Pitch Practice Friday May 6 2016

Welcome back! Great crew today after Bell Street Burritos at ATV. Thank you to everyone who attended, pitched, learned, and networked with us today. It was good to be back after 2 weeks away launching Pitch Practice at Switchyards and then finishing up DGM Camp.

First, I pitched the next chapter in the life of this nearly 3-year-old community meetup: the Pitch Practice Podcast. We need your help to launch this podcast to the top of the iTunes charts. Will you help us out? If so, click here to join the Pitch Practice army! We will be asking you to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast the day it launches. That’s all, that’s it. Can you pay it forward?

Here’s who pitched today.

  • HireWire – The employee turnover rate among hourly workers in the restaurant & retail space is really high. That turnover costs a lot, and the hiring process is inefficient for candidates looking for jobs and employers looking for reliable help. Hirewire has an app to search for a job or a candidate, saving hours of time, thousands of dollars, and reducing turnover. Free for job seekers. Employers pay a monthly subscription based on the number of hires.
  • Quadiom – Believe it or not, most companies are not software companies. What?!? Companies in the $1M to $100M revenue space need custom software built on time and on budget. Quadiom is a software dev firm in Argentina. They offer off-shore rates in your time zone.
  • Parkent Cycles – There’s a bike theft every 30 seconds in the U.S., and most of these stolen bikes are sold online for drug money; Parkent is now demo-ing an electronic bike rack controlled by your phone.
  • Take the Interview – Companies with 10k or more employees have problems with interviewing because they get so many apps. Hyper-growth companies have problems interviewing because they don’t have time to find the right candidates. For both, it’s hard to identify great talent. TTI solution enables digital interviews to cut through the noise. Their solution reduces time to fill by 20%; and creates 70% more efficient recruiters because the first interview can take 3-5 minutes instead of 30 minutes/candidate.
  • Testgrid.io – Apple’s smartphones continually update/upgrade software and hardware. Developers suffer pain in adapting their software for these changes. Testgrid offers a test farm hosted in AWS connected to real devices so devs can test their app on every possible iOS hardware and software version.
  • Skypitch Atlanta Football Club is social enterprise serving poor inner city kids who don’t have the money to play club soccer. The club will be funded by adult leagues, in which each adult’s cost funds one child’s cost. Skypitch is raising their initial seed fund to launch operations.

Lots of lessons came up today:

  • You don’t have to explain the details of the entire solution. You’ve heard that “you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink”, right? It’s a lie. Put salt in his oats. He’ll drink. Your elevator pitch is the salt in the oats of your audience! Don’t give them the entire thing. You have solved their problem. That’s what they need to know. How you solve it is for the next meeting.
  • Articulating the problem that you solve is hard. Very hard. If you use “I”, “me”, “my”, “we”, or “us” in your description of the problem, you’re wrong. The problem is in the marketplace. It’s not what you do.
  • The time limit of 30 seconds is arbitrary to create discipline, so you don’t ramble on for 7 minutes when someone asks what you do.
  • Always ask for something. Every startup needs something. You’ll have to ask a customer for money or an investor for money, so ask your audience for something every time. Referrals, advice, feedback…whatever. Ask for something.
  • Accents are difficult. If you have a thick accent of any origin, make sure you enunciate very, very clearly for your audience, especially if you are not from around here.
  • Write it down. Your pitch, that is. If you write anything down, it gets into your brain 7X better than hearing it, saying it, or seeing it. Write down your pitch, point by point, then practice and revise it.

Thank you again to everyone who attended. Please help us launch the Pitch Practice Podcast by signing up to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast when we launch. Thank you!

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