The experience of being an entrepreneur, from the other side!
More than a year ago, I embarked on a journey of entrepreneurship!! An experience that opened up a new world. One that turned out to be frustrating but nonetheless fascinating.
TechCrunch Startup Battlefield MENA October 2018 hosted a full one day event with great speakers, one of whom is an amazing young woman, Priscilla Elora Sharuk. A generous spirit and person.. Love her!
So! In the entrepreneurial world, you constantly hear over and over and over again how important it is to working on your pitch.. Pitch, with a bold and capital P! And so many; The Elevator Pitch, The Short Form Pitch, The Long Form Pitch, …
The words you use..
How to present yourself..
It’s a lot of work and assertiveness..
Don’t get me wrong.. All of the above are very important and crucial in conveying the right message and information to the other party. Especially professional investors!
But this time, my TechCrunch experience, from the spectator seat, made me go back to the essentials, to the root..
“Startup Battlefield consists of three preliminary rounds with 15 teams — five startups per round — who have six minutes to pitch and present a live demo to a panel of expert technologists and VC (Venture Capitalists) investors. After each pitch, the judges have six minutes to grill the team with tough questions. This is all after the free pitch-coaching they receive from TechCrunch editors” as explained by Mike Butcher, MBE Editor-at-large of TechCrunch.
So here we are, sitting spectators witnessing each team Pitch on stage. Final round.. For one team to win a cash price of $25’000.00 .. Not bad, right?
Two team had a wonderful pitch! Very professional.. Very confident… Very experienced team members..
There was no way, none of them won’t win..
Two had a so so Pitch..
And one had a really (in my opinion) poor pitch.. Language was a bit of a barrier, hence a few questions were not answered correctly.. You had to see the puzzled looks on the face of some members of the panel! No full confidence in the presentation.. And a lot of ambiguity.
Their idea was innovative, but, and again in my opinion, had not been thought through well, for the future..
And guess who won??!
Yup? They did!
In spite of a poor pitch.
In spite of language barrier.
In spite of poor presentation and presence.
I was baffled.. Working on my own pitch, (to be prepared to deliver once the time is right), being selective in choosing the appropriate terms, postures, gestures, etc… I am working hard and being very meticulous… A stressful and dedicated task!
What happened?? I had to understand..
So I approached one of the experts and jurors, the one who had asked the most relevant questions, again in my opinion. And I asked him; all the above questions that went through my mind!
His reply was: “Yes, it’s true. The team’s pitch was poor, but the idea, in regards to the all the ones that were pitched, was the most innovative and new. It hasn’t been properly addressed and has many many loop holes, but something can be done out of it, with experts and engineers”..
So I said: “Then at the core of all this, the panel chose to overlook everything and just search for the idea!” “Absolutely!” was his experts’ advise.
And to you, I convey this message as well!
In the beginning and in the end, it’s the IDEA that matters. It’s the IDEA that makes it happen!
Don’t get discouraged when facing difficulties in your pitch or anything else.. Work on them for sure, they are your shield! But in truth, believe in your idea, believe in yourself, and all the rest will fall into place eventually..
That is my experience, and till I get to Pitch myself, I leave you with this thought for now!
For One True Blue