Prepping for your pitch

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Life’s a pitch and then you exit

Before you can build anything, you need a team. To get a team you need a pitch.

On opening night of Startup Weekend you will have 30 seconds to pitch your business idea to the room. Though there is some science to it, the art of the pitch is tailoring your message to the audience.

When you pitch an idea at Startup Weekend, you have a couple of audiences to consider:

1. The Makers: Actually made up of a number of sub-audiences, getting together a team with a good mix of business and product talent means that you need to pitch the aspects of your idea that will appeal to each sub-audience.

Cool tech is low-hanging fruit for the neckbeards and cutting-edge business models can attract the MBAs. Do some research while mingling before the pitches by talking to other participants and get a sense of the talent in the room. Designers? Marketers? Game devs? 3D modellers? Bitcoiners? Learning who’s who in the zoo helps tailor your message and it also gives you the chance to meet a ton of talented and interesting people!

2. The Judges: The other critical audience you need to consider will not even be there. Keep sight of the goal and don’t forget about the REAL pitch on Sunday evening.

Your business idea will probably evolve over the next 54 hours, but it should still appeal to a panel of “investors”. This is not the place to pitch your bespoke llama wool underwear subscription service or Yet Another Online Cupcake Marketplace. Think BIG. You want to go after a HUGE market. Startup Weekend is a place for experiments, so shoot for something crazy ambitious. It impresses the final judges and will inspire potential team members to join you.

You only have 30 seconds to get your idea across and, truthfully, there is not much prep you can do beforehand. There are too many variables and the pitch event is a whirlwind. But the crowd is in a good mood and excited to work on something: use their energy and give them something to be excited about.