The Judgement Day: tips on pitching


We’re in the final day of the #AKLSW and things are starting to bubble. In the past two days we have seen ideas morph into other ideas and in some cases into business plans.

Today is ‘make-it or break-it’ day and our 7 teams are putting the final touches to their presentations. To help them with their pitches we would like to reinforce the judging criteria:

Execution is what you and your team have accomplished over the weekend. Whether pitching to a jury or investors, execution is what proves you and your team are capable of following through on a great idea. Make sure you highlight what you’ve accomplished over the weekend.

Watching over an hours worth of straight pitches can be tiring. As you may have noticed on Friday, those ideas that received the most votes tended to be the ideas that were pitched in the most exciting/interesting way. Be creative, enthusiastic and for better or worse, try to make sure the jury and audience will remember your presentation.

This category is down to the basics. Can and will your Startup make money? Is your business model viable? Have you taken into consideration your competitors and how the changing market might disrupt your plans? An exciting, disruptive idea is one thing, but if that idea can’t sustain itself, it’s not worth much. Make sure to show that you’ve taken into consideration all the factors that might impact your Startup’s success – this will show the jury you mean business.

This is all about the X factor. Opening a lemonade stand on a hot day might be a guaranteed way to make a few bucks, but it sure won’t get you rich. Emphasize how your Startup concept is unique and disruptive, not just another lemonade stand.

And finally, the cliche criteria: does your Startup have the potential to become the next Facebook or Google? Will you hit one million users in 1 year?

Aside from keeping in mind these basic guidelines, a few other tips to make sure everything goes well:

Be sure to practice your full presentation at least three times with a timer beforehand. Set timed cues at various speaking points.

If you don’t do a tech check beforehand (with the laptop you’ll be using for the presentation), YOU WILL FAIL. Save your sites locally because the internet WILL GO DOWN. But don’t stress :)

Pitches start at 7:00pm today.

Good luck,