StartupMonthly just held is second demo day which was the culmination of the 2.0 iteration of the the Idea Accelerator program. 16 teams applied to the program with 8 accepted out of which every team finished the program and 6 decided to present to a panel of serial entrepreneurs and investors. 2 additional alumni teams presented their results to get feedback from the StartupMonthly community.
The demo day was not only a graduation ceremony but was designed to provide the teams a real world experience in pitching the outcome of their rigorous acceleration to traction. The panel consisted of active investors and serial entrepreneurs who are used to being exposed to a myriad of ideas for new startups. What were they looking for and which teams did better?
Because of time limitations the teams were given strict instructions not to exceed their 6 minutes for a pitch. 6 minutes was to cover their market and opportunity, lessons learned from the program and what the team felt were the next steps. 8 minutes of questions and feedback from the panel followed the pitch. That’s 14 minutes total but only the first 6 minutes could be prepared ahead of time such that the teams had total control.
In tennis, the serve is the only hit of the ball that a tennis player has which is not influenced by the opponent. Hence, the serve is the only hit a player can prepare ahead of time and should perfect in order to make the best game opening. Similarly, the pitching teams had only 6 minutes to prepare ahead of time, an opening which would set the tone of the discussion with the panel and ultimately determine what impression they would leave.
6 minutes to educate, impress and form an impression – impossible? Not really. The panel judges were looking for energy, excitement and enthusiasm first and foremost. These traits proved to be infectious and in retrospect helped the teams leave a positive impression with the panel. It is no wonder because the panel was looking to determine how likely not only the idea but the team is to succeed.
The pitch visuals helped quite a bit although they were not the center of the pitch. The slide deck presentations had to be unobtrusive, easy to read and serve the purpose of providing the backdrop for the information shared without being the center of attention. Great visuals which generated the most buzz moved away from traditional power point and included a demonstration as well as clever use of props and audience involvement.
With only so much time to impress the judges the pitch was not expected to contain specifics of the ideas but rather the market impact it could make and the determination of the team to succeed as evidenced by their enthusiasm and diligence in applying lessons learned.
With so much great content and learning experience from just this one event alone the StartupMonthly team is excited to continue providing a great venue for young entrepreneurs to build their ideas into reality and do so in record time.
Startup Monthly Team includes Software Architects, UX Designers, Legal, Financial, Lean Startup experts, Serial Entrepreneurs and Industry experts