They’re more than just opportunities to practice. You have just designed the most awesome product of all time. You have lean but brilliant team. You are currently working on bringing in clients and potential investors. How do you go about it? Have you considered joining pitching competitions? All over Southeast Asia, founders and startups have […] The post Joining pitching competitions is good for founders and startups appeared first on e27.
17 Jul, 2018E27.CO
You have just designed the most awesome product of all time. You have lean but brilliant team. You are currently working on bringing in clients and potential investors. How do you go about it?
Have you considered joining pitching competitions?
All over Southeast Asia, founders and startups have the opportunity to join various competitions to pitch their products. Not only do they serve as practice and learning opportunities to polish their pitch for when they face investors and clients, pitching competitions also gives out benefits of its own – by providing founders and startups with the platform to pitch their products to a large number of potential investors and partners, at a little less effort than personally trying to schedule a one-on-one meeting with them.
Also read: 11 common elevator pitch mistakes
While it’s best to strive for quality over quantity, having both quality and quantity at the same time isn’t too bad, either.
Founders and startups who join pitching competitions get themselves the chance to gain three things:
A startup founder who pitches on stage should always remember that pitching competitions are not just events to fill their time but opportunities to present their product and ideas to a group of people that has the resources to support their growth. Pitching competitions are almost always either organised or judged by investors.
And in the very unlikely possibility that the organisers or judges are not investors, it is almost guaranteed that there will be at least one investor in the audience. And while raising funds don’t happen instantly, joining pitching competitions puts startups in the radar of the investors present.
Agritech startup Sayurbox raised early stage funding round following their participation in Plug and Play Indonesia.
A varied network
One cannot deny the advantages of having a strong network. A wide and varied network could potentially lead you to investors, partners, clients, and talent. Founders and startups need to build their networks and one of the best places to begin is pitching competitions.
Not only do pitching competitions give startups the opportunity to interact with their peers (e.g. other startups pitching), they also become platforms for said startups to expand their network to corporates, small enterprises, and even entrepreneurs that could yield fruitful and productive relationships.
Smart access solutions provider igloohome took part in Echelon TOP100 2017 and has secured a partnership with insurance giant AXA following the pitch competition. Early this year, they have also announced raising US$4M Series A.
Competitions usually mean the winners get prizes and pitching competition aren’t any different. Winning startups may get the chance to win cash prizes, more opportunities to find investors or widen their network with free rides to industry events, access to support from accelerators, incubators, and even corporates, and other perks and benefits like free services or discounts to useful platforms and other facilities.
Echelon TOP100 Fight Club Judges Choice 2017 winner Poladrone won co-working space seats for year, full market access support, as well as being fast-tracked to join the inaugural run of SLINGSHOT@SWITCH powered by Startup SG for a chance to win additional funding and prizes.
The popularity of pitching competitions, as well as the benefits they yield, mean that a lot of founders and startups are taking up the challenge of joining. So, what do you do if you want to stand out?
Follow competition rules
Pitching competitions always have time limits for pitching – three minutes seem to be the standard. Make sure that you pitch won’t go over. Practicing your pitch to make sure it complies with the time limit ensures that you present your product in the best way possible for such a short amount of time – completely, unhurriedly, and coherently.
Know your material
Practicing cannot be stressed enough. Pitching competitions have the potential to help you close that first sale or raise that funding you need – things that will not happen if the audience think you are unsure about what you are doing. For competitions with a Q&A aspect, questions that judges ask also vary; it could be as easy as a few clarifying questions, or as difficult as asking you to predict what would happen if a certain event happens. Make sure you know your material well.
Open with a close
Sometimes you will have the misfortune of being slotted after lunch, in the sleepy hours of the afternoon, after 45 other startups have already pitched. If you want to make sure your product do not get lost in lunch-induced daydreams, you have to catch and keep the attention of your audience. In a pitching competition, your pitch is the product and the audience’s’ undivided attention is the sale. You need to open your pitch with something that closes that sale.
SLINGSHOT@SWITCH powered by Startup SG, an initiative of Enterprise Singapore, returns for its second year at the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) on 17-19 September 2018! As one of the world’s largest startup challenges, SLINGSHOT is the perfect opportunity to get your technology and business idea to investors, corporates, industry leaders, mentors, media, and tech-savvy early adopters.
SLINGSHOT@SWITCH is currently accepting applications. Apply today!
The post Joining pitching competitions is good for founders and startups appeared first on e27.