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Sacramento Kings Launch Expanded Eighth Annual Capitalize Competition

— League’s First Startup Technology Competition Adds Opportunities to Showcase Entrepreneurship in Food and Innovation —

— Applications for Returning Capitalize: Technology, Presented by Dialpad, due Thursday, February 2 —

Today, the Sacramento Kings announced the return and expansion of the eighth annual Capitalize, the NBA’s first crowdsourced startup competition, which offers local entrepreneurs the chance to secure funding and resources, receive mentorship and increase awareness about their business. Although this effort, Capitalize extends the Kings commitment to providing opportunities for up-and-coming innovators, giving them the platform to showcase new products and services on the NBA’s global stage.

This year, the Kings are expanding the Capitalize platform to provide two new sectors with support in capacity building, connections and pilot opportunities. The three Capitalize contests will include:

  • Capitalize: Technology – showcasing local technology entrepreneurs and innovators from the region;
  • Capitalize: Food – showcasing innovative food entrepreneurs and concepts; and
  • Capitalize: Innovation – showcasing game-changing solutions from entrepreneurs around the world with the goal of advancing key strategic priorities identified by the Kings.

“The Kings are proud to showcase innovative entrepreneurs in the Sacramento region and beyond through our groundbreaking Capitalize competition,” said Sacramento Kings President of Business Operations John Rinehart. “We are thrilled to expand the Capitalize platform to additional sectors, providing more resources and mentorship opportunities to the next generation of creators and trailblazers.”

Applications for the competition’s first contest, Capitalize: Technology, presented by Dialpad, the world’s most advanced business communications company, are now open. Startups located within 75 miles of Sacramento are eligible to apply at Kings.com/Capitalize, with applications closing on Thursday, February 2 at 11:59 pm The winner will be announced during Tech Night on March 24 as the Kings take on the Phoenix Suns and will receive a $10,000 cash prize towards the development of their startup and three years of access to Dialpad communication services.

“We are excited to see the Capitalize contest expand and encourage entrepreneurship in technology, food and global innovation,” said Dialpad Founder and CEO Craig Walker. “Much like in basketball, inspiration and teamwork are driving forces for entrepreneurs. We’re eager to see what amazing ideas come from this year’s teams.”

Applicants will be narrowed down to the “Select 16” on February 6. The “Top 8” will be announced on February 10 and will receive additional coaching as they prepare for Pitch Day on March 1. At Pitch Day, a panel of successful entrepreneurs , executives and investors will judge the “Top 8’s” pitches and select the “4 Finalists.”

The “4 Finalists” will create pitch videos that will be displayed on Kings.com/Capitalize and will be used for fan voting via Twitter. Fans will have the opportunity to cast a vote starting March 2 until halftime of Kings game on March 24. The judges’ votes, along with fan votes, will be tallied and the Capitalize grand prize winner will be announced during the game. In addition, the second and third place winners will be awarded a prize of $3,000 and $1,500, respectively.

Last year, EyeRate, a rating platform that pays service employees cash when they get mentioned in online reviews and social media content, was crowned the winner of the 2022 Capitalize competition.

“Kings Capitalize was one of the most energizing events we have participated in,” said EyeRate CEO Raymond Weisberg. “The level of talent from the founders and teams, in the competition and from Sacramento, was inspiring to see. The exposure we gained from the event has led to rapid traction with new team members, partnership opportunities, and potential investors. We are very thankful to the Kings organization, Judges, and the Startup Community who put effort into making this a memorable experience. Best wishes to all companies that are participating in 2023 and congratulations to this year’s startup “Beam Team”!”

Since the inaugural launch of Capitalize in 2016, hundreds of applicants from around the area have submitted their business ideas to be considered in this contest, with many expressing how valuable the contest has been for the growth of their emerging businesses. The Capitalize: Food and Capitalize: Innovation contests will launch later this year.

Dialpad is the global leader in AI communications for business, transforming how the world works together. Dialpad customers benefit from truly unified business and customer communications, including a cloud business phone system, text and team messaging, video meetings, and the world’s most advanced AI-powered contact center — all in one beautiful app. More than 7,000 innovative brands and millions of people use Dialpad to connect their teams from anywhere.

Visit Dialpad.com for more information and to request a demo.

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