The Pitch

In the pitch to our panel of experts — serving as “angel investors” — you have 7 minutes to explain and sell your product. You should strive to be clear, animated and convincing.

You are welcome to use a slide deck to illustrate your points, but these should not look like lecture slides you’re used to from your classes. They’re far more often highly visual and engaging, bringing key facts, ideas and numbers to life for the audience.

We do not give you an outline for these presentations because we do not want all of them to sound alike (been there, done that, learned from the mistake). So you have to strike out on your own to discern how to do this.

The time limit of 7 minutes is a hard limit. The Lead TA will signal you with 2 minutes and 1 minute remaining. When that person calls time, you need to stop speaking immediately.

We see a variety of approaches to these pitches, and one of the pitch team’s most important job is deciding on the best approach for your group. Some of what we’ve seen in the past:

  • full pitch team divvies up presentation equally
  • team picks a subset of two people to deliver the pitch
  • slides have been far and away the most common
  • use a member of the platform or pitch team to navigate the site while the pitchers are speaking
  • or you can do screenshots of aspects of the site and embed those in slides

Pay attention to all elements of your pitch across all of the pitchers.

  • Are you at the same volume and energy levels?
  • Have you focused on clarity in your points?
  • Are you able to deliver your pitch without reading from notes or cards?

When you finish your pitch, each panelist will have 1 minute to offer feedback. These generally are in the form of statements, not questions, but decide in advance which pitcher will field questions if they come. This year’s pitches will be in the Parliamentary Room on the fourth floor of Vilas. Stop in there in advance to get yourself comfortable and figure out where you’ll stand in relation to the screen.

Some advice from people who have pitched in the real world:

6 steps to the perfect pitch

Richard Branson: How to pitch in 5 steps

Students create magazines from scratch – and pitch them to pros

14 pitch pointers for young entrepreneurs

Pitch perfect: Selling startups at entrepreneurship boot camp

How to use hackathons to build your entrepreneurial teaching chops