7 Tips For Nailing Your Pitch

With our presentations coming up, I thought I would post an article that discussed tips that may help your team improve there pitch.  Your idea is only as good as your pitch.  Even with a great idea, if you can’t clearly explain it or paint a picture for your audience, your idea is worthless.  Here are some tips to look over before finalizing your pitch.

Nail your pitch!

1. Start with an overview of what your company does – Explain the problem you are solving and describe how you will be doing this.  You want to very clear when describing your application.

2. Keep it simple – You do not want to confuse your audience.  You want the audience to be able to follow your entire presentation without many questions.

3. Involve your whole team in the presentation – It helps to have the whole team up there and presenting some sort of information.  It helps show that your team is well rounded and on the same pa

4. Be ready to answer questions – We were lucky enough to do a trial run in front of class.  We got to see what questions people may have following our presentations.  Based off those questions, focus on what other questions people may have and how to answer the questions that were already asked.

5. End with a summary – Recap with the main points you want the audience to leave remembering.

6. Don’t be discouraged by negative feedback – Just because the pitch or presentation does not go according to planned does not mean that you have a bad idea.

7. If you don’t understand the feedback, ask for clarification – You will gain valuable information and see where your team can improve.

Do you guys find these tips helpful?

What other tips do you have for the class to prepare for their pitch?



Create value for your startup

Creating value for your startup is a repetitive process that you must constantly be changing and upgrading.  Long term success is achieved by constantly creating and recreating value.

To Keep Your Startup Alive, Keep Creating Value

1. Create value – obviously the first step would be to create the initial value.  You need to set your product apart from all of your competitors.

2. Capture value – next you need to choose business activities that your customers are willing to pay for, but still at a high enough price where your company can remain sustainable off of the profits.

3. Renew value – this is where you see companies that appear on the surface to be doing great drop out of the market.  Renewing value is the most important of the three steps for long term success.  Adapting to the market you are in is very important. (think about disruptive innovation)

If you take a look at the article, it discusses what happened with Blockbuster and the rise of Netflix.  It then discusses how Netflix needs to keep an eye out for HBO and CBS due to their online streaming customers.  What could Blockbuster have done to prevent Netflix from capturing their customers?

Do you guys agree that the third step is where successful companies need to focus on for long term success?

What other things do you feel are important in regards to value and startups?



Autonomous Cars Are Closer Than You Think


We learned about autonomous vehicles as we were going over disruptive innovations earlier in the semester.  This article is saying that within the next five years we will begin to see autonomous features in new cars.  The article isn’t suggesting that these cars will be COMPLETELY autonomous yet, but more and more autonomous features will be coming out.  A possible feature would be autonomous driving in traffic jams that will function based off of lane alerts.  Also, there has been discussion around assisted parking.

Autonomous Cars Are Closer Than You Think

What autonomous features do you think would be most beneficial/convenient?

What features do you think will come out first?



4 Tips For Finding Funding For Your Startup


Forbes released an article discussing possible ways to fund startups.  Having a great idea and product is only half the battle when launching a startup.  You are going to need cash and a lot of it.  Fortunately, in today’s day and age there are new alternatives to achieve funding.  The article provided a few ways that may help you find the best route to go when starting your business.

1. Consider your niche – What makes your app special or stand out?  Find this attribute and use it to locate investors that may be more inclined to investing in your product.

2. Find a grant – This may be difficult, but this will be a great way to get things rolling.  There are grants for tons of different things, almost similar to the way scholarships are rewarded.  There are grants for minorities, women, mothers, etc.  This may be a difficult option, but it is definitely one that will provide great benefit.

3. Enter a contest – There are many contests now held to provide money for startup funding. If you chose to attempt this method you should focus on making your idea really stand out and being very clear when explaining your product/service.

4. Crowdfund your idea – These platforms are gaining attention from both businesses and investors.  This has become increasingly popular in the past couple of years.  Some of the popular sites include Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

4 Tips For Finding For Your Startup

Which tip do you think is the most helpful? Also, I am curious to everyone’s thought on crowdfunding.  What is your stance on it?


10 Tips for Group Presentations


Our presentation date is approaching quickly.  I wanted to share an article that provides tips to presenting a successful group project.  Hopefully you can use some of these tips to help you with your group presentation.

1. Show some energy – Monotony will kill your speech

2. Tell a story – This can help engage your audience

3. Learn how to structure your presentation – Focus on getting the main points across

4. Know your audience – Example: How many people are in the audience? What level of knowledge do they have on the materials being presented.

5. Be unique and memorable – Do something to make your group stand out

6. Keep it simple – Do not over complicate your presentation.  You want your message to be clear.  Do NOT confuse your audience.

7. Summarize – This helps get the main points across

8. Make it visual – Use visuals to enhance your message (People do not want to read a lot of text during a presentation)

9. Practice – This will help your group transitions better and maintain a steady flow during your presentation

10. Stick yo your allotted time – We have 9 minutes including Q&A(end between 7 and 9 minutes)

10 Tips to Nail a Group Presentation

Are there any other tips that you feel are important that were left out of this article? If so, please share!

Marketing your startup

Marketing for a startup can be challenging.  According to this article, marketing success is determined by combining the right channels of marketing content and PR.  Before starting to market a new startup it is important to develop a marketing strategy to build a foundation. The following things need to be handled first.  Choose a market, define keywords, define success, set core metrics, estimate conversion rate, and setting a budget.

Next is using the social media outlets that work best for your company and using them effectively.  This is the most common way used today to try and reach people.  I am sure that most of us will be implementing some use of social media with our applications.  When using social media you want to focus on these things: Choosing the right social media networks, defining the best times to post,  using a keyword list, creating and using an influence list, and setting up a blog.

PR also play a huge role in releasing a startup.  Knowing what to say, when to say it, and who to say it to are the main focuses of PR.  When dealing with PR within your company remember to: Create meaningful position statements, define your startup sensitivities, identifying the right writers for a media list, creating a press kit, and reaching out to journalists.

Once the PR is handled you want to start to think about the content creation.  Although, we will not formally go into content creation, the rest of the article talked about content creation.  When creating content for marketing you startup[ remember to: Create a topic list, know what types of content to publish (Newsletter, video, webinar, etc.), have guest blogging, and capture emails.

Now your marketing strategy is in full effect.  Also, down the road think about testing and iteration.  Your company can set up analytic tools, measure against benchmarks, and brainstorm creative new ideas  You may want to also think about what successful startups have already done drive success.  Focus on selling the solution, having a compelling story , and using all of your resources.

Has your group been using any of these tools when focusing on the marketing side of our project?  I know we are not formally marketing our products, but some of these things come in handy when developing a marketing strategy.

Article: The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing



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