I was attending the echelon2010 event yesterday. An excellent event, great speakers and wonderful audience. Greate place to be in if you are a start up company, entrepreneur, want to understand what entrepreneurship is all about, meet up with potential investors and mentors.
The last session of the day was pitching by the startups which was judged by the panel of experts. This is an excellent opportunity for startups to get feedback and pitch their company/ products to potential investors. There were 12+ startups who presented but only one of them stood out (foound) and received positive attention from audience and judges.
Other 11 failed to impress, not because none of them had good idea or good product but simply it was a matter of lack of proper communication and presentation. There were lot of comments on twitter ( #echelon2010) about reasons. Dave Mcclure who has become darling of the audience and other panellists were trying to coach the presenters, beside judging them.
In my opinion the number one reason was that these companies failed to define for whom were they presenting the solution. What did they want to achieve after the pitching.
I felt that they were confused if they were presenting to investors for money or they were presenting to potential buyers of their offering or they were presenting to fellow geeks. Your contents, pitch all depend on this factor. If you don’t get this very first thing right, then you are not going anywhere. Then you need to follow other presentation techniques as well.
I was feeling like going out and spending some time with the startups to help them get their pitch right. I would be happy to do so today, if any of the today’s start-ups want some help.