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**The 2017 business pitch competition has been cancelled due to resource constraints**

Welcome to the New York African Restaurant Week Business Pitch (“Turn the Tables”) Competition!

We invite invite early-stage food and restaurant businesses to “turn the tables” and pitch to top venture capital firms and the world’s best startup accelerators and incubators.

The purpose of Turn the Tables is to encourage and support entrepreneurs in the restaurant and food industries by offering them a high-profile, real-world opportunity to present their ventures to a panel of esteemed judges.

The competition is open to early-stage restaurant and food/beverage businesses: food retail, food tech, consumer packaged goods, social enterprise, and sustainable agriculture business models.



  • Sunday, Sept 10: Application submissions open
  • Sunday, Oct 8: Application submissions close
  • Wednesday, Oct 11: Finalist teams announced
  • Friday, Oct 13: Deadline for teams to confirm participation
  • Friday, Oct 20: Turn the Tables Live Pitch Competition at Microsoft New York



  • Be a restaurant or food/beverage business or concept
  • Represent a business or concept in the early stages of development, launch or operation
  • Generate less than $200,000 in annual gross revenue
  • Be an entrepreneurial start-up without direct or indirect operating relationship to an existing large scale corporation, investment fund or government agency


  • 5 finalists will be selected to compete in the Turn the Tables Live Pitch Competition – chance to win up to $2,500
  • 10 individuals/teams will present in the Turn the Tables Live “Pop-Up Pitches” – chance to earn judge and audience cred


HOW TO ENTER (Download guidelines for more detail)

All application materials and inquiries should be sent as a single email to turnthetables@nyarw.com with subject line: “BusinessName Pitch Competition Application”

  • Step 1: Upload an Executive Summary (pdf) of the business (2 pages max.)
  • Step 2: Provide a link to a 90-second pitch video (YouTube; can be unlisted video)
  • Step 3: Indicate in the email if you opt into the pop-up competition if waitlisted for the main competition, i.e. “I opt into the pop-up competition if waitlisted for the main competition”
  • More information is available in the guidelines, which you can DOWNLOAD HERE

** unsolicited contact with our judges, partners, and/or the entities they represent during the competition timeline is grounds for automatic disqualification **

PRESENTED BY: New York African Restaurant Week, in partnership with Startup Weekend

EVENT PARTNERS: Startup Weekend, Brooklyn Foodworks, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, HBK Incubates



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