7 key takeaways from the Tech Coast Angels Quick Pitch Finals 2014.
Think of a quick pitch as you would a movie trailer.
1) A quick pitch should serve as a teaser of what’s exciting and noteworthy to come next. The intention of a 2 minute pitch is to deliver a heavy dose of substance, content, and sizzle regarding your Startup’s investment potential.
A simple outline when delivering a quick pitch is:
• Your name and title
• Your business name
• What problem inspired your business?
• What is your solution?
• What does your business need to achieve the next level of success?
In this specific instance, a panel of 7 judges, scored the 10 startup finalist in 2 separate categories: Content and Style. Each judge held up a scorecard with 10 being the best and 1 being the worst, for each category.
2)Decide who on your Startup Team best delivers your company’s message.
Not all founders or co-founders were meant to step on stage (in this case in front of an audience of 500 people) and “perform.” Explore who on your team accelerates in public speaking and leverage that ability.
For AstroPrint this person is CEO Drew Taylor, his ability to remain relaxed and assured during their pitch, made a “high-tech” complex process simple to comprehend.
3) Practice. Practice. Practice.
There is only way to become a Quick Pitch Master, the answer is practice, practice, and more practice. Practice not only your pitch with different people, but also in different environments.
Perhaps this was the winning ingredient for nPruv CEO Summer Rogers. The panel of judges applauded her for repeatedly practicing nPruv’s pitch in the auditorium where the event was taking place that night.
There’s an unquestionable value and confidence that comes with practicing on the specific stage you’re presenting on.
4) Engage with your audience.
Quick Pitches are designed to create a level of curiosity and interest in the Startup. As the presenter, talk to NOT at your audience, help make them to feel they’re a vital part of a conversation.
*It’s fair to note your audience includes not only the panel of judges, but onlookers as well.
Doctible CEO, Ajit Viswanathan brilliantly highlighted this point. With in his presentation he included a slide with the judge’s pictures, which the crowd and judges went wild over. Making his pitch point both relevant and relatable to all.
Remember enthusiasm is contagious. A Startup pitch with out enthusiasm can leave the listener feeling you’re not invested or inspired by your company, why should they be…
GetTAGit.com CEO & Founder Ana Bermudez, oozed enthusiasm, from her walk, to smile, to tone of voice, it was clear she’s created a Startup she’s excited to share with the world.
2 minutes or 60 seconds can seem like an eternity for some or race to beat the clock for others.
In this instance a clock illuminated the back wall below the presenter’s slideshow. Regardless, of their feeling toward the ticking seconds, there was no avoiding it.
Interesting enough, those Startups that concluded their pitch prior to time running out (5 of them to be exact) were not in the event’s winners circle.
7) The Pitch Close and Following up.
At the end of a perfect pitch lies 2 key ingredients:
• Summarizing your entire pitch in 1 sentence. Think about it like this, if your audience were to walk away with one message regarding your Startup what would you want that to be? Often times the close is also the tagline for your Startup.
• Invite the opportunity for people to follow up with you, and find out in greater detail what about your Startup and the investment opportunity. All those finer details that a 2 minute quick pitch couldn’t cover.
Congratulations to all 130 Startup Companies courageous enough to enter the Quick Pitch Competition, especially the top 10 finalist we had the pleasure of watching at the event.
Special congrats to nPruv for winning the grand prize, Companion Medical for winning the content category, and GetTAGit.com for winning the style category.
It’s Startup companies like yours that continue to shift the landscape of business innovation. Thank you!