Silicon Alley Insider is launching its first annual “Startup” conference, a one-day event and competition meant to recognize the very best early-stage internet company. You can enter your startup this week for the opportunity to win buzz, bragging rights and $50,000 in cash and prizes.

Applying for the conference is free, and all entries will be evaluated by General Catalyst Partners, Softbank, Venrock, and FirstMark Capital for possible investments. The top 10 companies will be featured live at the conference and will be written up on Silicon Alley Insider.

At the end of the event, one of the top 10 will also win a $50,000 grand prize, consisting of a $25,000 cash investment from General Catalyst Partners and $25,000 worth of in-kind services. The latter will include:

— Up to six months of office space in New York City.
— A marketing campaign with Silicon Alley Insider.
— Legal services from a top-notch law firm.
— Consulting services from a financial outsourcing firm.

The deadline to apply is April 17. Emerging companies in the online industry are invited to participate. To be defined as “emerging,” your startup must not have received more than $1 million in seed funding. Operating companies are eligible, as well as business-plan-stage companies, but those contestants will need to describe their planned product and value proposition in detail.

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