The World Series is Underway … How is Your Pitch?

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Are you gearing up for Santa Barbara Startup Weekend? Friday night we kick it off with 75+ people pitching their best idea and hoping to draw enthusiastic supporters into a team that will carry them through the weekend and beyond. Pitched a hundred times or never pitched before, here is an opportunity to put yourself out there and give it your best shot.

So, you are ready to dive in, throw your hat in the ring, mix your metaphors, and toss out the first ball. What do you need to know?

1. Pitch Something New – To be fair to everyone you can not pitch an idea that you have already worked on, have a product for, or have customers signed up for. You can do research and vetting ahead of time to make sure your idea is solid and viable.

2. Pitch One Idea – With all of the people who will be pitching Friday night, you’ll want to pitch one and only one best idea. Maybe you have 100 ideas, but let the best one shine through.

3. Tighten The Pitch – You will typically only get 60 or 90 seconds to pitch your idea. Practice ahead to tighten up your pitch so you can optimize your time available. We cut off the mike when the time runs out. No extra innings.

4. Cover The Critical Points – Introduce yourself. Explain your big idea. Explain why there is a market and why you think you can make money. Announce your needs (developer, designer, salesperson).

5. Just Your Voice – There is no time for a slide show. You can bring a prop or two if it gets your message across quickly, but rely on only yourself and your voice. You are not up there to fiddle with electronics. Keep it simple.

6.Form A Team – People will get to “vote” on their favorite ideas. If your idea isn’t popular, consider joining another team. Only about one in five ideas pitched will end up with a team. But, if you really want to execute on your idea, you still can as long as you can form a team of at least two people. If nobody else likes your idea enough to join your team, you just received some quick market validation.

So now it is time to think, prepare, and perfect your pitch. And don’t forget to register so you can be there Friday, Nov 15th, to make your pitch.