With business plan competitions right around the corner, there is no substitute for practice. Learning how to pitch is both art and science. Book an appointment with one of our Rubin Family Innovation Mentors or Global Fellows to develop and practice a perfect pitch. Stop by the LaunchPad, first floor of Bird Library, say hello, and make an appointment with one of them. Their schedules are posted at the front door, and around the glass cube. Here are some handy tips to get you ready to pitch and answer questions from judges:
- Tell your story. Who are you and what motivates you to care about solving this problem?
- What is the problem you are solving? How big is it? Who else besides you should care about it?
- What discovery have you done to validate the problem and your approach to it?
- What’s your solution? What makes it the best way to solve the problem?
- What research have you done to show you understand the overall size of the market, and the specific sectors you can capture?
- Who is your customer? What do you know about them? Be very specific.
- What is your path to market? How will you reach your customers and end users? B2B, B2C? On-line? Retail or wholesale? Will you create a sales force or use a dealer? What channels will you use to sell?
- Who are your competitors and why is your solution better? What’s your unique value proposition?
- What do you need to accomplish to create your solution? What milestones do you need to achieve on your path to the solution? This is your product roadmap.
- What is your business model? How much will you need to develop your solution? What funding milestones, over what period of time, do you need to achieve to build your solution? This is your business roadmap.
- How will you make money at this? What will your ongoing costs be? What are your three year projections of revenue and expenses? At what point do you break even?
- What have you accomplished so far? What are your goals over the next two to three years?
- Who is the team you’ve assembled to accomplish this? What are their skill sets? What skills are you missing and still looking for? Have you reached out to experts as advisors? What makes you and your team uniquely qualified to solve this problem?
- Make a compelling case for why to invest in you. Tie it back to your story. Make the ask, and create a killer closing.
Our peer mentors and subject experts ready to help. They’ve competed in and won many competitions, and are pros. Through generous donor gifts to the SU Libraries, the LaunchPad is fully staffed with a dynamic student team that can help you with crafting a perfect pitch. The Rubin Family Foundation supports five Rubin Family Innovation Mentors who work intensely with a portfolio of student startups. LaunchPad Global Fellows are experts in data analytics and software development, design, finance, digital media, marketing, and product design and packaging. A Hunter Brooks Watson Scholar is skilled at social impact entrepreneurship.
Together, they are a virtual “Startup Studio” for anyone working through an idea, providing 120 hours a week in free mentoring for student startups across campus. Stop by the LaunchPad and put them to work for you. You will find the expertise you need — when you need it, and where you need it.