Pitching Fits

The good news: I filtered through almost 400 of the MIT100k Elevator Pitch Competition entries to the top 60, then placed into the top 12. This let me pitch my clean energy idea to 500 people live and I hear that the video will be seen by a few thousand. Unfortunately, I didn't place in the top 3, so I won no money. At the time, it felt like crushing defeat but I'm trying to look on the positive side and call a top-12 placement an accomplishment.

Here's what I think brought my team to the top:

  • Our low-cost/high-effectiveness desalination idea is easy to understand
  • It has a clear, profitable business model
  • The judges rated me as top 5% in "connects with the audience" and "charisma".
I walked out of the opening round feeling good about the pitch and its delivery.

Then came the finals night, which didn't go as well. What I'd do differently next time:

  • I reworked the pitch based on feedback from the judges in the preliminaries. Their feedback was useful, but the pitch became overstuffed with an "all things to all people" problem.
  • I did not connect with the audience. My delivery was uncharacteristically nervous and stilted. I need to reach deeper into that theatrical background and force myself to be ON regardless of whatever else is happening.

We'll be back at the Executive Summary contest in a few weeks. Until then, it's time to get back to interviewing potential customers.

No comments:

Post a Comment