The five things we learned from Session 1 of StartupBP

(Oringally posted on StartupBP.com)

Nice turnout for the first StartupBP session.  We all learned a few things, and that fits right in with the three goals of StartupBP, which are Pitch, Learn, and Network, in that order.

First, we inaugurated StartupBP with some basics about the 30-second pitch, which are covered in depth here. For a quick review, here are the five things you must cover in your thirty seconds, aka the elevator pitch:

  • Your name
  • Your company name
  • Who is your customer?
  • What is the problem?
  • What is your solution?

So what did we learn in session 1 of StartupBP? Five things.

  1. Be prepared! One of our attendees just came to observe, but ended up giving his pitch, despite the fact that he was not prepared.  Getting up to give your pitch in front of real people makes it real, and when you’re not prepared, it shows.  You never know when you’ll get the opportunity to explain what you do. Be prepared.
  2. Clearly state the market problem that you are attacking. If your audience – customer, partner, or investor – doesn’t understand the problem, then it is highly unlikely they will see a need for your solution.
  3. Make us salivate over your solution to this problem.  The goal of the 30-second pitch is to get to the next meeting (shout out to @Pitchgauntlet), so you must leave your audience begging to know more about how you solve their problem. That doesn’t mean you play coy with the solution, but give just enough information about your solution to make them want more.
  4. If your business problem or solution is complex, you must be able to simplify it down so your audience can “get it” in 30 seconds or less.  Examples from session 1 included “trucks wreck!”  Very simple problem.
  5. Understand what you are selling: vitamins or painkillers. Here’s the deep dive on that subject. The answer to that question will drive your pitch. If your audience is experiencing the pain you aim to relieve, they will be nodding their heads immediately…in less than 30 seconds.
Now for the fun part of StartupBP: video!  Here are two of the pitches from session one.
Are you ready to practice your pitch?  See you next Friday at 1pm, right after StartupChowdown at Atlanta Tech Village.

What do you think?