McDonald’s Launches Start-up Pitch Competition @ 2015 SXSW!

by Akash Pathak
March 6, 2015

The intersection of convenience, fun and value has historically been an integral part of the McDonald’s DNA. Today, we are on the move to transform how we bring these pillars to life through the growth of technologies such as mobile, connected devices, digital media and the Internet of Things. McDonald’s will give startups the opportunity to pitch their innovations, particularly as they relate to the customer experience of one of the world’s largest and most frequented businesses, serving more than 69 million customers in more than 100 countries each day.

There are 3 session opportunities for pitches:

  1. Reinventing the Restaurant Experience 
  2. Advancing Content Creation and Co-Creation
  3. Mobilizing the Transportation and Delivery Revolution


Each session finalists will receive:

  1. A $1,000 gift card to support their next business trip & materials.
  2. 3 copies of Guy Kawasaki’s book “The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything”
  3. Mention on McDonald’s social channels.

We will select one winner from each session to have a brainstorming meeting with the McDonald’s Digital Team at the corporate headquarters in 2015.

One Grand Prize winner from amongst all three sessions will have the opportunity to pitch their idea or business to McDonald’s C-Suite Team at the corporate headquarters.

Submitting Your Pitch

Submit your pitch to [email protected] by 8 pm ET on Tuesday, March 10. Ensure your pitch includes:

  • Signed Release Form
  • Three minute video of your pitch or idea
  • Company background and details (200 words or less)
  • Description of your company’s pitch and competitive advantage (200 words or less)
  • The reason we should choose you to present (250 words or less)
  • All relevant details, include contact information, website and links (no attachments) to applicable content


We will judge all pitches on the combination of the following criteria:

  • Current traction and milestones
  • Market differentiation
  • Market potential
  • Customer value proposition and service offering
  • Overall brand fit

We will notify three finalists for each session on March 12, 2015 and give them 15 minutes to pitch their innovation to a panel of industry leaders and McDonald’s digital executives on March 13th.

Have questions? Send them to [email protected]


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