Website: https://subsummit.com/

Dates: May 31-June 2, 2023

Location: Dallas, TX

PenFed Ignition Challenge Pitch Competition

Historically, the PenFed Foundation Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program (VEIP) puts on this summer pitch competition with &75,00 in prizes for veterans and military spouses.

Website: https://www.rsaconference.com/usa

Dates: Apr 24-27, 2023

Location: Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA

StartUp World Cup Pitch Competition

Major pitch event where 2,500+ startups compete across 60+ regional events for a spot at the grand finale and a million dollar investment prize

Website: https://www.startupworldcup.io/

Dates: Finale Event Dec 1, 2023 (apps traditionally open in May)

Location: San Francisco, CA

Bob Evans Farms Heroes to CEOs Pitch Competition

This competition traditionally awards 3-6 veteran entrepreneurs $10,000-$50,000 grants.

Website: https://www.bobevansgrocery.com/our-farm-salutes/heroes-to-ceos/

Dates: Traditionally May-Sep

Location: New Albany, Ohio

The Startup Conference

The 11th annual Startup Conference will host some of Silicon Valley’s top players, and includes a pitching program track.

Website: https://thestartupconference.com/

Dates: May 18, 2023 (app deadline to pitch investors is Apr 18)

Location: Silicon Valley, Mountain View, CA

June Conferences

EnvisionB2B Conference

B2B Networking Conference

Website: https://www.dc360events.com/

Dates: Jun 20-22, 2023

Location: The Hilton Chicago, Chicago, IL

July Conferences

Department of the Navy Gold Coast Small Business Procurement Conference

An opportunity to meet key government and industry contracting personnel through one-on-one matchmaking sessions, a hallmark of the event. The exhibit floor, has over 200 government agencies and industry organizations with procurement needs, including the ten Navy Systems Commands.

Website: https://www.navygoldcoast.org/

Dates: Jul 26-28, 2023

Location: San Diego, CA

August Conferences

Black Hat USA Conference

A cybersecurity-focused conference

Website: https://www.blackhat.com/upcoming.html#usa 

Dates: August 5-10

Location: Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

MozCon Conference

A marketing conference that includes “non-stuffy networking and expert sessions delivered by industry leaders in SEO, search marketing, mobile, conversion optimization, local search, and more”.

Website: https://moz.com/mozcon

Dates: August 7-9, 2023

Location: Seattle Convention Center, Seattle, WA

September Conferences & Pitch Competitions

Bunker Labs and USAA Pitch Competition

In 2022, Bunker Labs partnered with USAA to celebrate their 100th anniversary with a pitch competition that had over $250,000 in prizes. They are teaming up again in 2023 to support more veteran and military spouse business ventures.

Website: https://bunkerlabs.org/usaa-pitch/

Dates: Tentatively September/October, 2023, Applications this summer

Location: Pending

SA Tech Fuel Pitch Competition

A tech startup pitch competition with a $100,000 grand prize.

Website: https://satechbloc.com/sa-tech-fuel/

Dates: Traditionally October, Applications traditionally in September

Location: San Antonio, TX

TFX Capital Annual Veteran Startup Showcase Pitch Competition

No firm dates yet, but traditionally has prizes totaling over $100,000.

Website: https://tfxcap.com/

Dates: Traditionally September/October

Location: Charlotte, NC

TechCrunch Disrupt Conference

At this one-day founder summit, you’ll get actionable advice and takeaways from top experts, meet other entrepreneurs taking similar journeys, share your own experiences and build the confidence to take the next steps towards growing your business.

Website: https://techcrunch.com/events/tc-early-stage-2023/

Dates: Sep 19-21, 2023

Location: San Francisco, CA

Content Marketing World

This is THE conference for content marketers and is brought to you by the folks at Content Marketing Institute. Meet other content marketers and learn from 150+ industry leading speakers. 2023 is the first year the conference will be in Washington D.C.

Website: https://www.contentmarketingworld.com/

Dates: Sep 26-29, 2023

Location: Washington D.C.

LG Nova Mission for the Future Pitch Competition

Traditionally selects up to 40 winners across 7 program tracks to work with LG for up to $100,000 investments or even 7-figure partnerships

Website: https://www.lgnova.com/

Dates: Apps traditionally run Sep-October, winners traditionally announced at CES in January

Location: Las Vegas, NV

October Conferences & Pitch Competitions

Tech Up For Women West Coast Conference

The Tech Up For Women Conference is a hub of inspiration, idea exchange, and advocacy around the issue of the advancement of women through technology.

Website: https://techupforwomen.com/tech-up-sandiego/

Dates: Oct 4, 2023

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Business Beyond the Battlefield Conference

BBBC is a 3-day business development and entrepreneur education experience for veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs

Website: https://bbbc.uta.edu/

Dates: Oct 4-6, 2023

Location: Arlington, TX

VetsinTech Startup Pitch Competition

Traditionally awards $40,000 in prizes to veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs.

Website: https://sun.vetsintech.co/

Dates: Traditionally in October, applications traditionally due in mid September

Location: Traditionally Virtual or San Francisco, CA

November Conferences

Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Small Business Conference

A conference for veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs. Last year the Veteran Fund held a $100,000 pitch competition, and Second Service Foundation held a $25,000 pitch competition at MIC. Both competitions are expected to happen at MIC again in 2023.

Website: https://www.national8aassociation.org/new-events/2022/11/2/same-small-business-conference-2022 (last year’s site)

Dates: Traditionally early November

Location: Traditionally Nashville, TN

Military Influencer Conference (MIC)

SAME’s Federal Small Business Conference creates the biggest and best event connecting small businesses directly with federal government procurement decision makers, contracting officers, small business liaison officers, and leaders. The event brings together small businesses with large businesses that have teaming and sub-contracting opportunities in support of government work.

Website: https://militaryinfluencer.com/

Dates: Nov 7-10, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, NV

December Pitch Competitions

Veteran Shark Tank

This shark tank-style event traditionally has a $50,000 grand prize, but can also lead to investment offers.

Website: https://veteransharktank.com/

Dates: Traditionally Dec, to kick off Army/Navy Football Week, Applications traditionally run Aug-Oct

Location: Traditionally Philadelphia, PA

Did We Miss Something?

If there is a great conference or pitch competition for veterans and military spouses that isn’t listed above, feel free to let us know! Leave a comment below with the name of the event, the 2023 dates, and a link to the website, and we’ll be sure to update the list.