Business & Real Estate

Kings’ ‘Capitalize’ startup tournament reaches Sweet 16. How you can help pick winner

The Kings are looking to help local startup businesses. The winner of the Capitalize contest will be announced March 22 at Golden 1 Center
The Kings are looking to help local startup businesses. The winner of the Capitalize contest will be announced March 22 at Golden 1 Center AP file

The NBA's only crowdsourced startup tournament has reached its Sweet 16.

The Kings on Wednesday announced the finalists for the third annual Capitalize contest, which aims to help local entrepreneurs and innovators build their startup businesses. The field of 16 was winnowed from 75 applicants, and on Friday those remaining will pitch their products and companies to a panel of judges consisting of investors, tech executives and local innovators in a round-by-round elimination tournament – leaving four finalists to compete for the grand prize.

“We’re excited to once again drive competition and excitement among Sacramento’s innovator community,” Ryan Montoya, the Kings’ chief technology officer, said in an earlier release about the contest. “Through the Capitalize contest, the rising stars of our region will have access to information and resources that could help them grow their product to the next big thing.”

The final four will create pitch videos for fan voting, which will be featured on Kings.com/Capitalize starting March 14. At that time, fan voting will open via Twitter.

The contestants will be at Golden 1 Center for Tech Night on March 22, when the Kings host the Atlanta Hawks. Fans in the arena will see the pitch videos on the arena's 4K screen during the game and place final votes on Twitter, with fan voting ending at halftime. The judges will review the companies one final time, tally their votes along with the fan vote and the winner will be announced during the game.

The judging panel consists of seven members, including John Rinehart, Kings president of business operations.

For the full list of contestants and judges, and for more information, visit Kings.com/Capitalize.

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