This year’s Innovation Challenge is all about giving startups an opportunity for unparalleled access to the U.S. broadcasting industry. We are blending the best parts of a traditional pitch competition with the thematic focus of the Innovation Challenge.

NAB Pilot Innovation Challenge

PILOT’s 2021 Innovation Challenge will showcase emerging products or prototypes that are poised to help broadcasters rise to some of the key challenges and seize opportunities they are likely to face over the next two to three years. Specifically, we are looking to highlight innovations in these areas:

  • Products that leverage edge technologies to drive new revenue opportunities for broadcasters.
  • Technologies that enhance broadcast journalism to help viewers and listeners get more from their most trusted source of local news.
  • In-vehicle technologies that deliver more value out of broadcasting. entertainment.

The top three submissions will win the opportunity to connect with broadcasters, investors and others at the 2021 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nev., October 10-13.

The prize starts with travel expenses and a free booth in the Startup Loft at NAB Show, but the real prize is in all the extras.

Winners will have an opportunity for a one-on-one coaching session with NAB Chief Technology Officer Sam Matheny, who will help the startup understand what to expect at NAB Show and how to get the most out of the experience.

The winners will also have a wealth of opportunities to increase their visibility. They will be identified on the NAB Show floor, in materials shared with members and will have an opportunity to write a guest post for the PILOT blog to help get even greater exposure to the broadcast industry.

Finally, the benefits don’t end when the show floor closes. We will work with the winners to identify co-development opportunities so that startups can work with broadcasters to refine their solutions and have the greatest possible impact on the future of broadcasting.

It pays to apply. While we are awarding this full experience to three companies, submissions will be reviewed by our expert panel of judges from across the industry, meaning you will get some exposure just for applying.

What to expect: Submissions will close on Friday, July 9, 2021. After that, our internal and external judges will review all the applications received, and we anticipate contacting up to 10 finalists around August 1 for further information that we may need to make a final decision. The winners will be notified by September 1 and publicly announced prior to NAB Show, which starts on October 10.

We are looking forward to seeing the best emerging products from the startup community.