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Innovators FAQs

Q: When are applications to participate in Innovators Pavilion due?

A: The application period ends on July 30. Space is limited and applications will be approved on a rolling basis.

Q: How will I be notified that I have been selected?

A: You will receive an email from FIA notifying you that your application has been approved. Notifications will be sent as soon as an application is approved and no later than September 15.

Q: Will the information I submit in my application be kept confidential?

A: As part of the review process, the selection committee may ask for information about a company's technology or business strategy. Applicants are responsible for determining what information they can disclose to the selection committee. FIA expects to use basic information about the company, such as the nature of the innovation, in the Expo program and other marketing materials associated with the Innovators Pavilion. FIA will not sell any information gathered through the application process to third parties.

Q: Am I allowed to give anything away to the people who visit my booth?

A: Yes, you have the option of giving away branded merchandise.  Please note that the hotel has certain restrictions, however. For example, you will not be able to offer food or beverages at your booth if they are meant to be consumed on site.

Q: Where is the Innovators Pavilion?

A: The Innovators Pavilion is part of the FIA Expo trade show, which takes place in the lower-level salons of the Hilton Chicago.

Q: Can I modify the design of the TechPod?

A: No.  All TechPods have a standard design. This levels the playing field for the companies participating. There is space on each TechPod for the company logo, however. 

Q: Who is eligible to participate?

A: Start-up companies that are providing technology solutions for capital markets. To be considered a start-up, you cannot have been in business for more than 5 years.

Q: Is there an application fee?

A: There is no fee for applying for a space in Innovators Pavilion. However, if accepted an exhibit contract must be signed and submitted with a $500 fully refundable deposit. The deposit will be returned at the beginning of the show. 

Q: Will I be able to attend other events during FIA Expo?

A: You will receive a full conference pass, which gives you access to all networking events, conference programming and trade show halls.

Q: Are there any other benefits?

A: Yes. All companies chosen for the Innovators Pavilion will receive media exposure through press releases, social media, website links and access to media partners.  You will also have the chance to interact with Expo delegates from exchanges, trading firms, banks, brokers and service providers. 

Q: If I am an Expo Exhibitor, can I apply for an Innovation Hall TechPod?

A: Yes, if your company is a start-up.

Q: Will there be a pitch competition?

A: Yes. All companies featured in this year’s Innovators Pavilion will participate in a pitch competition during Expo.  Each company will have approximately 6 minutes to make their pitch and 8 minutes to answer questions from a panel of judges.

Q: Will there be a winner?

A: Yes. After the pitch competition, the judges will assemble and determine a winner for the FIA Innovator of the Year as well as the runner-up.  In addition, Expo delegates will vote for the People’s Choice Innovator Award via the event app. All three winners will be announced the following day. 

For more information, contact Will Acworth at wacworth@fia.org

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