This week was AAALLLL about pitching!
I am always astonished how people have the courage to stand in front of a huge audience and to reveal their work. In only a few minutes, they have to convince complete strangers that what they do is a) worth listening to AND b) worth investing in. For the majority of visionaries, the business they present is their “baby” and the idea often has its roots in a very personal story.
In that sense, this weeks’ events were all about entrepreneurial spirit and making the most of a short presentation on stage.
On Tuesday evening, our Product Manager Tom was one of the judges for a pitching event, organised by Birkbeck University. The six exciting pitches were presented by students, who all participate in the universities Pioneer program. Not only do they go to work through the week and University in the evenings, but they had also committed to spend their Saturdays at university to develop their projects. From vegan protein shakes, to Chinese dresses, personalised advertising and gaming workshops, a fitness app and company videos for corporate social responsibility, the pitches provided a range of great ideas in different sectors.
At the end the jury decided that the award for “The Best Pitch” should go to SCFITNESS and their app which combines fitness and physiotherapy in an easy way. The most potential in the eyes of the judges and winner for “The Best Business Idea” went to GAMING Masters and their concept of interactive, one on one classroom workshops for gamers.
Next day - next event.
On Wednesday we found ourselves at Shoreditch Studios with The Pitch. Before hearing a lot of interesting panels about start-up life and how to pitch, we hosted a roundtable discussion ourselves, with our guests CommonRoom Ventures.
Ritam sat together with a host of founders to discuss common topics in the start-up world, the importance of a watertight product roadmap and share his experience (after making them tackle the spaghetti-marshmallow-challenge!)
At the end of the day we heard the pitches of seven businesses.
And again, AMAZING ideas and such inspiring people. The winner of the evening was afrocenchix, with a great pitch about their natural products for afro hair (in my opinion, the deserved winner!)
As a perfect end to the day we were treated to a heavenly pizza from the guys of Pizza Rova – deliciooooous!
Reflecting on this week, the most important things I learned about businesses and pitches are:
⁃ to be passionate about what you do
⁃ to know your strengths but also understand your weaknesses and
how to overcome them
⁃ to be confident and convinced that you can do it
⁃ practice, practice, practice (!!!)