Applications have closed for ‘Cuse Tank, but remain open for the upcoming Impact Prize, ACC InVenture Prize, RvD iPrize, and the Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award. To help get students ready for the many opportunities ahead, starting with ‘Cuse Tank on October 18, the LaunchPad will be hosting a “Pitch Perfect” workshop on Wednesday, October 9 from noon to 1 p.m. to help students prepare. The session, at the LaunchPad in Bird Library, which will include tips on presentation techniques, as well as info on what to include in pitch decks. It will be conducted by Linda Hartsock, executive director of the LaunchPad and Kelsey Davis, founder of CLLCTVE and a Rubin Family Innovation Mentor at the LaunchPad.
The workshop will include:
- Tips on an effective presentation, and how to create a compelling story
- How to pitch with polish in a way that connects with the audience and judges
- How to create effective visuals and infographics to demonstrate your points
- Do’s and don’ts of presentations, and how to create impact
What the judges are looking for
- Problem identification, customer discovery and validation
- Viability and feasibility of solution
- Market opportunity and effective identification of target customers and end-users
- Competitive advantage and value proposition
- Strength of the business model the product/service or technology being developed, solid assumptions and realistic projections of cost and revenue drivers
- Expertise of the team, and a network of supporting advisors who bring expertise
- Passion, drive and team commitment
- Clear, convincing and engaging pitch
Components of the pitch
- Problem and its significance (tell a story and create a context)
- Solution and what makes it unique
- Problem/solution validation
- Size of the market opportunity and customer/end-user you are targeting
- Competitive landscape and where you fit
- Marketing and sales channels to reach your market
- Your plan: product roadmap and business development roadmap
- Financial projections over three years (expenses and revenues), and a breakeven analysis
- Your funding strategy, and projected sources and uses of funds
- Your team, and expertise it has to tackle this problem and bring this solution to market
- Your wrap and how to hit it out the park. Make the ask and give the judges a reason to invest in your idea and your team
The LaunchPad team will be working to help prepare students for the competitions, and a series of practice pitch sessions will be held before each competition.
As a reminder, each competition has different deadlines and criteria, so be sure to follow the LaunchPad on Facebook and Twitter @LaunchPadSYR for details on each event. Details about each event are below.
Scheduled competitions include:
- ‘Cuse Tank: Applications closed Oct. 4, 2019; competition Oct. 18, 2019. Open to Syracuse University undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines, who are working on developing new products, services or technologies in all categories, both for-profit, and nonprofit ventures. Apply here.
- Impact Prize: Applications due November 1, 2019; competition November 14, 2019. Open to Syracuse University students and SUNY ESF undergraduate and graduate students taking entrepreneurship courses at SU working on ventures that create a social impact (such as energy, environment, employment, education and training, health and mental health, community and social networks, social inclusion, poverty and literacy, youth empowerment, food, sustainability, access, and ventures that support important public policy goals). Apply here.
- ACC InVenture Prize: Applications due Feb. 7, 2020; competition Feb. 21, 2020. Open to undergraduate students or recent graduates of ACC universities within one year of graduation from their undergraduate program. This is a prize competition that pits top inventors of the ACC network against each other at a live PBS-televised event in April 2020 at NC State University in Raleigh. Apply here.
- Raymond von Dran iPrize: Applications due March 13, 2020; competition March 27, 2020. Open to all graduate and undergraduate students working on venture ideas for products, services, technologies and social impact ventures. A pitch workshop will be held on March 6, 2020 in the LaunchPad. Apply here.
- Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award: Applications due March 13, 2020; competition March 27, 2020. Open to undergraduate and graduate students at Syracuse competing in the iPrize. Apply here.
Business plan competitions provide critical early stage seed funding to student ventures to work on customer discovery, prototypes, business incorporation and patents, as well as other product and business development needs on the road from concept to commercialization.
The LaunchPad team, mentors, and professional service providers are available to help develop investment-ready business models, create more competitive pitches, and coach teams on the art of successful pitching.
To learn more about the competitions, get details on the schedule, or schedule coaching sessions with LaunchPad EIRs and The Rubin Family Innovation Mentors, email firstname.lastname@example.org.