Tuesday, May 1 was the final round for the Agora Startup Idol (ASI) pitch competition. Congratulations to the final 5 startups who were able to participate, and most of all to Heddi Cundle of MyTab for winning the competition.
The competition was unlike any startup pitch contest I have ever been involved in. Where most pitch competitions are clearly designed as investor presentations, in this case the ultimate goal is really to build traction by encouraging the internet audience to test drive the systems and earn BeInToo award credits. Most of the finalists did a good job of pitching in a way that would convince potential users to try their software, but the judges, myself included, always asked the investment related questions.
Since 2 minutes is not a lot of time, it is important for contestants in future ASI competitions to bear that in mind. My suggestion would be to have a 10 second synopsis of the investment goals of the startup, which can be included in the presentation, or in follow-up questioning by the judges. Even if the judges don’t ask, the contestant will likely be able to find a place to mention the investment goals in the Q&A. But, some judges may ding you for not including it in the presentation.
In other words, if including investor and other information in the 2 minutes means that you fail to present the compelling reason a customer would use the service, you have failed anyway, so it may be better to focus on just that.