Submit Your Startup

Cucalorus Connect, a 2-day business, technology and innovation conference is now accepting applications for the 2019 Rocket Pitch Competition and 10x10 Challenge.


  • 10x10 Challenge: 10 entrepreneurs are paired with 10 filmmakers to make a short promo video in just five days during the festival. See the results from the 2018 10x10 Challenge.
  • Rocket Pitch Competition: Watch startups go head-to-head to capture audience votes in a fast-paced pitch competition.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Your Startup must be under 3 years old to be considered.
  • You must be available to attend Cucalorus from the Kickoff Party (November 10) to the final Startup event (November 15).

Application Deadline: May 1, 2019

Each year in downtown Wilmington, Cucalorus Festival hosts interactive events that enhance, explode and empower our experience of reality. As a main component of the Festival, our Connect Conference continues to explore the unique intersection of digital technology and creativity for a growing global economy with five tracks: GigTech, HealthTech, FinTech, Community Brew and Startups. Connect attracts entrepreneurs in bold new traded sector companies who expand economic development through innovation, new ideas, and  embracing cultural differences. Packed with interactive programs like the 10x10 Challenge and Rocket Pitch, our Connect conference includes captivating keynotes, engaging panel discussions and sessions – designed to encourage conversation in how we go about transforming the way we live, work and play.



A fascinating schedule of speakers talk about the changing nature of employment and how new tools are redefining work for creative contractors working in the gig economy. We’ll also be looking at the evolution of artificial intelligence and big data as they transform what it means to explore technology and creativity.



How is mobile, virtual pay, and near field communications disintermediating financial institutions from their customers? How are financial institutions using tech to meet the demands of digital consumers? What does this mean for the way we use money? What can the visual artist teach us about creating a seamless user experience?



How are leading health care providers using digital engagement to make healthcare more convenient and even entertaining? How is the increasing flow of data giving patients more control and allowing us to improve public health? How can we improve the user experience to stem app/device abandonment?



How do you give the perfect elevator pitch? How can the emerging media landscape enhance your digital presence? Growing entrepreneurs have a chance to perfect their pitch and to work with a production company to create a short promo video through the 10x10 Challenge.


Community Brew

A Showcase of local trends in social entrepreneurship, recognizing how coffee shops, breweries, and other businesses are changing the way we look at community organizing through economic pathways. Explore the brewery boom, food justice, public art, and racial politics through the lens of post-hurricane recovery.