Develop a compelling pitch for your product or business and present it to an audience of your peers or the entrepreneurial community. This challenge is designed to be a capstone project that provides you and your classmates with an opportunity to demonstrate your skills honed in the Business Development and Entrepreneurship series.
Typically, pitches include elements like an innovative product, an insightful business plan, and a captivating marketing strategy. Use dynamic presentation skills to gain your audience’s support.
Mikey Knows Business, Mo’s Bows, and Kangaroo Cup are all successful businesses created by young entrepreneurs who saw a need in their community, developed solutions, and delivered quality products or services to their customers. It’s often assumed successful business people are older with formal business degrees and lots of experience. However, with the rise of e-commerce platforms and social media marketing, young entrepreneurs are proving that age doesn't matter when it comes to launching a successful business.
Starting a business often begins with a simple idea, but it typically requires outside support in the form of mentorship or funding to succeed. In today's era of startups and Shark Tank, entrepreneurs often prepare pitches to showcase their business idea to potential supporters. A good pitch requires a combination of presentation and storytelling skills as well as an innovative product, business plan, and marketing strategy. The Pitch It! Capstone helps you connect with your local entrepreneurial community to showcase your business idea and gain their support.
Whether you leave the challenge with greater skills, a new mentor, a list of contacts, or even a financial investment, the Pitch It! Capstone will help you gain experience and develop a better understanding of business and marketing.
Research and explore pitches. Consider the following:
What are supporters looking for in a startup opportunity? Support changes as a business matures. Take a moment to explore the different types of supporters and some of the biggest advantages to supporting startups.
What is a pitch? What are important elements of a pitch? Consider watching this playlist to learn more.
Which pitch elements have you already developed in previous challenges? Which ones haven’t you completed? The Pitch It! Capstone combines the Business Development and Entrepreneurship series into a final experience. Take a moment to collect and review any of the materials that you may have already created. Each of the elements produced during these challenges will be helpful for your pitch.
Do you have any branding or promotional materials?
Have you created a business or marketing plan?
How would you design a space or booth for an event?
How do you plan to leverage e-commerce?
How could you promote your business with social media?
What are supporters looking for in a pitch? Check out this article to better prepare for your upcoming pitch.
What is the goal of your pitch? Are you seeking mentorship, feedback, funding, or something else?
No two pitches look the same. Businesses like Airbnb, YouTube, Buzzfeed, and Facebook were once startups, using outside support and guidance to grow quickly. As a startup, Facebook positioned itself not as what it was at the time—a popular social network for college students—but rather as a potential advertising platform that could leverage people’s interests. Get inspired by some legendary startup pitches.
Reflect and Review
Take a moment to reflect on the research you did for your pitch.
Consider if there are any other resources or techniques that would be helpful to explore before moving on to the Ideate stage where you will brainstorm aspects of your pitch.
Brainstorm different ideas for your pitch. The goal is to think of as many ideas as you can without worrying about how good or bad the ideas are. Consider the following:
Use the Glowforge App to create scaled versions of your product for your pitch. Scaling your product can help you demonstrate your product so that supporters can visualize or experience it first hand. Select the Ruler tool in the Glowforge app to bring up a menu for changing the scale of an item. Review the Glowforge Community Forum or the Scale Designs Precisely help page for more tips and tricks for scaling designs.
Reflect and Review
Take a moment to reflect on the ideas that you generated for creating a dynamic pitch.
The goal of the capstone project is to create an individual pitch as well as a structure for your class’s pitch event, including the organization, logistics, and feedback options such as funny money. The plan will be developed with your class and will incorporate your fully developed idea(s).
Consider if there are any gaps in your brainstorming ideas that you want to consider before moving on to the Design stage where you will continue to develop your pitch presentation.
Review the ideas you brainstormed and select one or two that you would like to develop further by creating sketches or digital mockups.
In this stage, your class will gather to develop a comprehensive plan. Consider the following:
As an individual or small group, you will create your pitch, including business and marketing plans, marketing materials or swag, and other components that help tell your business’s story. Consider the following:
What will your pitch look like? How might you use presentation or design tools to share your ideas? How might you incorporate elements of brand identity such as a logo, typography, or colors?
How much time do you have for your pitch? Prioritize the most important parts to ensure that you cover them in the presentation and plan to save some time at the end for questions and answers.
Who will you invite to your pitch? Contact and invite your potential supporters.
Who is your ideal supporter?
What traits or experience makes them the perfect candidate to support your business?
Get inspired to try a new approach! Pitches have moved from boardrooms to television studios. Watch the Top 10 Best Shark Tank Pitches or the Top 3 Pitches From Young Entrepreneurs to see how other entrepreneurs have designed interesting pitches.
Reflect and Review
Now that you have spent time developing a pitch, take a moment to reflect on the progress of your plan.
Consider if you would like to revisit your design further to change anything before moving onto the Prototype stage where you will create and practice your finalized pitch presentation.
In this stage, your class will finalize its pitch event plan. Consider the following:
As an individual or small group, using the components from the Design stage, rehearse one fully developed pitch presentation. Use appropriate applications, tools, and resources to create your materials. Consider the following:
Many entrepreneurs feel anxious or nervous about public speaking. Microsoft Speaker Coach is a free tool that allows you to practice presenting on your own and then gives specific feedback about how you can improve your pace, use of filler words, and word choice. This allows you to refine your skills before meeting with your audience of classmates or community members.
Reflect and Review
Take a moment to reflect on the pitch you created and presentation techniques that you practiced during this stage.
Consider if there are any previous stages you might want to go back to in order to rethink any part of your pitch before moving on to the Evaluation stage.
After planning, creating, and practicing your pitch, determine how you can get feedback from the classmates or community members in your audience. Consider the following ideas as you present your pitch and receive feedback from your potential supporters:
Listen up! Yes, you are the presenter and may do the majority of the talking, but remember to pause when the audience speaks. As you listen, try to fully understand what they are communicating and feel free to ask clarifying questions if needed. Remember that your pitch is a learning opportunity to grow as an entrepreneur and that their feedback is not personal.
Reflect and Review
Take a moment to reflect on the feedback you received from others.
After the pitch, reflect on your experience and communicate your findings based on your measures of success.