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Lee Davis

PitchIT Helps Startups Succeed

It’s like Shark Tank, but for systems integrators working with MSPs

Nov 9, 2023 7:00:00 PM


Keypoint Intelligence’s Cybersecurity page


PitchIT is an accelerator program run by ConnectWise to incubate startup systems integrator businesses that are dedicated to the managed services provider (MSP) space. Hundreds of companies applied to participate in PitchIT, but only 26 were accepted.


In the first phase, the participants attended a 16-week business transformation course where industry experts taught them about the finer points of sales, marketing, branding, and messaging, product security, pitch building, and more. ConnectWise also worked on co-marketing campaigns with PitchIT participants and listed their products on ConnectWise’s marketplace. After the training component of the program ran its course, three of the 26 participants were selected to compete in a Shark Tank-style pitch competition during IT Nation Connect 2023 to win a grant from ConnectWise (first place got $70,000, second got $30,000, and third got a very nice knife set).


I’d like to congratulate the 2023 PitchIT winner, Thread, as well as the runner-up and third-place finalists vCIO Toolbox and Nodeware, respectively.


  • Thread is a service collaboration platform that takes a new approach to ticketing—by killing tickets. The tool enables users to request service within Teams, Slack, mobile, or desktop. The solution also leverages a chatbot to streamline tasks for technicians, like writing time entries.
  • vCIO Toolbox develops quarterly business review and governance/risk/compliance tools that help MSPs build relationships and manage the security and operational health of their clients.
  • Nodeware is a network assessment and vulnerability detection tool that provides businesses to monitor their network, identify security gaps, and generate reports for additional analysis and security compliance.


Members of vCIO Toolbox, Thread, and Nodeware (left to right), hit the stage to find out which company won the PitchIT 2023 competition.


Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

After rubbing elbows with MSP owners and software vendors for half a week, I noticed a trend: These people aren’t businesspeople who opened a technology business—they are technology-people who opened a business. They are brilliant and have talent that not many of us do when it comes to working with technology. But when it comes to the finer points of running a business, like sales and marketing or being financially savvy, things don’t come as easy or naturally.


And this is what makes PitchIT such an amazing program. It identifies startups with promising tools and whips their entrepreneurial muscles into shape, providing them with the knowledge, guidance, and funding that can take their business to the next level. Whether participants won the grand prize or not, there are no losers—participants typically come out ahead. According to Sean Lardo, Evangelist at ConnectWise, participants experienced increased monthly recurring revenues between 30%-50%, and that five of the finalists have since been acquired.


I encourage all MSPs, software developers, and systems integrators to look into the PitchIT program and apply.


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