– A Young Member Council (YMC) session at Transportation Research Board (TRB) –
THE SIX MINUTE PITCH
TRB’s Official Transportation Industry Startup Competition
See you in 2022
About the Six Minute Pitch
6Minutes per Pitch
There will not be a 2021 Six Minute Pitch due to the virtual TRB Meeting.
The Six Minute Pitch: A Transportation Startup Challenge is a Young Member Council (YMC) special session at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting during which selected presenters pitch their cutting-edge, research-based concept for a transportation product- or service-based business to a panel of distinguished transportation industry investors and entrepreneurs in just six minutes. It’s basically the transportation industry’s national version of Shark Tank, Startup Battlefield, or Dragons’ Den!
How does the event work?
Each of the four entrepreneuring groups selected to present will be given exactly six minutes to present their next great business idea that will revolutionize transportation as we know it. Presentations will occur to a panel of esteemed judges and a typical audience of several hundred TRB attendees, with the order of presentations randomly decided. After each presentation, the evaluation panel will provide feedback on the viability of the presented product or service in today’s transportation industry. After the Q&A, the evaluation panel votes, with each judge allowed just four votes. Each judge can give any idea one, two, three, or all four of their votes….but no taksies backsies, adding an element of realism to the decisions of the panel of investors and entrepreneurs as they decide in real-time what investment decisions are best based on their real-world expertise. The idea with the most votes will be declared the honorary ‘winner’ of the TRB Six Minute Pitch Challenge at the close of the session.
Who can attend the Six Minute Pitch?
The event is open to all registrants of TRB’s Annual Meeting. Annually, the event attracts several hundred transportation professionals.
What types of ideas can get pitched?
Transportation products and services in any mode of transportation. Business concepts that are oriented towards both the end consumer and individuals or groups that serve the transportation industry will be considered. Transportation planning and management consulting business ideas will not be accepted. See our past contestants section for details on past contestants and winners to get a sense of the breadth of ideas presented in prior Six Minute Pitch competitions.
Who can submit an idea for consideration for presentation?
Any professional or entrepreneur with a transportation-related business idea or active startup. Preference for selection to participate will be given to young professionals (TRB defines ‘young’ as professionals 35 or younger). A preference also will be given to individuals who intend to register for TRB.
How do the presenters get selected?
A group of volunteers for the TRB YMC independently selects their individual top four for consideration, the results are compiled, and a conference call is convened with the group to review the votes and announce the ideas that are selected to be pitched. If you are interested in being a part of the TRB YMC group that selects the ideas that get presented, let Shana know!
When and where is the Six Minute Pitch session?
Normally, every January at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Visit the TRB Annual Meeting website for more details about TRB’s other events. TRB 2021 will be virtual.
Submissions Open!October 2021
Submission DeadlineOctober 2021
Contestants SelectedNovember 2021
Six Minute Pitch CompetitionJanuary 2022
Submit a Pitch
Matt and I really saw TRB’s Six Minute Pitch as TransitScreen’s coming out party. It was our first big win on a big stage and it was the event where we met one of our first advisors, Gabe Klein.
– Ryan Croft, TransitScreen Cofounder, 2014 Winner
See the About section for details on how the TRB YMC Six Minute Pitch will work, who is eligible to pitch, and other general details. You should only still be reading at this point if you’re planning to submit an idea to pitch. Use the button below to access the submission form. Before you do that, here are a few more details:
Pitch Submission Deadline: See the Timeline above to add it to your calendar.
Required Items: You’ll see in the submission form that most of the details requested are required.
The Video: There are no rules to what you might include but some ideas include details on your product or service and how you’ll move it market, about your team, or whatever other details you think will keep us interested and entertained while still somehow telling us about your idea! The max length we’ll watch is 3 minutes though, so focus the content. If available, demonstrations of prototypes, software, or any other evidence of viability of the idea and its current progress should be included in the video. Videos might be of you and your team, PowerPoint or Prezi presentations, or whatever else you can dream up.
The Prize: All participants in the Six Minute Pitch receive valuable exposure and feedback for their ideas, and the winning submission is featured in an article in TRB’s TR News magazine. Past winners have also been featured in CityLab, Mobility Lab, and industry blogs including Young Professionals in Transportation. No actual investment or monetary award is provided at the Pitch.
Not-for-Profit Participation: One of the required questions on the submission form inquires as to if the idea being pitched is being pursued through a not-for-profit organization. Because of the nature of this competition due to the panelist judging with a venture capitalist approach, for-profit ventures are most favorable to the panelists. This isn’t to say that a not-for-profit can’t compete; the Coalition for Sustainable Rail competed in 2014. However, not-for-profits submitting to the pitch must have a product or service that has the potential to be commercialized as a profit-making venture.
2020 Judges: W. Celeste Davis Stragand, Gabe Klein, Sean O’Sullivan, and David Zipper
2019 Judges: Kathleen Baireuther, Gabe Klein, Sean O’Sullivan, and David Zipper
2018 Judges: Gabe Klein, Sean O’Sullivan, and David Zipper
2016 and 2015 Judges: Gabe Klein, Sean O’Sullivan, and Chris Thomas
2014 Judges: Gabe Klein, Sean O’Sullivan, and Robert Rodden
Additional 2020 Pitches (Presenters): Trio Motors (Ken Kershner), Transconomy (Nima Kargah-Ostadi), Populus (Regina Clewlow)
Additional 2019 Pitches (Presenters): Communtifi (Esteban Sanchez), RFNav (Jim Schoenduve), Ruut (Hamish Campbell)
Additional 2018 Pitches (Presenters): Axle Payments (formerly Axle Travel) (Bharath Krishamoorthy), NoTraffic (Tal Kreisler), ThruGreen (David Nguyen)
Additional 2017 Pitches (Presenters): Velo Metro (John Stonier), Civic Connect (Bre Vergess), TRAINFO (Garreth Rempel)
Additional 2016 Pitches (Presenters): Driver Watchdog (Christian Johnson), Civil Data Analytics (Offei Adarkwa, Qiaosong Wang, and Matija Radovic)
Additional 2015 Pitches (Presenters): BRASH Engines (Michael Brookman), MINI, LLC (Arun Vohra), and Remix (formerly Transitmix) (Sam Hashemi)
Additional 2014 Pitches (Presenters): Transit Labs (Dag Gogue), Transport Foundry (Josie Kressner), and PathVU (Eric Sinagra)
Additional 2013 Pitches (Presenters): Coalition for Sustainable Rail (Davidson Ward), Navity (Nahom Beyene), and Petrochemical Incident Location System (Latissha Clark)
- 2020 – TR News –E-Bike Pitch Wins Annual Transportation Entrepreneur Contest
- 2019 – TR News – Innovations in Tech-Enabled Road Pricing ClearRoad Wins 2019 Six-Minute Pitch Contest
- 2017 – TR News – The Six-Minute Pitch A Retrospective on an Innovation Showcase
- 2017 – ITE Journal –Bridge Intelligence Wins Six Minute Pitch Contest
- 2017- TR News – Making a Pitch for Innovations
- 2017 – Young Professionals in Transportation – Calling All Transportation Innovators: Showcase your Idea at the TRB Six Minute Pitch
- 2017- ITE Journal – Bridge Intelligence Wins Six Minute Pitch Contest
- 2017 – Mass Transit – TRB’s Six Minute Pitch Startup Competition to be Held January 10th
- 2016 – TR News – Five Years of the Six-Minute PitchJohnson_p44
- 2016 – ITE Journal – Pavement Technology Firm TotalPave Wins TRB’s 2016 Six Minute Pitch
- 2016 – City Lab – An Infrastructure Startup for All Those Crumbling Roads
- 2015 – ITE Journal – Innovators and Startups: Pitch Your Next Big Idea at Transportation’s Original Six Minute Pitch
- 2015 – Alley Watch – You Would Not Believe How a 6 Minute Pitch Helped Change the Trucking Industry
- 2015 – City Lab – How the Trucking Industry Could Be Vastly More Efficient
- 2014 – ITE Journal – Innovators and Startups: Pitch Your Next Big Idea in Transportation at TRB’s Six Minute Pitch
- 2014 – TR News – Real-Time Transit Information Reaps Rewards
- 2014 – Mobility Lab – TransitScreen Wins Transportation Research Board “Six Minute Pitch” Contest
- 2014 – City Lab – These Real-Time Transit Screens Belong in Every Lobby
- 2013 – Mobility Lab – On-Time Arrival App Wins Contest, and You Will Never Miss Another Flight
- 2013 – City Lab – Wanted: An App That Calculates Wait Times Straight to Your Airport Gate
- 2013 – Mobility Matters – Young Professional Transportation Innovators Win TRB’s Inaugural Six Minute Pitch
- 2013 – TR News – On-Time Arrival App Wins Six-Minute Pitch
General Questions? Contact Shana!