Pitch Practice is a free, open, weekly meetup for entrepreneurs to literally practice delivering a 30-second, 3 minute, or 5+ minute investor pitch. Anyone can attend and practice. The goals are to pitch, learn, and network. Join us Fridays at 1pm at Atlanta Tech Village. Follow @Pitch_Practice on Twitter for updates, because sometimes we take a week off.
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After 5 years, we’ve taken all the amazing experiential knowledge that has come out of hundreds of sessions of pitch practice and thousands of pitches, and put it all into “Practice Your Pitch: 21 Lessons from 2,500 startup pitches from 4+ years of leading entrepreneurs at Pitch Practice.“
A big shout out to anyone who has ever attended pitch practice. You are the source and inspiration for “Practice Your Pitch”. And to the wonderful folks at Atlanta Tech Village for hosting Pitch Practice.
How Pitch Practice Started
In the summer of 2013, I was working on “deductmor”. Deductmor was a mobile app for self-employed individuals to capture all their receipts with their phone and insert those expenses into QB or whatever accounting package they used. I wanted to raise some capital, but I had bootstrapped my first 4 startups. I had no idea how to raise money.
While I was on a startup scholarship at ATV and mentoring entrepreneurs at ATDC, I learned about “Pitch Gauntlet”, a monthly meetup led by the then 4 principles at Venture Lab at GT. I went 3 months in a row, and got clobbered with wisdom every time, but it wasn’t enough practice for me to refine my pitch. I asked them if they would consider doing the meetup more often. They politely declined, so I went to the folks at ATV and asked if I could start a weekly meetup group to help me and other entrepreneurs practice our pitches.
On June 27th, 2013, the meetup now known as Pitch Practice was born as “Startup BP”, a baseball analogy for “taking batting practice.” Three weeks after that, we changed the name to Pitch Practice. Two years later, the Village named a conference room “The Pitch Practice Boardroom.”
Longer Than Most Startups!
Pitch Practice was born out of a desire to learn and to pay it forward to other entrepreneurs who were about to go where I had just been. Now, after 5 years, Pitch Practice has experienced more than 2,700 startup pitches!
Pitch Practice meets (just about) every Friday at 1pm at Atlanta Tech Village, and occasionally other locations, right after ATV’s weekly Startup Chowdown. We meet in the Pitch Practice Boardroom. The meetup is free and open. Anyone can attend. Anyone can pitch.
How It Works
The image below provides a glimpse of how we structure the classic “elevator pitch”. This structure isn’t the gospel of pitch. You’re not going to hell if you don’t follow it, but it works.
We start with the 30-second pitch (above), focusing on the problem, as explained in Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “Start with Why.” Then we build out to the 3-minute “contest” pitch and then the 5-6 minute investor pitch. Why? Because it’s much easier to start with nothing, build something small, then add to it, than it is to start with a 20 minute death-by-powerpoint presentation and ask, “what can we cut?” Cut it all and start with the problem you’re solving.
Fridays at 1pm at Atlanta Tech Village
We’d love for you to join us any Friday! Every now and then, like on holidays, we’ll take the week off. Follow Pitch Practice on Twitter to be sure, and join us to pitch, learn, and network. Oh, and #practiceyourpitch!