Entrepreneurial Journeys Start with a Pitch
Every business started with the initial founder coming up with a pitch to communicate the business value proposition. The pitch is used for many purposes, including finding co-founders and partners, introducing the business to customers, attracting investors, etc. Our Tech Pitch is the ideal place to test early-stage pitches and get connected for feedback from the Tech Community. It is what you know and whom you know in business, and Softec is where you go when working on your Who. While our first love is new tech businesses, we will listen to any new business pitch and help get you launched. All you need to do a Tech Pitch is an idea and the guts to act on that idea. You cannot reach your dream if you do not start, and this is where you start.
Tech Pitch is a regular agenda item on our monthly Tech Brew event. This is your opportunity to connect to other Softec Members as prospective business partners. Like many Softec Events, there is no cost for a Tech Pitch or the after-event promotional email.
If your mission is to create a tech business, one of the first skills you have to master is the pitch, and a tech pitch is the first place to start honing that skill. Tech Pitch is something that Softec believes deeply in because it sets the stage for a Softec Moment. This page discusses the details of Softec’s program in all the painful detail.
Why a Tech Pitch?
Building a business is a grand challenge nearly impossible for one person to do. Building a tech business requires building a team that believes in the mission and goal of the business, and this typically means reaching out to people you do not know. When you look at business history, there may be a front person that gets most of the credit and exposure for the business, but every one of those has a team behind them. In Tech building, a business needs a team with scientists, engineers, artists, managers, and sales. The team’s strength comes from the diversity of the members, and these groups are rarely attracted together naturally. Scientists rarely hang out with managers, but they need each other to build a business. The same is true for all the combinations to different degrees. A Softec Moment is set up when we create these connections in the tech community.
How to Prepare Your Pitch
A Tech Pitch is a 1-minute pitch to communicate your idea and attract the team members to build the business. The pitch has to be short and powerful, covering these points:
Who you are
Partners you need
Follow up Email
The odds are not great that all the people you need to meet are at any specific event. To help the odds, Softec follows this up with an email to the entire community. Softec’s email list is over 1,400 technically inclined professionals from Santa Ynez to Paso Robles as we write this page. You need to provide the event coordinator with an idea summary and the types of people you want to meet. The limit on the summary is 300 characters and spaces plus an email address for interested people to reach out to.
Click here, for example, email to Softec members
Pitch by Email
No scheduled time is perfect for everyone, and we know this. If you have a pitch you want to deliver to the community; you can do this via email to President@Softec.org
- Title (65 characters)
- Pitch (300 characters)
- Whom you want to connect with (100 characters)
- Contact email, or phone
Incognito Mode Tech Pitch
Building a business can be tricky and sensitive, and Softec understands this. Softec will allow you to put an idea out there in incognito mode. To do this, email President@softec.org and request a Tech Pitch meeting. We will help you through the process and publish a summary that you approve with a response to email@example.com. We will receive and forward the inquiries to you. There is no perfect process for this, and Softec cannot guarantee that someone might put the pieces together, and you accept responsibility for this.
Follow on steps
The path you chose is up to your team, but many have found success by following the steps in a Startup Weekend. These include:
- Team Formation & Evolution
- Pivot & Repeat until you have an MVP
- Pitch to your Idea Customers (Market Validation)
- Build Business Plan
- Pitch to Strategic Investors
You will probably note that these are different from a Startup Weekend. Startup Weekends are designed for students, and Tech Pitch is designed for adults. The designs are not better or worse; they are simply different. When adults launch a business, they have to reduce the risk of failure before they step over the abyss. Students can do a weekend marathon, but adults have responsibilities that make a marathon impossible. Nowhere in these steps is there a presentation to a panel of judges because judges are rarely ideal customers or strategic investors.
The reality here is that the steps are up to your team, and you should seek as much input as you can get before launch. At some point, your team will have to decide to pull the trigger and go for it.
Never fail just once
If your idea and team did not come together on the first attempt does not mean that you failed. You would not quit baseball because you struck out on your first at-bat, and you should not give up on this either. Get back up and take another swing at the fences. Softec plans to hold Tech Pitch events throughout the year, and you can also do this with Tech Brews. You are welcome to as many at-bats as it takes. If you need help developing your pitch, we recommend trying Toastmasters to develop your public speaking skills.
Primary Event Coordinator
Bob Dumouchel President@softec.org (805) 801-4020