The first event that I was involved in was Pitch Club which was then followed by Pitch Your Way to £1k. Before I get into deep details, I would like to firstly just say how amazing these two events were. People pitch a random idea for 1 minute, they get a free drink and on top of it all, they win prizes (cash money) if they have the best ideas. It was amazing how someone can enter the pitching competition without really having anything to lose. Being it my first time being on the other side of the table for something like this, I’m going to share with you the things that I’ve learnt.
Learning to identify what ideas are viable and can be developed.
For both events, one of my responsibility was to become a so called ‘Dragon’ which means that I had to listen to people’s ideas and identify who had a better idea. I can assure you that it is not as easy as it sounds. We had a judges’ matrix with us, however, we knew that in the end, these ideas would have to be developed for the next round so other factors were added into contributing to the way we selected the winners.
For each pitch that we listened to, we analysed whether the idea had a market, if people would actually invest and whether it could be further developed. The complications came when we were swamped with so many good, well thought out ideas that had potential but could only choose a few. That was when we had to one by one, really think through why some ideas had a bigger potential.
From this, relates to a story of a project that I worked on with my friends over the summer. We worked on an idea that we thought was brilliant, however, I’ve only realised how it wouldn’t work out when I started to listen to pitches after pitches. The market wasn’t big enough, our customers wouldn’t want to pay for the service, the solution is to a problem that could be solved by addressing the main problem and the technology would be too expensive to be implemented.
My friends and I, of course, did hear all these feedbacks while working on the project but personally, I was still in my own bubble of how I was still going to make it work because it’s a problem that I strongly believe in. However, being on the other side of the story made me accept all these weaknesses that we had of the project and now, I can say that a good solution to this is to pivot.
Getting out of my comfort zone.
One of my other responsibility was to encourage people to join. I was once an extrovert but over the years of college and university, I slowly became an introvert. I would rather be on my own and I get so scared of approaching new people, which was never a problem to me back in the old days.
I had to go to from table to table to tell people that an event was going on which was so nerve wrecking. I appreciate that Ana was around to help me out because I would have never been able to do it if she hadn’t given me the push to. I did however follow her around at first just to warm up but then I started to get comfortable with talking to new people so I was very thankful. I also have so much appreciation for all the people who were willing to listen to me instead of turning me away.
From this, I learnt that getting out of your comfort zone can be the hardest thing in the world but once you’ve done it, you wouldn’t feel as if it’s hard anymore. What would be regretful is if you don’t even try in the first place because in the end, you wouldn’t be able to discover your true potential. Therefore, if you’re afraid of doing something you’re not used to, JUST DO IT!
Talking to people.
For the three events of Pitch Your Way to £1k, there was plenty of time to ‘network’ and because I was surrounded by people who shared the same interest, we had things to talk about. It wasn’t just about business but it was about inspirations, interest and solving problems in the world.
Talking to people enabled me to have a wider perception of some things I previously hadn’t thought about. It gave me the chance to share my thoughts and gain feedback from my thought which amazingly enough, keeps my brain thinking. Sometimes, I feel like we’re not talking enough about how we could make the world better so being surrounded by these people who strongly believe in solving problems was amazing.
Therefore, talk to people and see what they have to share because we all have different backgrounds and we’ve all gone through different things in life.