Pitching your idea on Friday Night (some tips and thoughts on what you can pitch)

11/10/2014 | By Kyle Ashby

This post originally appeared on blog.up.co

After running the bootcamp last week, the organizing team thought we'd share some of the content we shared at the event.

Let's start first with the question we've been getting asked a lot lately...

Can I pitch an idea that I've already been working on?

No, you can't.  If you've done some market research, and maybe bought a domain name, that is fine.  But, if you've built anything... a website, a prototype, a team, a team of outsourced help, an advisory board, an email list, a prospective client list, a mobile app, a logo, a business plan, a business model (ok, hopefully you get the idea).... this is not an idea that should be part of Startup Weekend.  Meaning... you CAN'T PITCH THE IDEA.

Ideas need to be new!  Or at least new to you!

Think of it as an incredible opportunity to finally get started, and launch, that idea that you've had in the back of your head.

Cool?  Great... As the organizing team we'd rather spend our time answering other questions and giving you more tools to succeed with that idea you've always wanted to work on!

So here are some tips, in easy to consume list form ;), that will hopefully help you pitch the idea and get it picked to continue over the weekend.

6 Elements of a Good Pitch

  1. Focus on the problem you want to solve
  2. Mention how you think the problem should be solved
  3. Talk about your secret sauce
  4. Tell us what you already know
  5. Showcase your winning personality
  6. Show up with an idea that does something meaningful

    More on the 6 elements at go.up.co/6elements


Pitch Pitfalls

  • Don’t go into too much detail about how your solution works
  • Don’t spend too long on your personal background, this pitch is about the problem you’re solving
  • Don’t be boring, make people remember you and make sure you seem fun/good to work with
  • Don’t leave the stage without naming your pitch/idea! Something people can remember later

Anatomy of a Pitch

A pitch should be unique to you, but some structure never hurts as a place to start.

A simple template may look like:

[10 sec] Introduce and sell yourself

[20 sec] Describe the problem you want to solve

[20 sec] Describe your solution (e.g. explain the product)

[10 sec] What do you need to be successful during the weekend?(people, skills, tools, etc )

Hope these tips help... and GOOD LUCK on Friday Night!