And The Winner Is…

Last week, we had the opportunity of a lifetime to pitch our ideas to real investors. With this being my first exposure to a Pitch Day, I learned a substantial amount about the world of start-ups. 
During the pitches, it became quite apparent, which group’s actually worked together and which groups pieced together a presentation for the day. Our pitch went much better than I anticipated it to simply because of the fact we had not practiced as much as we intended. According to the investor’s feedback, our presentations and product ideas was one of the best. After reviewing the investor’s feedback with Mike and the class, more rooms of improvement and strong aspects of our team and product were identified. As an accounting major, I understand the importance of communication whether the conversation is about financial or non-financial data. I think this understanding helps me present information for a variety things. The effort I put into presenting well was noticed by the investors and I appreciated their inclusion of this in their feedback report. 
While both presenting and watching other groups present, it became clear that eight minutes is a very short period of time to be given to sell your idea to million dollar investors. As we were presenting, my focus was not completely on what I was saying because I wanted to make sure I gave other group members the agreed upon time to speak. To a certain degree, being under such an extreme time constraint forced us to get rid of irrelevant information in our presentation which helped us identify areas of improvement in the product and within our team’s structure. Ultimately, the time constraints clearly became an issue for some teams. Some of the teams were clearly over time before getting to the question point or even explaining in detail what problem their product provided a solution to. Since it was many of our first pitches, an extension of time may have been warranted. 
My favorite pitch of the day and product was Welc’home. I did not understand their financial model and plans to make profit. Other than that, the problem the application solved was clear, the target audience was identified, and its team was very diverse in terms of student status and ethnicity. If any group were to be invested in based on information provided in the pitches, I would choose Welc’Home. 
Although we received the feedback during the next class and had access to documentation of the notes, engaging in a question and answer session would have allowed for more dialogue between investors and students that could have led to identification of further improvements. Given the amount of time all the groups put into their presentation, it seemed odd that we would have a chance to ask the investors questions or have a question and answer session for our product. As a student who does not plan to work for a start-up soon, the day was intriguing none the less, but for the student who actually pitched their product, a question and answer session would have been much more beneficial to them, particularly the groups the investors identified as potential start-ups like RealDeals and Welc’Home.

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