Wednesday 27 June 2012

It's not every day you get to pitch your business idea ...

This weekend I was a participant in the "Entrepreneurs pressure cooker weekend 2012" at the HVA. It took place in the inspirational new "Studio HVA" in Amsterdam.

It was a full programme of inspirational speeches from entrepreneurs like Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, but mainly brainstorming your own business concept and ideas with colleges and the coaches and the Manager of ACE Martin Haring.

It isn't every day you get to pitch your business idea to a couple of multi-millionairs and serial entrepreneurs. Wow it was nerve racking but so much fun.

I began with three very rough ideas I thought of before the weekend and whittled it down to two on the day and then one that I pitched to the jury:

Idea 3: The Collaboration Games - After talking with some experts it seems this idea was too similar to other offerings and would be difficult to scale.

Idea 2: VC Young Entrepreneurs - As it turns out the idea was not new, there is a plan for this in the "valorisatie" plan in Amsterdam.

Idea 1: OwnBrand for topsportswomen  - This is the idea I pitched [watch video]. I am passionate about building the brands and image of top sports women in the non-mainsteam sports. [Think ... squash ... do you know who the 7 times womens world champion is?] Equally there is a market, it is sellable via a webshop, it achieves a bigger mission than just profit, it is scalable and it is possible within my current network and capabilities, however it does need a bit of initial investment.

Anyway I didn't win the pitch! But I really improved my pitch technique and was very satisfied with my effort. It is incredibly difficult in 1 minute to get across to the jury:

  1. What's in it for you? [Emotion]
  2. What problem can be solved with this solution? [Market potential]
  3. For who is the solution? [Target market]
  4. What is the solution and what does it cost? [Concept & business model]
  5. What I want from you? [call to action]
As part of my role at the University of Applied Sciences I coach students who are starting their own business, during the media entrepreneurs minor. Since my last entrepreneurial endeavor failed, this weekend was my first foray brainstorming my own business ideas again. I had a great time and the coaches at ACE were inspirational and loads of fun [and they can karaoke!].

I just hope my business idea pitch was better than my karaoke performance!?!?

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