Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pitch Camp Grooms Midwest Startups for Think Big's Flyover Field Trip

Imagine receiving one-one-one pitch mentoring, collaborating with other entrepreneurs and participating mock question-and-answer sessions just 3 weeks before one of the most important moments in your entrepreneurial career: your pitch to investors.

Going through this process would probably make your pitch more clear, concise and compelling to those investors, wouldn't it?

That's why Think Big Partners held its first Pitch Camp this week; to prepare those Midwest startups selected to participate in the Flyover Field Trip for the scrutiny of Bay-area investors, the excruciating business plan questions and the nerves that many of them would face while pitching.

The Flyover Field Trip is a highly-intensive, multi-day pitchfest for entrepreneurs who live in the Midwest and want to get in front of investors from startup hubs such as Silicon Valley, Boston and New York.  At the end of March, those selected startups will join Think Big Partners and travel to Silicon Valley for the Silicon Valley Showcase and the Think Big Showcase in California, where they will have the chance to get in front of Bay-area investors to make their final pitch.

Pitch Camp, held this week at bizperc, prepped those entrepreneurs participating in Flyover Field Trip by incorporating a number of different coaching and mentoring sessions.  Because when you only have one shot to get in front of investors, you have to make it count.

Check out what the Flyover Field Trip entrepreneurs experienced this week at Think Big's Pitch Camp:

Day 1: The Deck

Entrepreneurs brought their "finished form" decks for review, discussion and refinement.  Think Big mentors made sure that all essential components were included in the deck and that the startups were presenting information in a clear and compelling manner.

Day 2: Turning the Deck into Presentation Knowledge

Entrepreneurs began the day by presenting segments of their pitch in group environments which helped them realize things about their presentations that they may not have realized before.  In this phase, startups underwent intense mock question-and-answer sessions and were evaluated on their ability to present information relative to their overall goal.

Day 3:  The Pitch

Practice makes perfect!  In this phase, each startup practiced their pitch over and over again until perfection.  Startups practiced their elevator pitches as well as their 7-8 minute presentations until they were clear, concise and compelling.

A few photos from Pitch Camp this week:

Startups were split up into groups to present their pitches.

A Pitch Camp group on the 6th floor of bizperc.

Willow of InvenQuery discusses her pitch strategy.

Herb Sih of Think Big Partners welcomes the Pitch Camp group.

Entrepreneurs' pitches were video taped to emulate a high-pressure experience.

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