Tips for Friday night pitches

11/15/2014 | By Alison Gibbins

This post originally appeared on

Are you getting excited about Startup Weekend Toronto - Internet of Things Edition?

Here's some links and tips for your pitch on Friday night. Components of a great pitch: Hi, I’m [name]! The problem solving is [problem]. My solution is [solution]. To do this, we’ll need [team]. Where [name] = [your real name OR nickname], [problem] = the thing that your are trying to solve AND who does it help], [solution] = [name of your solution AND why it is unique AND how it used IoT], if time permits [team] = [types of people who can help you solve the problem].

  • Who can make a pitch? Anyone who has a ticket to the Weekend (sorry volunteers, mentors, and judges - you'll have to get a ticket to pitch!). All participants are encouraged to make a pitch!  It's part of the fun of Startup Weekend.
  • How long are the pitches? No longer than 60 seconds.  There will be a timer and you're time is up at exactly 1 minute.
  • How do I sign up to make a pitch? Just show up Friday night.  When it's pitch time, put up your hand if you'd like to make a pitch - you'll get a big piece of paper with a number.  Put the name of your idea on the top of the page.  We will call people up to pitch in order based on the number on your paper.
  • Can I use a slide presentation for the pitch? You can use props but no slides.  Remember, you only have 1 minute.
  • Can I pitch an idea I've already been working on? No!  Startup Weekend is all about meeting new people and creating innovative solutions to real problems TOGETHER.  You can research your idea ahead of time. If you come with an idea you've already worked on, it's not fair to the other participants and teams.  Play fair - as a general guideline - if you've created code, a logo, snagged a domain name, or already sold something - then don't pitch it during the weekend.  You will meet some amazing people who may be able to help you with your existing idea after the weekend.
  • How will the pitches be voted on? Each participant will get 3 Post-It Notes.  Each represents a vote.  The pitch ideas will be posted around the room. Place your votes on the ideas you like best.  You can vote for each idea once - so be prepared to pick your favourite 3 pitches.  You can vote for yourself - but only once!  The pitch ideas with the most votes will move on to form teams and build the idea during the weekend.
  • My pitch idea was not selected, can I still work on my idea during the weekend?  Yes, but you need to recruit at least two other participants to be on your team.  Also, maker supplies will first be distributed to teams that were voted in.  We'll try our best to get you maker supplies but we can't guarantee that there will be enough to go around.  Your best bet is to join another team.

Here are some other resources: