The Startup253: Tacoma and South Sound Founders Series — a competition where five startups pitch their company in front of a live audience — will kick off tonight at Union Club Tacoma.

With the competition starting at 6:30 p.m., the handpicked local companies will have one minute to pitch their business and detail their value proposition.

Following the pitches, attendees of the event will vote for the winner, who will then be given an additional opportunity to talk more about their startup, the problem they solve in the marketplace and any additional resources they need to help them scale their companies.

The project is backed by Lee Reeves of Edmonds-based Cascadia Venture Catalyst Group, which seeks to serve as an accelerator for Northwest companies. He was the director of business development for Seattle Startup Week in 2017.