5 Quick Tips for Pitching Ideas at Startup Weekend

These tips may seem basic, but you’d be surprised how many aspiring entrepreneurs with good ideas are not following all of them. Check these five boxes at your next Startup Weekend in the MENA region and we bet the judges will take note. 

  1. Build a prototype. Maybe this goes without saying, but if you have any kind of prototype, it’s easier to see what the idea will be, and what you’ve done with your time. Winners often have prototypes.

  2. Don’t pitch your revenue projections. Those numbers are meaningless at the idea stage. Sell us on the product first!

  3. Do some quick market research. 54 hours is enough time to send out a quick poll to friends/ contacts on Facebook, Twitter, or email who might use the product. Teams that actually surveyed potential users stand out from those that say a couple of their friends might like the product.

  4. Differentiate yourself. List competitors and how you plan to either add unique value to compete with them in a given niche or partner with them to supplement their services.  Especially if you’re going to pitch a social network. Make sure it’s well thought out and can leverage existing channels on Facebook/Twitter/Google+. Do we really need another specialized network specifically for taxi riders/ football lovers / baby photo albums?

  5. Focus, focus, focus. If the audience can’t understand your idea in one sentence, chances are that the market won’t understand it either. 

And finally a little request from the media: put your name in your presentation somewhere, on the final screen at least. We like to know who you are even if we don’t have a chance to interview you. Show off your background and experience, add your Twitter handle if you have one, and help us get your name out there.

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