Looking back and measuring progress is a powerful exercise. I have not done this exercise on an annual basis with Pitch Practice, mainly because I guess I’m still surprised that it’s still going on every week. We did a little look back when Pitch Practice celebrated its unofficial 2nd birthday and I realized that we had practiced more than 500 pitches. Today, we’re going to look back at just the year 2015 and see what we did, what we learned, who we met, and other fun stuff.
- 36 sessions – We occasionally take a week off here and there, for any number of logistical or holiday reasons. Thank you to our awesome host, Atlanta Tech Village, who remains ever flexible and accommodating.
- 216 pitches – that’s a guesstimate. In 2016, I will actively track sessions, attendance, and pitches in a simple spreadsheet. However, at that “500 pitch” point earlier this year, we were averaging about 6 – 7 pitches per session, so that’s my best guess number.
- 150 startups or entrepreneurs – also a guesstimate. Given the number of “regulars” that attend each Friday, I did some back-of-the-napkin math and came up with that number. Again, 2016 will reveal real numbers, but these two stats are a great example of why entrepreneurs and marketers should measure everything because if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
- 1 sponsor – TenRocket, who literally launched their web development business at Pitch Practice in the fall of 2014, has sponsored Pitch Practice. Now, each session, either Chris or Justin gives the “ceremonial first pitch” to demonstrate just how easy it can be – with a little practice – to deliver a great pitch.
- 1 honorable mention – I will remember this instance more than just about anything from 2015, and that’s the day that Atlanta Tech Village officially named the conference room that we meet in every week “The Pitch Practice Boardroom.” That small gesture once again brought back the adrenaline that creating something lasting always brings. No matter what happens to this free, open, weekly meetup called “Pitch Practice“, we’ve made our mark on the Atlanta Startup Community.
The one idea that was repeated in almost every session of Pitch Practice was that it is extraordinarily difficult for the entrepreneur to clearly state the problem he or she is solving. Almost to a letter, when I ask the question, “What is the problem that this entrepreneur is solving?” we hear an explanation of what the entrepreneur does but not a statement of the problem. The problem is out there in the market. What a company does is solve the problem, but unless the founder knows and can clearly articulate what the problem is, how can anyone follow him or her into the market to solve the problem?
Thank you very much to everyone who has ever attended a session of Pitch Practice, whether you participated, offered advice, pitched your startup or idea, or just listened. Thank you to TenRocket for being a wonderful example of what can happen when you put a service in front of a need at the right time and place. And, thank you once again to the amazing team at Atlanta Tech Village: Pitch Practice would not exist without you.