Earlier this year, I attended the Girls in Tech Amplify Women Pitch competition in San Francisco. As an aspiring founder, I’ve already pitched my own app, Munch, which gamifies healthy eating. I really liked this event because I got to see how women pitch their company’s plan and ideas to a panel in hopes of receiving money and support. While some of the pitches sounded a lot like companies that already exist, the founders found new and different angles that made their products sound unique.
My favorite pitches were Next Play and Scollar Inc .
Next Play: This company uses an artificial intelligent bot named “Ellen” to get to know you, so they can find a mentor you would actually connect with and wouldn’t hate. I have never seen anything like it before. I mean, there’s Siri, but its value is questionable because Siri has little-to-no correlation to your personality. Also, Next Play programmed Ellen to text you and your mentor when you guys haven’t communicated in a while and will suggest times based on both of your calendars! This is one of my favorite pitches because the presenter was very interesting and interactive with the crowd.
Scollar: This company was one of my favorites at the pitch competition because it affects a lot of people and can save a lot of tears. Scollar designed special electrical collars for pets and animals of all kinds. This is no ordinary collar. It has a GPS locator, so if your dog runs away, you will be able to find them without having to put up posters at street corners. Also, the collar vibrates to help train animals not to go where you don’t want them to go. This product would personally help me because my dog Simba is always looking to find a way of taking himself for a walk. One thing I am afraid of is that something might go wrong and the connection might get lost, or the actual collar might malfunction and hurt my doggies.
Here are my four takeaways that I’ll apply to my next pitch:
1. Keep the Audience Awake! Or… Don’t Be Boring!
The most important thing that I learned is that I can’t be boring — even if I have an amazing idea. How are others going to hear it if they’re sleeping?
2. Make that chart pretty!
As a way of showing market research, all of the presenters shared data. I was a lot more engaged in the chart styles that I have never seen before, versus the usual pie chart.
3. It’s a conversation, not a presentation!
I learned that my next presentation will be a lot more engaging if I talk to the crowd and share some personal stories, rather than stand there and recite numbers and data.
I believe that the lack of confidence made some of the presentations boring and not interactive. I know that I have to come in confident that my company is not some average app or website. I’m pitching gold!