Startup competitions seeking cannabis companies

Steven Loeb · May 31, 2018 · Short URL:

They include CNvest: Terps and Tech, ACE Pitch Competition and CannabisFest Pitch Competition

If you're a startup seeking opportunities to get funded, educated or connected, startup competitions are a great resource.

Vator has been holding its own competitions, using VatorX, to find and filter for the best startups. We've had some very successful and notable winners in the past that have gone on to raise big funding rounds including Thumbtack, DogVacay, Pokitdok, Grovo, Udemy and Apartment List, to name a few.

Anyone can list their program as VatorX is one of the most comprehensive listing guides to startup competitions, challenges, accelerators and programs. Click here to list your program!

As part of our weekly series, we'll look at top competitions with big cash prizes, as well as competitions that have teed up the most promising startups, to finding popular startup competitions you need to know about. 

Here are some of the startup competitions that are focused on cannabis companies:


CNvest: Terps and Tech 2018 Finalist

Description: "Working with leading cannabis investors and industry influencers, CNvest will identify 16 of the most compelling and innovative startups for a one-day showcase that will also offer attendees opportunities to meet with entrepreneurs, explore hot sectors of this expanding market, and identify its emerging trends. CNvest is a fun, educational event with ample opportunities for networking."

Prize: $10,000

Previous winners: The Peak Beyond


Description: "The competition is centered around ancillary business concepts in one of the fastest growing industries, domestically and abroad."

Prize: $10,000 and advisement from Green Lion Partners

Previous winners: Cannabis Center of Excellence



Description: "The Austin Cannabis Entrepreneur (ACE) Conference Pitch Competition showcases the latest cutting-edge advancements from cannabis-based businesses that have innovative approaches to long-term legal opportunities such as manufacturing, medicinal, research, well-being, edible, as well as other markets and applications."

Prize: Each startup selected to participate in this competition will pitch their idea / business model in front of a live audience before facing Q&A from a panel of expert judges. After all of the presentations are complete, these startups will be evaluated and scored by the judges to determine which company wins a cash prize of $1500

Previous winners: None yet


Description: "The Lift & Co. x Leaf Forward Competition will take place during the Lift Cannabis Expo’s Industry Day on May 25 and will feature a judging panel encompassing the sharpest business minds in the cannabis industry. The pitch competition is organized by Leaf Forward, Canada’s first and leading cannabis business accelerator."


  • Free admission to a Leaf Forward CannaStartUp Bootcamp
  • $5,000 worth of advertising from Lift & Co. to promote your company
  • 10 x 10 booth at a 2019 Lift & Co. Expo
  • Potential financial investment from the judges
  • Free onboarding consultation from Stoic Advisory

Previous winners: Can of Bliss


Description: "On Tuesday, November 14, Heady Vermont is presents the first in The Cannabiz Pitch Competition series, where we will award $1,000 cash to a Vermont-based business and/or entrepreneur, as well as additional in-kind professional business development services.This quarter’s competition is sponsored by Merritt & Merritt and KIND Consulting, as well as Main Street Landing, who is sponsoring the Atrium reception space."

Prize: $1,000 cash

Previous winners: Ropana

 CannX 2018

Description: "The prestigious Cann10 2018 Innovation Award can help your Cannabis related startup gain invaluable exposure and reach the next level in your pathway to worldwide recognition."


  • Gain exposure to an international investment community and key industry players.
  • Obtain invaluable guidance and endorsement from world-class panel and peers.
  • Attend the value-added CannX 2019 conference as a featured guest.
  • Leverage prestige from being a finalist in a highly regarded international award competition.

Previous winners: Unknown


Description: "In collaboration with HelloMD – CannabisFest is an exclusive one-day gathering of North America’s newest class of risk-takers – the cannabis entrepreneur. This event will bring together visionaries and canna-hackers alike, to learn, connect and uncover how cannabis entrepreneurs are shaping legalized marketplaces. Serious opportunities will be created in this new multi-billion dollar market."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: None yet

 CANNATANKArtboard 1.png

Description: "Get your business idea in front of industry leaders and investors and be eligible to win $1,000 in start-up assistance, admission to VIP festival events, a strategy meeting with Kayvan Khalatbari of Denver Relief Consulting, a “Brand Therapy” session with Jennifer Culpepper of Brand Joint, and more!"

Prize: $1,000 in start-up assistance, business coaching meetings and strategy sessions, and more

Previous winners: SMART

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