This past Friday I attended a Silicon Beach meetup, where they switched up the usual gathering to an inaugural pitch night… resulting in an impressive event! I couldn’t have a picked a better night with more than the usual number of people rocking up, who like me, were full of curiosity and anticipation.
Through my mingling, I was told that this was an opportunity to pitch ideas in the company of peers and mentors – a kind of supportive network in which to gather sage advice and constructive feedback. Graeme Speak and Justin Strharsky, both mentors for the night and entrepreneurs themselves, could offer real insights drawn from their own experiences.
Interestingly enough, it was highlighted at the start of the night by Marcus Holmes that the kind of ideas that make people rich are those which are both good and look bad – that is, they’re good enough to fill a gap in the marketplace, but not so outstanding that someone else is already pitching it. The key to making the idea a successful pitch is to be clear, simple and passionate. And with only five minutes in which to engage the audience, our entrepreneurs had to be sure to leave a lasting impression.
- We had Sunil Raman kick off the event with his smooth pitch on ‘Empowering Local Business’ with a cost efficient design to take websites mobile on a month-to-month subscription basis.
- The next entrepreneur, Rory Deegan, hit his stride early on and was able to show us a live demonstration of the idea he was pitching on ‘TopTenPerth.com.au‘. The potential to leverage revenue streams through the use of user-generated (and moderated) content showcased Rory’s idea well.
- Brad Gobby set the mood immediately by asking everyone to imagine themselves as his target audience: a teacher with a group of hormone-riddled, distracted students. His proposition with license-model Adekamie.com empowers students to improve their written communications – making parents happy and giving teachers the tools to help students learn in the digital classroom.
- One idea that really gained traction on the night was Structables.net from Troy Gerwien. His idea to prevent developers from endlessly rewriting the same CRUD solution brings an easy-to-use, comparatively more cost-effective and customisable operation to SME’s. By exposing his idea to the crowd Troy may even have received a chance to test his concept. Another member of the audience had exactly the problem that he was trying to solve and was willing to be a beta tester/early adopter for Troy’s solution.
- Last but not least, the vivacious Oksana Hernandez pitched the Russian Banya – a social, spiritual, and health oasis – easily accessible and right here in Perth.
It was really interesting to watch how the audience received each pitch as well as the thoughtful feedback that was given. With a little more practice to ensure a flawless delivery, these guys will be good to go!