I took part in another pitch competition this week and didn’t win, yet again. However I learnt alot more than the previous pitch. The first pitch was to a camera in a booth. Unfortunately I received no feedback from the judges. How can I improve if I don’t get feedback! This weeks two minute Nott Tuesday pitch competition was to a live panel (Mike Butcher The Editor, Doug Ashby The Entrepreneur and Duncan James The Lawyer). They gave me some excellent feedback during a three minute Q&A to learn from.
Here’s a link to all Nick Walkers’s event photographs. The pitchers at the event were (in presenting order):
- Simon Oxley and I from Aware Monitoring with our Website monitoring and Web infrastructure monitoring service. Click here for our pitch slide deck on Slideshare.
- Darren Ramowski from golfshake.com, who’s a really nice bloke, gave a very relaxed pitch about his great golf website. The judges loved Golfshake and its international potential. Time for Darren to learn how to go Global now!
- Next up was Kamran Hussein from Buyers4Cars with an innovative startup that allows car buyers rather than sellers to advertise their vehicles.
- Tadhg Kelly from Simple Lifeforms have just released their first social game and I’m sure they will go very big with this game or one of the next games they’ve line-up.
- Last, but no means least was Nik Le Page who pitched an idea on online profile management. Nik won an extra award because he was a last minute and enthusiastic entrant.
I’d like to have come first in both pitch contests, who wouldn’t. However there is probably more to gain from not winning. Sore looser you may think. But learning often means putting yourself in a difficult situation where you will be challenged and probably won’t succeed. We have to go out of our comfort zones to learn. It’s the hard lessons that often have the most impact.
Pitching is a vital skill for any startup. As founders we need the ability to effectively pitch to everyone: investors; journalists; customers; partners; co-workers; etc. Therefore we’ve got to work hard on our pitching skills. For more tips on pitching listen to Tim Berry (Angel/Entrepreneur) and his seasoned advice.
All situations in life can be learnt from whether we win or loose a business pitch, customer deal, sports competition or our new product is a failure. Only by listening and learning from the challenges we can improve. The business coach Brad Sugars said something that stuck in my mind – “work on yourself as much as you work on your business.”
Growing as an individual is about Lifelong Learning – “the pursuit of knowledge is not confined to childhood or the classroom, but takes place throughout life and in a range of situations”. So what have I learnt from my Pitch 2.0 feedback? I’ve understood the importance of being relaxed, spending more time on what the product is, our forward strategy and the investor greed inducement. Until the next pitch! Which is going to be real soon with a National Pitch competition. I’m a sucker for punishment 😉