What’s in a pitch?

I’m not a big fan of “pitching” your startup — too often it leads to relatively simple and straightforward ideas being described as “disruptive” and “world-changing”, because people look at the pitches of Facebook, AirBnB, Uber and other giants, and think that they need to describe their idea in similarly grandiose terms.

What resonated with me, though, was an article by David Bailey titled “How To Tell Your Startup’s Story.” It describes a simple “formula” you can use to write a compelling summary or your startup/project/idea (and includes a fantastic short video of Hal from “Malcom in the Middle”).

Following this formula, this is what I came up with for my project Uplink, the network for professional freelance developers:

Finding the right freelance developer, at the right time, is hard. Classic IT recruiters take enormous fees but deliver poor service, and managing your own pool of candidates is cumbersome and time-consuming. Developers, meanwhile, are more sought after than ever before, and have little patience for inefficient and impersonal processes.

Uplink is a simple, fair and transparent alternative to classic IT recruiters. Companies benefit from the pleasant price tag (free) and personal contact to someone who knows what s/he is talking about, and the freelancers from the non-intrusive process and custom-tailored project requests. 200+ hand-picked freelancers and 50+ startups and agencies are already using Uplink to better find each other.

HR managers and startup CTOs use classic IT recruiters or online freelancer directories to find the right candidates for their needs. More and more developers, who value work-life balance and flexibility, choose contract work over a permanent position. But dealing with recruiters or sifting through un-curated online directories is a time-intensive and frustrating activity for companies and freelancers alike.

Most of Uplink’s new clients and projects come from referrals and personal recommendations of existing clients or freelancers. Uplink charges a success fee to the freelancer for acquiring a new client, thus aligning incentives and putting the freelancer’s needs front and center. Currently focusing on Berlin, Uplink will launch in Hamburg and Munich later in 2017.

It’s fun going through the questions and trying to come up with the best one-sentence answer for each one. And just like that, you suddenly have a surprisingly cohesive “pitch” for your project or startup. I’d recommend anyone to take 20 minutes and try it!


Did Uplink’s story convince you there’s a better way to find freelance work or freelance developers than trying your luck with old-school IT recruiters? Get in touch! We’re looking forward to work with you!