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The Pitch, Part II (or how I learned to stop worrying and love telling a story)

I never thought I would shake Kevin Harrington’s hand. I never thought I would be pitching a business concept to him, or asking him for one hundred thousand dollars, either. It turns out that I ended up doing both.

As I mentioned in an earlier post about the business pitch-being able to sell your idea to someone is an ideal skill to have. In the time it takes for an elevator to go from the top floor to the bottom, can you pitch your idea? Can you sell your business concept in less than 90 seconds?

I had the opportunity to pitch at DEMO Day-an entrepreneurship conference put on by the University of South Florida. As part of the student pitch competition, I was one of six competitors trying to win a six thousand dollar prize. It was a three judge panel of successful entrepreneurs and angels, led by Kevin Harrington of Shark Tank fame. Continue reading

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The Pitch

The pitch is one skill an entrepreneur must learn. It is a statement of what your company does to solve a problem. These can be drawn out into long presentations or very quick 60 second snippets. The purpose is simple: Educate your audience on your product or service, usually with the goal of reaching investors.

Three months ago, I received an email about a pitch competition at my university. 90 seconds. Any business idea-which was nice, except I didn’t have one. As I drove to school two days later, the idea came. I quickly scrambled for my phone and dictated my rough pitch into Evernote. With my idea secured in the cloud, I worked out some more detail and wrote it down.

“When leaving the military, I didn’t really know where I would go to school…”

“…how about a new website…”

The university pitch competition had five judges, from banking, startup, or investment backgrounds. There were over twenty students in the room. I was nervous.

I stood and walked to the whiteboard. I wrote “CollegeVeteran.com” in black marker. It had been registered for 22 hours. Continue reading

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