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About once a quarter or so, the folks at General Assembly will bring their software development (FEWD & WDI) classes up to Atlanta Tech Village for a tour, Startup Chowdown, and then Pitch Practice. This past Friday was one of those occasions, and they brought both classes with them. So instead of our typical 20-ish attendees at Pitch Practice, we had closer to 60! Fantastic!

I love walking newbies through the process of how we arrived at the structure of the 30-second pitch and why we focus, focus, focus on the problem, and why we tell a story with our pitch. It’s a simple lesson, but goes to the heart of human understanding: the audience is the hero of our story, and everyone loves and learns from stories.

I was up in front of the room for the entire session, so I was unable to take notes on all the pitches. We heard 10+ pitches, including several from the newbies from GA. That’s where I’ll focus my attention here.

First, we’ve never – not even once in 28 months of Pitch Practice – had a duo deliver a pitch. But that’s what occurred on Friday. About halfway through the session, I asked again, “OK, who’s next?” Two young ladies from the WDI (full stack) development class hopped up to the front. Uh oh. A team pitch? That’s trouble.

But these two young ladies NAILED IT. Their pitch was for “Carda”, an electronic solution to the pain the butt that is exchanging and keeping up with business cards. Their pitch was 26 seconds with both of them participating. They had the audience – myself included…I HATE business cards! – screaming for the product in those 26 seconds. They had half a dozen people demand to know when the beta would be available.

And best of all? They had come up with this idea and created the entire pitch in the last 15 minutes while they were sitting there in the event room at ATV. We had no idea exactly how they were going to solve the age old problem of exchanging and keeping up with business cards, but, after just 26 seconds, we believed that these two brand new developers could solve it.

I really, really hope they do, and I’ll be the first to sign up for the beta.

2 thoughts on “The high point of last Friday's epic Pitch Practice

  1. Kevin, that’s awesome that pitch practice is also helping people at GA. It’s a very useful exercise for anyone with any business. People tend to think they have a much better pitch than they do. Within 2-3 weeks, I bet all pitches greatly improve who sit in on those sessions.

    • Thanks Matt! It’s no different than practicing for a presentation for a big client. If you’ve never said the words before, you’re probably going to stumble over them. Practice for anything makes us better at anything.

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