How to win a tech conference startup competition

TechCrunch has “Disrupt Winner,” while VentureBeat’s MobileBeat has the Tesla Award (no, you don’t win a car), and Web 2.0 has the “Startup Showcase” and “Launch Pad.” For many entrepreneurs, even being accepted to participate in one of these competitions is a dream come true. These optimists often arrive with hopes of winning the top prize, garnering media attention, and catching the eye of an investor who will swoop in and write them a 10 million dollar check.