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kingspitchcontestStartup pitch contests happen all over the world at a variety of locations, but an NBA arena usually isn’t the first place you think of as a place where entrepreneurs tout their business ideas.

But the Sacramento Kings are breaking new ground with Capitalize, a new contest it organized with Velocity Venture Capital. During an actual game on April 5 against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Kings will have four startups pitch their ideas to fans who will be able to vote for their favorite company through Twitter.

The team said today it is the first NBA team to host a “crowdsourced local technology startup competition.”

“We want to utilize our NBA platform to showcase Sacramento’s talented innovators and thinkers,” Kings President Chris Granger said in a statement. “The best and the brightest will have the chance to pitch over 17,000 judges and move their start-up closer to their goals, making an impact on our region and communities around the globe.”

Startups within 75 miles of Sacramento can apply for the contest and 32 companies will be picked to pitch to a panel of judges made up of local investors and technology executives at Velocity Venture Capital’s Sacramento office.

From there, the top four startups will pitch again at Sleep Train Arena during the Kings’ “Tech Night,” during which the team will also tout the yet-to-open Golden 1 Center, which reportedly the “most-connected” arena in the world when it opens this October. The top startup will win a cash prize and meetings with Kings executives and owners.

The Kings, led by owner and former tech executive Vivek Ranadive, are certainly one of the NBA’s leading teams when it comes to utilizing new technology, from accepting Bitcoin to partnerships with Uber to the drones at the Golden 1 Center construction site.

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