Lehigh Valley StartUp Weekend
On the weekend of November 14-16, 2014 I attended the Lehigh Valley StartUp Weekend and although we are not finished with our business building exercise I feel I have to share some of my experience.
The opening of the event started on November 14 with the standard business networking, asking each other questions such as what do you do? where are you from? have you done anything like this before? what do expect to happen next? And then the facilitator gets the show started.
Anthony our facilitator started with our calling out words, preferable nouns or adjectives. Then we counted from 1 to 7 and your number becomes the team you join for the next group dynamic building exercise.
Now each of the seven teams had to select one person based on height to pick two words off the jumbled word list we just created.
Next our facilitator asked us to create a business pitch around the two words we selected, our team had selected “elephant” & “bacon” and we quickly prepared a sales pitch around the Omaha Steak business model which is a mail order prime meat company with the exception that our company is all bacon and includes elephant size slabs of bacon in various assorted flavors. This exercise was fun and a true ice breaker for all.
Now that everyone was a little more comfortable with each other the time came to pitch our ideas. The Lehigh Valley StartUp Weekend of 2014 had 37 participants and we had an amazing 20 pitches that’s over 50% of the participants had an idea to share with the world.
I pitched my idea which was called I-Witness. Now what the app does isn’t important but what was is important is what I planned to accomplish for myself during the event.
I had decided that I wanted to practice standing before an audience to pitch a business idea. Now if you ever stood before an audience you know how nerve racking it can be imagine pitching a business idea to a group of business students, programmers, web developer and other business professionals who then vote for or against your idea. So I got up my nerve and worked my way through my pitch and then waited to see the results. When the votes were tallied I made the first cut and garnered 7 votes to develop my idea. Others that presented pitched sports safety, job search web site, an electronic dog trainer to keep your dog off the furniture, an adult content idea and a few others.
As we completed the last round of voting which consisted of building your team to build your idea I had not made that final cut but I received two great compliments from, one of the event organizers as well as one from Wayne Barz our lead contact at Ben Franklin Tech Ventures and I thought to myself mission accomplished. Part of Wayne’s job is to listen to business pitches from StartUp candidates as part of his day to day responsibilities at Ben Franklin Tech Ventures and learning that he felt liked my business idea pitch felt great. Stay tuned and hear about the rest of my experience and join me at SoBeCoWorks where we do StartUp Weekend every day.