Pitch Practice Jan 22 2016

The first dreaded Atlanta snowstorm (a bit of an oxymoron) was due to arrive at 3pm, so we had a somewhat smaller crowd than usual, but half of our attendees yesterday were rookies. In all the reviews and recaps I’ve done for Pitch Practice sessions over the past 2.5 years, I’ve never included this particular one, but it happens all the time and happened again yesterday.

After giving my usual brief intro schpeal which is summed up in the infographic here, I always ask, “OK, who will be pitching today?” Inevitably, we get a couple or three hands raised, after which I almost always say, “Well, it’s going to be a short meetup if that’s the case! So who ELSE is going to pitch?!?” It’s at this time that those who intended to casually observe feel jus the right amount of peer pressure to say something like, “Well, I might try.”

So we always start out with 3-4 people volunteering and always end up with 7-10 people actually practicing a pitch. There’s nothing like silence and social pressure to make an eager entrepreneur do what he or she really wants to do anyway. Glad it can have a positive effect here at Pitch Practice. Here’s who pitched yesterday.

  • Name: Jimmy Smith
  • Company: Collabmix
  • Problem: Musical artists have no tools, processes in place especially for independent (aka broke) musicians, for completing projects among groups Collaborative platform specifically for musicians
  • Solution: Collaborative platform specifically for musicians
  • Customer: Independent musicians
  • Ask: Seed investment $5 – $35/month, also educate and help musicians with licensing, etc.
  • Website: collabmix.com
  • Name: Mark Mwachiro
  • Company: MH Social
  • Problem: Event managers have to maintain a social media presence DURING their events.
  • Solution: Social media planning/management at events, similar to the role a DJ or photographer plays at an event. They are present but unnoticed and make your event bloom on social media LIVE.
  • Customer: Events managers and event hosting facilities
  • Ask: Business cards
  • Website: markhenrysocial.com
  • Name: Jason Rusnak
  • Company: Benevate
  • Problem: Established enterprises struggle to attract & retain millennials; traditional benefits (401k, family leave) don’t attract millennials who have $35k debt on average
  • Solution: Attract/retain millennials via student loan, housing assistance benefits in exchange for long term work
  • Customer: Enterprise employers
  • Ask: Referrals
  • Website: benevate.com
  • Name: Jay Keller
  • Company: Hotspot
  • Problem:  Where to go tonight?!?
  • Solution: Social media app for millennials looking for where to go and businesses to attract foot traffic
  • Customer: Local businesses, bars & restaurants
  • Ask: Referrals
  • Website: n/a
  • Name: Sam
  • Company: Tier4 Advisors
  • Problem:  IT solutions purchasing / procurement is a big problem among small/med business owners
  • Solution: IT solution brokers, free to buyers
  • Customer: IT Dir, Bus owners
  • Ask: Referrals
  • Website: tier4advisors.com

We repeated the very common learning lesson that what your company does is not the problem in the marketplace. You start a business to solve a market problem. Learning to clearly articulate that problem – and it’s relative market size – is incredibly difficult.

Thanks to everyone who attended, pitched, learned, and networked. Enjoy the rest of your Atlanta winter wonderland and 1/2″ of snow!

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