With that being said, the last six weeks of The Farm accelerator program was all about Financials and Pitches, specifically, the last few weeks, was just getting our pitches dialed in, with practice, practice, and more practice. And, when you think we were done practicing, we did more practice.
Now, since everything was virtual, we did our pitch practice virtual as well, usually through zoom. The idea was to get comfortable with our pitches so that when we were filmed for the pitches, we could run with it more naturally. That’s right, you read that right! Instead of the traditional pitching live on a stage, like they usually do it, we were going to be filmed and then streamed for both the Investors and Public Demo Day. The difference being, the former being a private event, streamed specifically for interested investors, while the latter a public event where anyone and everyone is invited to watch.
Truth be told, there were moments where I was sick and tired of hearing myself speak, practicing the pitch, sometimes to the point of boredom, which you’re NOT supposed to do, especially when you’re practicing your pitch in front of an audience.
Oh yeah, did I mention that every time we did a pitch practice it was done in front of an audience, whether it’s with The Farm team, your own team, mentors, along with the Comcast (The Farm’s partner in the program) leadership team. And just for fun The Farm brought in a group of investors to also listen in and provide you feedback on your pitch.
With so many groups of people listening, watching and providing you feedback, oftentimes there was some conflicting advice and/or suggestions to the pitch. One group/person would say, “not enough animations”, another would say “too many animations, it was hard to follow”, or another would say “add those numbers in”, others say “too many numbers.”
Fortunately, the guidance was to consolidate and have us decide what’s best for us and our company’s messaging that we want to get across. A couple of the best advices that I thought was key are: (and I am paraphrasing)
1) What are the three key things/topics you want to make sure they understand or leave with. They, being either investors and/or the public.
2) Present/pitch like it is the first time, every time.
I’ll be honest, the first time I gave my pitch, I had knots in my stomach, I was so nervous, not sure why as I’ve done presentations before, and longer with bigger stakes. But for some reason, this one day, the first day we did a practice pitch, my stomach and lower back cramped up from nervousness. It took literally a few hours for that nervousness and my muscles to relax back to normal. Maybe I had a lactic acid build up 🙂
So, perhaps the second advice, not so much when you experience something like what I mentioned above 😉 In all seriousness, those two suggestions stuck with me. Now, did I execute them both perfectly, well, you can be the judge of that.
Here is a video of my public demo day, I’ve queued it up to my presentation: (if it does not play below, scrub to 11:17)
All in all, the entire program was a GREAT experience. We learned so much, and we’ll definitely be applying all of those things in our entrepreneurial endeavors. Will we be applying them perfectly? Definitely not. Did we learn everything we needed to? No, there are definitely more things that we can learn. Will we become successful? Hopefully, but now we have the right education and some practice that gives us the confidence to move forward, and becoming successful is within our reach.
To The Farm, we are grateful for the opportunity, everyone has been tremendously helpful and kind.
To my cohorts of smart, witty and fun founders, going through the program with you all have been a pleasure. Seeing each of you and your business pivot or grow stronger, I wish you all the best success, and keep in touch.
Lastly, to my own team, who has tirelessly made pivots in development, sometimes at the cost of no sleep, working odd hours, experiencing my meltdowns, and oftentimes overbearing passive-aggressiveness, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, you’ve truly made me a better person.