This initial 'Startup fair'
was all about pitching our start-ups to our fellow SLP attendees.
It was the first session after the initial intro session in the previous week,
hence it was a good time for us to conduct this sort of exercise as we didn't
really know each other’s start-ups that well.
The aim of the session was to
hone our 'elevator pitch' type presentations through a series of speed
dating-esque interactions with the other fellows. In addition, we received
feedback from our peers on our idea and pitching style - this was very
Kicking off with the book
recommendations, I suggested 'the mom test' and 'The Saffron Tales: Recipes
from the Persian Kitchen'. The mom test is a great practical guide on how to
understand and validate a problem with potential customers, by asking the right
type of exploratory questions. The second book, The Saffron Tales, is a great
new cookbook exploring Persian culture, through their cuisine - some great
recipes in there!
We each had 5 minutes to
present our start-up in a way that would convince the 'investors' (our fellow
fellows) to invest their 'SLP Pounds' in our business. Within that timeframe we
also took on feedback on the pitch and idea.
Logistically, setting this up
was slightly tricky as we had to spread out across 2 or 3 rooms, which
presented challenges in communication and alignment to the 5-minute timing!
We also had last year's class
CEO (Luca) to spend some time at the end reflecting on his time since the
programme and providing advice on crowd-funding. A number of our fellows will
be setting up separate time with him to discuss all things crowd-funding in
We didn't get a chance to
reflect on everyone's thoughts and learnings from the session - this would have
been valuable, but congrats to Simply Tribal and
Hanhaa for winning the product fair session. Some very strong pitching and
great story's behind the businesses.
In the future, I'd consider a
plenary session by an external speaker in order to set the scene for the
product demo, touching on some key learnings from their past experience.
It can be difficult to convey
the essence of your Startup in 2-3 minutes, but it is imperative that we all
learn to do so. Many times, this is all the time we'll get to introduce
ourselves and our start-ups. In fact, I'd also prepare a 30 second elevator
pitch, just in case!
Feedback is very important. So having this sort of speed-dating setup is great for getting initial feedback
from peers and given the number of people you speak to there are always some
new questions or nuggets of advice given
Timing is important - it was
difficult to police across 3 rooms, but I'd strongly suggest that the next
class CEO ensures that the 5-minute timeline is adhered to
As a closing session, It would be worth asking all attendees to discuss their learnings from the pitching and feedback sessions. The discussion would be valuable for all attendees as we could each learn from each other’s experience of the session.