With very few exceptions – don’t pay to be in a pitch competition
One note on building IP. It’s often thought that you must have a patent to build value into a business. The question came up – can I patent an algorithm? If you can break down your software algorithm into a series of mathematical steps and procedures that mechanize a process, then the algorithm shifts from “abstract idea” into the patentable “process” category. So, while an algorithm cannot be patented, you can patent the series of steps that lead to your algorithm.