The Final Pitch

November 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm Leave a comment

Day 3 of Startup Weekend begins with our awesome facilitator, David, reminding us of the day’s agenda and checking in to see if the teams have any last minute needs. We have six hours until our tech check. Doesn’t that seem like a long time? It’s not. It feels more like 38 minutes.

I’m not even sure what happened in those six hours. Last minute details. Phone calls. Pitch writing and re-writing and re-writing and re-writing. Lunch. Slides. Frenzied activities. Website polished (you know this isn’t me). Snacks. Tech check. Lipstick application. And, of course, final pitch. Who’s ready? It’s game time.

Guests are able to attend these pitches. My family arrives and I’m excited to have my own personal cheering section. Once you get a chance to meet my family, you’ll understand why.

After introductions and instructions, the pitching begins. You get 5 minutes and not a second more (so don’t even try). Team City Action goes first, followed by Keep It in the Bowl, then Switch Blade, and finally ConnectHelp (you got it, saving the best for last. ha!). Everyone rocked their presentations. Who won? Ev.er.y.one. We all gained exactly what Startup Weekend promised: education, empowerment and inspiration. We all made new friends. In our case, ConnectHelp.org already has an online presence and is a viable website that will soon be helping people in our county (and hopefully not too far behind – helping people all over the world).

You’ll hear more about ConnectHelp soon (if you’d like to join our email list, click the logo below). In fact, in a week, I will ask you to vote for us in the Global Startup Battle. Not only will I ask you to vote, but I will beg you to reach out to your friends to vote as well. I was blessed with a brilliant team and they deserve to see this idea win. I couldn’t be more proud of the work they did.

I have a few random thoughts about Startup Weekend to share (should you ever dare to go and have your life changed):
1. Wear a great color (say, an orange sweater) and you’ll be picked to lead during Friday’s ice breaker.
2. Don’t be afraid to pitch your idea. It’s 60-seconds of your life. You may regret not doing it, but you won’t regret doing it.
3. Realize that you may not want to pitch your idea, but your name may get on the pitch list regardless.
4. You may miss out on some sleep over the weekend, but you won’t miss a meal (or snacks).
5. You will gain an even greater love for the talented, smart and generous people in your community.
6. While it was a competition, there was never a moment that another team wasn’t willing to answer questions or offer encouragement.
7. While you are gone all weekend, the laundry will not do itself.

If you ever have the opportunity to experience Startup Weekend South Bend, please do. You won’t regret it. You might be mad that you didn’t make a weekend sooner. Thanks for listening to me the last three days (if you missed Days 1 & 2, be sure to catch up on those).

Thanks to Grant, Laura, Phil and Jim for organizing this event. It was truly top-notch. Thanks to David for traveling from Seattle to facilitate our weekend together. Thanks to my brilliant team of Rowland, Chris and Laura for making my idea come to life in 54 hours. And thanks to every attendee, coach and judge for your enthusiasm and expertise.

I can’t wait to make ConnectHelp.org a global reality. Give me a shout if you can help us in your state. Be a part of something amazing!

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Entry filed under: Ideas & Dreams. Tags: , , , , .

Just as Good as the First Who Doesn’t Love a Treasure Hunt?

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