Pitch Practice SF (March 2020)

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San Francisco, CA 94105

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IMPORTANT: You must complete your registration for this event here:

Are you gearing up to raise money or maybe you’re actively raising money and you just want more practice and feedback with your pitch?

Perhaps you want to know how to explain your business to investors more clearly.

Or maybe you want to participate in a pitch competition but you aren’t confident about your pitch.

San Francisco Startups is hosting a monthly Pitch Practice event where founders can practice their pitch in front of angel investors and entrepreneurs.

Why should I do a timed pitch in front of an audience?

  • It forces you to think through your business and how to present it to people
  • It forces you to condense your message down to just the most important parts
  • It lets you get diverse feedback from a number of people at the same time
  • It allows everyone in the community to learn from each other (mistakes, good bits, and all)

How does the event work?
1) When you walk in, you’ll register to pitch. There will be a maximum of 10 slots, which will be first come first serve at check in.

2) You will get 3 minutes to pitch your idea or startup. You sould have a slide deck for your presentation.

3) Our panel of startup founders and/or investors will provide you with 3-5 minutes of feedback and tips to improve your pitch.

Do I need a pitch deck? Do I have to prepare and practice?
Yes, and yes.

You can still pitch if you don't have a deck, but if you don't have a deck or your pitch is not structured / rehearsed, you will be put on our standby.

Either way, you should practice and make sure that your pitch can fit into 3 minutes.

What should my pitch deck include?
Make sure to include these key components:

Your name, role, and your company name - Start by telling us who you are

Problem - What is the problem you're solving and who (very specifically) faces this problem?

Value Proposition - What does the world look like if you make this problem go away?

Solution - How are you going to solve the problem?

Competition - Who is already trying to solve this problem and how are you different?

Market Opportunity - How big is the market opportunity and what part of it are you going after first?

Growth Strategy - How are you going to find your initial customers, how are you going to grow, what unique advantages do you have, what growth loops are you utilizing?

Stage / Metrics - What stage is your company (e.g. idea, prototype, MVP, initial customers, growth stage, etc)?

Team - Why are you and your team the right people to solve this problem?

Ask - What are you looking for? Investment? Co-founders? Advisors?

Whoa! Isn't that a lot to cram into 3 minutes?!

Yes, but you don't have to go in depth on all of these, but you should at least try to touch on all of them.

Here are some other resources:

Can I pitch if I just have an idea?
Yes! We love idea pitches!

Just be very clear on the stage of your idea while pitching.

Instead of talking about your "traction", tell us about the research that you've done so far and why you think you're the right person to solve this problem.

What does a good pitch look like?
Watch some YouTube videos:

Rules of Pitching

  • No promotional pitches. We will immediately stop you and ask you to step off stage if it turns promotional. The purpose of this event is to get feedback from peers, not to sell to people your product.
  • The timer may be a strict cutoff if we have a lot of people who are pitching, so make sure you practice and that your pitch fits in to 3 minutes before you arrive.
  • Listen, don't defend! You only have a small window of time to receive feedback. You're not pitching to convince anybody of anything, you're pitching to practice. So, if you're talking too much and defending your ideas, then you won't hear the feedback that people are giving you.
  • If you’re a founder, don’t be overly sensitive when you get feedback. All pitch feedback is meant to help you improve, but sometimes honest feedback is hard to take.
  • If we have a panel of founders and investors, they will give feedback first, then we'll open it up to the rest of the audience if there is time.
  • When giving feeback, be respectful yet honest. All pitch feedback should be constructive, but not hurtful.

Please complete your registration here:

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San Francisco, CA 94105

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