The Competition

The AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup is a pitch competition for early-stage hardware startups.

The Hardware Cup tours 6 US regions, with events in: Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington DC,  Chicago, Raleigh, and San Jose. Check our Competitions page for more details.

Other countries around the globe also participate – check out our International Competitions page for more details.


To be eligible, you must be an early-stage hardware startup with at least one physical product component.

Don’t let the term hardware scare you off! Physical products include but are not limited to: manufactured products, IoT/connected devices, health/medical, consumer products, consumer electronics, food, fashion, robotics, etc.

Check out our Full List of our 2019 Finalist and Semifinalist Companies here or check out our Past Cups page to learn more about previous finalists.

You can only apply to one region; multiple applications are not permitted.

The Format

6 teams will be selected in each US region to give a 3-minute pitch followed by about 3 minutes of Q&A with the panel of judges made up of local VCs and investors.

At the same time, several other countries will hold their own Hardware Cup competition with a similar format.

The finalist from each US regional competition and international competition, in addition to a wild card finalist chosen by our judges, will pitch at the online Hardware Cup Finals event on May 19, 2020.

The winner will take home the $50,000 grand prize, with additional cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place.

On the following day, all finalists will be featured online as part of a private AI/Robotics investor event with top hardware investors from around the country.


The AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup will award a $50,000 cash prize to the International Finals winners. 2nd and 3rd prize finalists will each receive cash prizes.

Winning teams from each US region will get $3000 cash and other prizes.

International competitions are run by international partners, and the winners will pitch at the Internationals Finals and be featured in the online Investor Day.

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