by Matt McGunagle – CPE Prez
Congratulations to those who participated in this year’s competition. I was blown away by the quality and passion you all expressed in your 90-second pitches. Getting in front of a crowd and telling them about your crazy idea or dream is not an easy feat. Every single one of you should be proud.
If you are accepted into the finals, good luck! I can’t wait to see the finalists battle it out next week! The sad truth is that most you will not go to the finals, and that’s the reason I’m writing this post.
Last year, I participated in the Elevator Pitch Competition. I practiced my lines, received good feedback from friends and family, and was really excited for the event.
I blew it. My content was good, my points were valid, but my delivery was poor. I’m sure to the audience it didn’t seem too bad – maybe a little rushed – but overall it was probably all right in their view. The hard part is walking off stage knowing you didn’t give your best presentation. You smile as you walk off to all the people that give you thumbs up or say, “Good job!”, but inside you’re furious at yourself.
What happened to me after? Well, I didn’t make the finals. I watched the finals from the audience and marveled at the presentation skills of my fellow students and was truly impressed by their ideas. Eventually, I joined Genicell, the group of biomedical engineers that won the competition.
But I didn’t give up on my idea. I kept pitching it. I pitched it to anyone that would listen. I took feedback from each person I talked to and thought about how I could make the pitch better.
A full year later, I pitched the same idea with slightly different messaging at an entrepreneurial event. My idea resonated with the group and I was able to form a team. The concept is currently being worked on and a prototype has been made. I couldn’t be happier.
What’s my point? Never stop pitching. If your idea sucks like mine did at the time, it will get better. Pitch to anyone who is willing to listen. Find a team that loves the idea and cares as much as you do. Make it happen. The only person preventing your idea from becoming reality is you. I can’t wait to see what all of you create.
For a quick review, follow these simple steps below. Thanks for reading everyone!
- Keep pitching.
- Find people who are passionate about your idea.
- Get started.
- Come to Cal Poly Entrepreneurs to meet people who are making their ideas reality as well (+ tell your friends!)