New startup pavilion at IBEX 2024 – plus pitching competition opens

Crowds at sunny outdoor exhibition

Building on the success of the Yachting Ventures Start-Up Pavilion at METSTRADE in Amsterdam, Yachting Ventures is heading to the US to host a sister event at IBEX (International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference) in Tampa, Florida, this October.

IBEX has partnered with Yachting Ventures (YV) to introduce an inaugural Start-Up Pavilion in 2024. The space will provide a platform for 12 startups to showcase their cutting-edge technologies and solutions for the duration of the three-day event.

Following a format proven successful at METSTRADE in 2023 – see MIN’s interviews with some of the startups on show – the new pavilion offers startups the opportunity to engage with industry experts, present their products, and participate in a pitching competition judged by an esteemed panel of investors.

IBEX, north America’s premier technical trade event for the recreational marine industry, will take place at the Tampa Convention Center, 1-3 October.

Yachting Ventures opens door for startups

For marine industry startups, participation in the IBEX Start-Up Pavilion presents a unique opportunity to gain exposure, access industry networks, and receive valuable feedback from key industry professionals, boat builders, and OEMs in the US. According to YV, it is a cost-effective way to begin exploring the potential of the US market while also benefiting from the media coverage and content highlighted by Yachting Ventures.

Hosting over 650 exhibiting companies and an anticipated total attendance of 8,000 industry professionals, including boat builders, manufacturers, naval architects, distributors, and wholesalers, IBEX serves as a crucial hub for networking and business development.

The Yachting Ventures team will also be working closely with the local tech ecosystem in Tampa to organise a pitching competition where five companies will compete for a chance to secure investment, gain further recognition, and propel growth. According to the organisers, the Tampa Bay area is a rapidly growing startup hub that’s been named by Forbes as one of the best emerging tech cities and one of the best places to work in tech.

IBEX in Tampa

Gabriella Richardson, founder of Yachting Ventures, says: “We’re excited to launch a dedicated Start-Up Pavilion at IBEX in the USA. Most startups we work with see the US market as a big opportunity. Being part of the IBEX Start-Up Pavilion will allow them to explore this market and connect with important partners and OEMs.”

“IBEX is where the industry comes to find innovation, and adding a Start-Up Pavilion to this year’s event is another way we can highlight the product development and ingenuity that takes place in our industry”, said Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director. “I look forward to working with the team at Yachting Ventures to produce an exciting Start-Up Pavilion and create a space for start-ups to launch new and exciting products.”

Startups interested in exhibiting at the IBEX Start-Up Pavilion 2024 can apply online or contact Yachting Ventures via email for more information.

The deadline to apply is 1 June 2024, however applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Images courtesy of IBEX/Yachting Ventures.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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