If you can’t explain your business model well enough for kids to understand, then you’re not ready for prime time in front of investors. That’s the premise behind Pitch-a-Kid: where entrepreneurs pitch their company ideas to kids to gain valuable feedback while answering honest questions. Over the last 20 years, I have pitched or have been pitched to, for corporate business initiatives, angel investment, corporate and venture capital investments and licensing opportunities.
With Pitch-a-Kid, kids learn critical thinking, problem-solving, and presenting skills, while entrepreneurs get an unfiltered assessment of where their pitch falls short and what parts might be confusing. It pushes the entrepreneur to use simple, straightforward, and understandable language. It also helps the entrepreneur with their storytelling. In our increasingly complex and time sensitive society, the art of simplicity is crucial to making your pitch resonate with investors. And it just may inspire the next great entrepreneur in the process!
At our last event on July 30th at the Capital Factory, the judges awarded top honors to Zuby Onwuta, CEO of Think & Zoom, a solution which provides hands-free visual magnification for low vision sufferers. Zuby at least partly attributes his win to storytelling. He opened with a personal story about his struggles with macular degeneration, then demonstrated his product’s capabilities. “With any pitch, the entrepreneur has to find a way to take the audience through the journey, so they easily relate to the idea or the problem that we have solved,” Onwuta says. “I told the story of when I was a high school student so that they could relate to my plight.”
I would like to connect more kids to entrepreneurs and share what I have learned with Pitch-a-Kid. I’ve submitted my SXSW panel and it will provide insights and tips for entrepreneurs to develop better company pitches by using simple, straightforward, and relevant language appropriate for elementary school aged children. The use of storytelling and proper analogies can make a pitch more memorable, personal, and impactful. The panel is designed to push entrepreneurs to refine their pitches to make sense to kids all the while improving communication and presentation skills of the entrepreneur. The ability to communicate effectively will make them more prepared to engage with angels and VCs.
1. How can I communicate the value proposition, business model, market validation, vision, and team in a manner that a 10-year-old will understand?
2. How can telling a “story” make your pitch more memorable, personal, and impactful?
3. How can the use of appropriate analogies enhance your pitch and create better communication and understanding of your company?
Please vote for my panel to learn more about how Pitch-a-Kid can help you refine your pitch and get ready for primetime investors getting you one step closer to getting funded.