Crafting a Winning Pitch About a Rapping Chatbot (Includes Actual Pitch Slides!)

How an attorney crafted an award-winning pitch at IBM’s Cognitive Builder Faire.

#1 Take Away: Find Something Familiar in the Unknown

If you naturally tend to stay in your lane but are interested in trying out new things, I highly recommend coming up with ways that your new thing is really just your current lane with a new outfit on. Sure, hackathon pitching seemed like a brand-new activity for me. But it wasn’t. Hackathon pitching was, quite literally, my current lane (arguing in courtrooms) while wearing a t-shirt (the free one that the hackathon organizers gave us, of course) rather than a suit. Less literally, hackathon pitching was defending a client to a panel of industry experts using a set of rules that were a bit less rigid than the laws that I’m used to. If anything, “arguing” before the panel of judges at the IBM Cognitive Builder Faire was nothing compared to the “arguing” I have done before dozens of panels of (pretend-but-realistic law school) judges.

Kanye Watson Was Guilty — Of Being Awesome

One of the judges literally said “I loved everything about your pitch.” We were the only team that wasn’t asked any follow-up questions. One of the judges told us to ask a member of the audience to provide input for the chatbot to see how the chatbot would respond, but we had expected to the audience to want to test our rapping chatbot and we were ready. Ultimately, we won 2nd place, but the 1st place solution was incredible and they had a larger team ☺

Actual Slides

Here are the actual slides we showed during our product pitch (unfortunately, I did not have anyone record my pitch):

Slide 1:

Kanye Watson

Zeal Caiden, Shawn Cosby, Lauren Harriman, Megan O’Rorke, Satyugjit Virk

Slide 2:

Problem: Dramatic increase of computing power in the world is sending scientific progress into hyperspeed, yet the arts are withering and dying

Slide 3:


Enable people who do not consider themselves artists to collaborate with their favorite artists by using data and AI

Empower new artists, boost their self confidence, and share their creations with the world!

Slide 4:


Kanye Watson — first ever rap duet chatbot!

Slide 5:


Phonetic Rhyme ML >

(or skip if no rhyme)

  1. Six dimensions of Watson NLU processed to mirror user sentiment and mood

Scraping/Cleaning of AZLyrics: Ruby, NokoGiri, RegEx, Sweat

IBM Watson NLU API + Custom 6D Algorithm Scores User/Kanye Lines

Rhyme ML from Datamuse API

This post is part of my post Crafting a Winning Pitch About a Rapping Chatbot, originally published on my blog, Tech Talk Translated, on July 4, 2017. You can read the specifics of how I adapted IRAC to pitching in my Medium post How to Craft Winning Pitches By Thinking Like An Attorney.

Like what you read? Give Lauren Harriman a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.