How to knock a business pitch out of the park

Crrrack. The ball whistles through the air landing far over the fence, and the crowd goes wild… Well, it didn’t happen exactly like that, but I think a couple people at least clapped.  Last Thursday, I successfully pitched three months worth of brainstorming and work on Fantom ‘fit to a panel of entrepreneurs and investors as the final piece of the entrepreneurial journalism course. It was intimidating to sit up in front of strangers (especially ones who have all been very successful) and present to them an idea, my baby, delicately placed on the chopping block.

I knew my material well, so that part didn’t scare me. But these presentations are about so much more than your concept. They want you know know the market size, your target customer, and exactly how you plan to launch your product. In my case that meant answering questions like: Where am I going to get an initial stock of photos for people to tag and identify? How am I going to build an app? What will it look like and how will it be used? And maybe most importantly, how much will it cost?

I tackled these problems one by one and kept hearing the wise words of Gauri Manglik, the intelligent young co-founder behind Fondu, in my head: “the reason I succeeded was probably because I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know”. The more I plotted out exactly what I needed to do, the more I thought, “sure, I could do this!” Ignorance really is bliss.

When the time came to do the presentation, I really did find myself asking what I had been so worried about. It came together, I got some really good pointers and ideas on where to take Fantom ‘fit from here. The key thing I learned is that you don’t have to have all the answers, having the right questions can be just as valuable.


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