ThePitcher 2016 brought together 30 disparate companies to compete for winning not only the special prizes and the attention of the investors, but also the opportunity to be named the winner of the first edition of the most up-and-coming pitching competition in the region. All of the participating startups successfully embraced the chance to present their businesses in just five minutes, followed by five more minutes of Q&A session with the investors – opportunity, which can help every skilled entrepreneur to skyrocket their business in no time.
Attending pitching competitions is a great chance to learn valuable lessons and to meet with like-minded people, who have the same passion and ambition as you do – to make a difference with their companies. But it is important to remember that every participating startup team is there to win. The competition is tough, which makes the whole experience even more exciting – success feels even more rewarding.
The opportunities are huge, but the truth is that there always can be just one startup that can become the winner. Everyone wants to win, but there are many other things, which entrepreneurs can gain from attending pitching events through receiving valuable feedback and analyzing their performance, and here you can find five of the most important lessons that they can learn.
The Weaknesses and The Strengths
All entrepreneurs know that their pitch should be very strong if they want to significantly outrun the competition, which is why they prepare well and practice long hours before they take over the stage. But no matter how hard you’ve worked on you pitch, there always is a place for improvement. When you attend pitching events, you are able to understand better the weaknesses of your pitch, but you are also able to outline the strengths of it – important lesson, which will help you to build more realistic outline of the impact of your pitch.
You Should Have a Specific Goal
Competing at pitching events just for the sake of it is such a waste of time! Before you sign up for the event, you should be completely aware of your motives for attending. Answer the question: What do I want to achieve by participating in this pitching event? Pitching events give many opportunities. To make the most of the experience, you should have specific goals and put your efforts and attention to achieving these goals.
Receiving negative feedback is better than not receiving feedback at all!
One of the worst situations, in which entrepreneurs can find themselves after they complete their pitch, is to face the silence of the investors. It can be so awkward! No questions asked, no feedback given, nothing to say – just uncomfortable silence. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs learn the importance of receiving feedback, especially constructive feedback, the hard way. By attending pitching events, entrepreneurs start to value the feedback that they receive, which can be very helpful for the future.
Failure does not mean defeat!
If you want to survive (and thrive!) in the world of entrepreneurship, you should be ready to accept the fact that you will fail many times. Pitching events are attended by entrepreneurs, who have the ambition to succeed as much as you do. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t make the most of the competition and take it as a stepping stone to improving. Failure is an inevitable part of success – embrace it!
Always follow up!
Many entrepreneurs overlook the importance of following up after they meet with investors, clients or potential business partners. Don’t forget that pitching and networking events are always very busy and crowded. Don’t miss the chance to remind an investor who you are, what your business is about and what did you talk about at the event. Following up matters when it is done right: in a tasteful and polite way, not pushy and tedious.