The Pitching Hour

Shark-Tank

 

Sunday at 3:00pm will be the Pitching Hour at Startup Weekend NB.  It’s the culmination of a lot hard work.  No matter how how things shake out, our competitors should be proud!  It can be a true test of character to go through the Startup process.  If you’ve made it this far, you deserve a medal in my books.  While this is a competition, also remember the bigger picture that we are all allies as well.  When this weekend is done, you’re now part of a greater community of entrepreneurs that helps fosters partnerships and mentorship alike.  Like Ernesto Sirolli said in his TEDtalk: “No one succeeds alone.”

But for now, this is a competition, and after the dust clears, one team will get to lift the microphone high and be the champions of Startup Weekend NB.

 

tumblr_miazecVM8q1r3ifxzo1_500

 

 

 

This blog post will aim to better equip you for your pitch, and help you get a better sense for how the events of the day will flow.

 

 

 

The Order of The Pitches

 

You don’t want to get caught off guard.  Keep an eye out for the Pitch List, this will be the order of the pitches.  You’ve got to be ready to take the stage when your time comes!

 

Got the jitters or the pitch itch?  Whether you’re worried or chomping at the bit, you will have a practice pitch during your Tech Check.  We will have mentors on-hand to give you some feedback on your pitch and your slide deck.

 

 

 

Prep your Pitch

 

Learn-to-Pitch

 

Each time’s pitch will be 5 minutes long, with a 5 minute Question period.  A timer will be on display for the presenter, showing their 5-minute countdown.  Keep an eye on the timer, because there is a hard stop when the time runs out.  You don’t want to get cut off during your pitch, so if your time is running out, gently end your pitch.  A soft landing is better than a crash.

 

If you’re still having trouble putting your pitch together, check out these links:

 

https://grouptalent.com/blog/how-to-prepare-for-the-stage

 

https://grouptalent.com/blog/how-to-structure-your-five-minute-pitch

 

http://fr.slideshare.net/EmilandDC/extreme-pitch

 

The Firing Squad

 

Your panel of Judges will be:

 

Ed McGinley, CEO at New Brunswick Information Technology Council

 

Linda Bulmer, Management Consultant and Startup Guru

 

George Tahan, Relationship Manager at TD Commercial Banking

 

Check out their bios!

 

 

 

Judging Criteria

 

Be sure to keep these things in mind when building and practicing your pitch.  This is how the judges will be scoring you.

 

  • Business Model Validation

  • Who are their key partners? Is there a customer acquisition / rollout strategy? Did the team identify customers (demographic, location etc)? Did the team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers? What is the cost and revenue breakdown?

  • Product Execution

 

Have they established a “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend (software, hardware, etc.)? *Note: an MVP is the minimum set of features to be able to start collecting data. Were they able to demo something functional?

 

  • User Experience Design

  • Does it have a professional look and feel? Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Is it memorable? What key insights were gathered over the weekend to go in this creative direction?.

 

 

 

Get Ready for the Question Period

 

After your pitch, you will be subject to a question period with the judging panel.  During this period, judges will ask you questions to help them understand your idea more deeply (remember, they weren’t here all weekend, so they are hearing about your idea for the first time).  They may also want to stress-test the validity of your idea as a business.  So, before you break a sweat, build up your confidence by preparing answers to these Common Judge Questions:

 

  • What’s the most impressive thing you have achieved this weekend?
  • Where is the rocket science here? What is your secret sauce?
  • Why did you pick this idea to work on?
  • Why do the reluctant users hold back?
  • Who would you hire or how would you add to your team?
  • What problems/hurdles are you anticipating?
  • Who is “the boss”?
  • What is the next step with the product evolution?
  • What obstacles will you face and how will you overcome them?
  • Who needs what you’re making?
  • How does your product work in more detail?
  • What are you going to do next?
  • What do you understand that others don’t?
  • Where do new users come from?
  • How big an opportunity is there?
  • Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
  • What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you this weekend?
  • Tell us something surprising you have done this weekend?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What’s new about what you make?
  • How many users do you have?
  • Why isn’t someone already doing this?
  • What are the top things users want?
  • How do you know customers need what you’re making?
  • What domain expertise do you have?
  • What, exactly, makes you different from existing options?
  • What’s the conversion rate?
  • What systems have you hacked?
  • Who would use your product?
  • How will customers and/or users find out about you?
  • Why did your team get together?
  • In what ways are you resourceful?
  • What is your distribution strategy?
  • What has surprised you about user behaviour?
  • What part of your project are you going to build first?
  • What resistance will they have to trying you and how will you overcome it?
  • How are you understanding customer needs?
  • What’s the biggest mistake you have made this weekend?
  • Who might become competitors?
  • What do you understand about your users?
  • What is your user growth rate?
  • What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
  • Who is going to be your first paying customer?
  • If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
  • Who would be your next hire?
  • How do you know people want this?
  • What do you know about this space/product others don’t know?
  • How much money could you make per year?
  • How long can you go before funding?
  • How will you make money?
  • Will your team stick at this?
  • How much does customer acquisition cost?
  • How did your team meet?
  • Who in your team does what?
  • How are you meeting customers?
  • How many users are paying?
  • How is your product different?
  • Are you open to changing your idea?
  • What makes new users try you?
  • What competition do you fear most?

 

Good luck!








TD Keeps An Eye Out For Banking’s Next Big Thing

TDCanadaLogo_1

Banks — careful, steady, conservative. Tech startups — frenetic, disruptive, edgy.

 

Can two such seemingly different cultures get along? TD Bank Financial Group thinks so.

 

“TD is proud of its strong culture of innovation,” says Jeff Martin, senior vice-president and chief information officer, direct channels technology solutions “We are continually looking for opportunities to improve our products, services and ultimately our customer experience.”

 

TD knows a thing or two about building businesses and balancing risk and growth. It has worked with entrepreneurs for 160 years, which is why its involvement in Startup Weekend Nov. 14-16 in five Canadian cities — Vancouver, Quebec City, Fredericton, Halifax and St. John’s — is such a great fit.

 

Held around the world, Startup Weekends bring together entrepreneurs for 54 hours of intense business development that concludes with a pitch to a panel of experienced executives. As part of its sponsorship, TD has a panelist in each of these five cities.

 

To kick off Startup Weekend, Jeff Martin talks about banking and startup cultures; and why Startup Weekend is such a fantastic opportunity for both.

 

 

 

Why is TD a Startup weekend sponsor?

 

TD has always encouraged innovation that will benefit banking and our customers. This forum is a great way to connect with the community and hear a lot of different ideas. We’re attracted to the high-energy/ high creativity environment – which is what Startup Weekend offers: a way to tap into that creativity to find ideas we may have not thought of using traditional methods.

 

 

 

What are some of the customer trends in banking that drive the interest in ideas at the startup level? 

 

The biggest trend is mobilization. Take mobile deposit as an example. We just launched this capability at TD, and have already seen over 115,000 cheques deposited this way in just two weeks.

 

 

 

Startup Weekends give you a front seat on some really smart ideas from some really smart people. What do you think startup entrepreneurs can learn from TD?

 

Historically, startups had to go through a very long on-boarding process. Now we can work with them, to help them understand the needs of a bank while they mature that product more quickly, so we can launch it when customers are ready.

 

I think the biggest thing the bank can offer is perspective. . . on what we think is important to bring to market, and the attributes of what they’re doing that we think are viable in our industry . . . They will definitely get value from working with a 160-year-old company that has gone through a lot of change, and is very stable and thoughtful about what it does.

 

 

 

What would you tell an entrepreneur about preparing for the Startup Weekend experience? 

 

They should rest-up, and come with ideas that are well-formed, with an action plan about how to escalate them quickly. Always think about what’s in it for the customer. How does this benefit people? If they are always thinking about the benefit to the end-user, it will help to create viable products. That customer may be the bank; but ultimately, it is the bank serving its customers.

 

There is so much technology advancement happening today, I wouldn’t put limits around what we want to achieve. People are always inventing new ways to make banking more comfortable. We’re not at the end of it, that’s for sure








Prizes Pack for SWNB Spring 2015!

Learn-to-Pitch

Soon the Pitching Hour will begin. You’ll all work incredibly hard. It’s inspiring to watch how your teams have formed around such cool ideas, and how those ideas have begun to transform and mature.

 

While it’s true that this is a competition, the real prize is the experience, the learning, and the connections that you’ve made. Those things are priceless.

 

Check out the prizes packages that you will all be competing for. Massive props for the folks who have generously donated these prizes. These prize packs are designed to help you further your business beyond Startup Weekend, so take full advantage of them.

 

1st Place

  • Free Sales Coaching!

  • Free Accounting & Business Advice!

    • Up to 8 hours of accounting, personal or corporate tax, and HST, advice with respect to corporate structure and incorporation, computer accounting setup or training (Simply Accounting) and other business advisory services the winners may require.

    • Big thanks to Ron Sauntry from Shannon Buffet! http://www.Shannonbuffett.ca

  • Planet Hatch Goodies!

    • Team entrance into the next Planet Hatch 3-day crash course

    • Planet Hatch swag bag

    • $100 of Clarity credits

    • Big thanks to Sally Ng from @planethatch http://www.planethatch.com

 

2nd Place

  • Free Sales Coaching!

  • Free Accounting & Business Advice!

    • Up to 6 hours of accounting, personal or corporate tax, and HST, advice with respect to corporate structure and incorporation, computer accounting setup or training (Simply Accounting) and other business advisory services the winners may require.

    • Big thanks to Ron Sauntry from Shannon Buffet! http://www.Shannonbuffett.ca

  • Planet Hatch Goodies!

    • Team entrance into the next Planet Hatch 3-day crash course

    • Planet Hatch swag bag

    • $100 of Clarity credits

    • Big thanks to Sally Ng from @planethatch http://www.planethatch.com

 

3rd Place

  • Free Professional Coaching!

    • 4 Professional Coaching Sessions by Talent Edge

    • Big Thanks for Robert Ogilvie! @talentedgeinfo

  • Free Accounting & Business Advice!

    • Up to 4 hours of accounting, personal or corporate tax, and HST, advice with respect to corporate structure and incorporation, computer accounting setup or training (Simply Accounting) and other business advisory services the winners may require.

    • Big thanks to Ron Sauntry from Shannon Buffet! http://www.Shannonbuffett.ca

  • Planet Hatch Goodies!

    • Team entrance into the next Planet Hatch Planet Hatch 3-day crash course

    • Planet Hatch swag bag

    • Big thanks to Sally Ng from @planethatch http://www.planethatch.com

massive thanks to all of the prize doners!

Permission-Starts-Here-2 shannonbuffet

 

planet-hatch

Happy pitching and good luck!








New Date for Startup Weekend NB!

Rescheduled

I know you were probably looking forward to joining us on 20-22 March  – and so were we – but due to low registrations, we’ve decided to postpone to 24-26 April 2015. This will give us more time for recruitment so that we can have a really well-attended event. This is great news for you too, because at its core Startup Weekend is all about the community of people who attend. More attendees means more energy, and more creative collisions; and we really want to give you the best experience that we possibly can.

 

Startup_Weekend

 

The organizing team is deeply sorry for any inconvenience that this date change causes.  Rest assured that we are working hard to make up for! We’ve got more time to make the event bigger and better. In the mean time, you may want to consider checking out some of the East Coast Startup Week events. There are a ton of cool things happening that will whet your appetite for Startup Weekend and the wonderful world of entrepreneurship.

 

Stay tuned to us on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at nb@startupweekend.org

Sincerely,
The Startup Weekend NB Organizing Team








Weekend Winners and GSB Reminder!

Wow!  What an amazing weekend.  On behalf of the organizing team, a very big thank you to all of the participants for their energy, enthusiasm, and passion to breathe life into new ideas.

You’ve inspired us!

Startup Weekend New Brunswick

 

We saw some really great pitches this afternoon.  The judges had their work cut out for them trying to narrow it down to just these top 3 team:

Champion: Robin Hood

RobinWood-logo

Runner Up: PiloTalk

pilotalk-logo

3rd Place: Eting

eting-logo

Prizes were generously donated by Clarity, Planet Hatch, Grant Thornton, Up Global and Startup Weekend NB.  I also wanted to take a moment to take our sponsors, our mentors, our judges, and our volunteers (check them all out at our event page). Without them, our weekend wouldn’t be possible!

 

 

 

gsbbanner

But the competition doesn’t end there!  After all, this is Global Startup Battle.  Each team (not just the winners) have 48 hours to submit a 90 second video for one (or more) of the GSB tracks.

For more info on Global Startup Battle, get the GSB Attendee Pack

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to submit your GSB video.
You must submit by midnight on Tuesday November 18th.
I highly encourage every team to submit a video to at least one track.  You’ve got nothing to lose.

 

Growth chart

Welcome Aboard!

I would personally like to thank – and welcome – all of the first-time Startup Weekenders for joining the ever-growing startup ecosystem.  You’re plugged in now.  Continue to nurture the connections you’ve made with each other, with the mentors and organizers.  And give back to other’s when you can.  After all, we’re excited by cool ideas, and want to see more of them succeed.  Next time around, they might be helping you with your cool idea.  Hopefully the event is just the beginning of a long, creative road for you all.  Carry that spark forward, and grow your ideas to success!








The Pitching Hour

 

the_pitch

Sunday at 3:00pm will be the Pitching Hour.  It’s the culmination of all your hard work this weekend.  No matter how how things shake out, be proud!  It can be a true test of character to go through the Startup process.  If you’ve made it this far, you deserve a medal in my books.  While this is a competition, also remember the bigger picture that we are all allies as well.  When this weekend is done, you’re now part of a greater community of entrepreneurs that helps fosters partnerships and mentorship alike.  Like Ernesto Sirolli said in his TEDtalk: “No one succeeds alone.”
But for now, this is a competition, and after the dust clears, one team will get to lift the microphone high and be the champions of Startup Weekend NB.

tumblr_miazecVM8q1r3ifxzo1_500

 

This blog post will aim to better equip you for your pitch, and help you get a better sense for how the events of the day will flow.

 

The Order of The Pitches

You don’t want to get caught off guard.  Keep an eye out for the Pitch List, this will be the order of the pitches.  We will post it up at Planet Hatch at 9:00 am.  Make sure that you know the time of your Tech Check and your final presentation time slot.  You’ve got to be ready to take the stage when your time comes!

Got the jitters or the pitch itch?  Whether you’re worried or chomping at the bit, you will have a practice pitch during your Tech Check.  We will have mentors on-hand to give you some feedback on your pitch and your slide deck.  You definitely don’t want to miss your Tech Check.

 

Prep your Pitch

Learn-to-Pitch

Each time’s pitch will be 5 minutes long, with a 3 minute Question period.  A timer will be on display for the presenter, showing their 5-minute countdown.  Keep an eye on the timer, because there is a hard stop when the time runs out.  You don’t want to get cut off during your pitch, so if your time is running out, gently end your pitch.  A soft landing is better than a crash.

If you’re still having trouble putting your pitch together, check out these links:

https://grouptalent.com/blog/how-to-prepare-for-the-stage

https://grouptalent.com/blog/how-to-structure-your-five-minute-pitch

http://fr.slideshare.net/EmilandDC/extreme-pitch

The Firing Squad

Your panel of Judges will be:

Mike Leblanc, President and CEO of Blue Spurs

Susan Holt, President and CEO of New Brunswick Business Council

George Tahan, Relationship Manager at TD Commercial Banking

Check out their bios!

 

Judging Criteria

Be sure to keep these things in mind when building and practicing your pitch.  This is how the judges will be scoring you.

  • Business Model Validation

  • Who are their key partners? Is there a customer acquisition / rollout strategy? Did the team identify customers (demographic, location etc)? Did the team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers? What is the cost and revenue breakdown?

  • Product Execution

Have they established a “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend (software, hardware, etc.)? *Note: an MVP is the minimum set of features to be able to start collecting data. Were they able to demo something functional?

  • User Experience Design

  • Does it have a professional look and feel? Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Is it memorable? What key insights were gathered over the weekend to go in this creative direction?.

 

Get Ready for the Question Period

After your pitch, you will be subject to a question period with the judging panel.  During this period, judges will ask you questions to help them understand your idea more deeply (remember, they weren’t here all weekend, so they are hearing about your idea for the first time).  They may also want to stress-test the validity of your idea as a business.  So, before you break a sweat, build up your confidence by preparing answers to these Common Judge Questions:

  • What’s the most impressive thing you have achieved this weekend?
  • Where is the rocket science here? What is your secret sauce?
  • Why did you pick this idea to work on?
  • Why do the reluctant users hold back?
  • Who would you hire or how would you add to your team?
  • What problems/hurdles are you anticipating?
  • Who is “the boss”?
  • What is the next step with the product evolution?
  • What obstacles will you face and how will you overcome them?
  • Who needs what you’re making?
  • How does your product work in more detail?
  • What are you going to do next?
  • What do you understand that others don’t?
  • Where do new users come from?
  • How big an opportunity is there?
  • Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
  • What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you this weekend?
  • Tell us something surprising you have done this weekend?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What’s new about what you make?
  • How many users do you have?
  • Why isn’t someone already doing this?
  • What are the top things users want?
  • How do you know customers need what you’re making?
  • What domain expertise do you have?
  • What, exactly, makes you different from existing options?
  • What’s the conversion rate?
  • What systems have you hacked?
  • Who would use your product?
  • How will customers and/or users find out about you?
  • Why did your team get together?
  • In what ways are you resourceful?
  • What is your distribution strategy?
  • What has surprised you about user behaviour?
  • What part of your project are you going to build first?
  • What resistance will they have to trying you and how will you overcome it?
  • How are you understanding customer needs?
  • What’s the biggest mistake you have made this weekend?
  • Who might become competitors?
  • What do you understand about your users?
  • What is your user growth rate?
  • What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
  • Who is going to be your first paying customer?
  • If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
  • Who would be your next hire?
  • How do you know people want this?
  • What do you know about this space/product others don’t know?
  • How much money could you make per year?
  • How long can you go before funding?
  • How will you make money?
  • Will your team stick at this?
  • How much does customer acquisition cost?
  • How did your team meet?
  • Who in your team does what?
  • How are you meeting customers?
  • How many users are paying?
  • How is your product different?
  • Are you open to changing your idea?
  • What makes new users try you?
  • What competition do you fear most?

Good luck!








Startup Weekend Final Resources

Startup-ideas

We’ve gotten Startup Weekend off to a great start!  We had some really great pitches, and teams have formed around them.  (As a side note, just because your idea didn’t get selected doesn’t mean you should give up.  Maybe you just need a pivot, or to think about how to get your idea to resonate more with the crowd)

PROMO CODES AND GOODIES

Ok, so we’ve talked a lot about resources and credits for different services that you can claim over the weekend.  Please check out the links below to claim your credits.

 

  • Google Cloud Platform for Developers

 

OTHER RESOURCES

 

Attendee Guide
Attendee Resources (where you can find useful tools like the Business Model Canvas)

If you’d like to know more about our sponsors, please visit this page:
http://startupweekend.org/sponsored-resources/

COACHES

0c62fd0

Not sure of the steps you need to take? We will have some really top-tier mentors available to you tomorrow!  They will help you navigate the climb to success.

Be sure to check out the “Mentors” wall at Planet Hatch.  Mentor times will be posted on their profiles with “sticky notes”.  Book mentor time with a sticky note with your team name.  High tech solution, eh?  If only we had a bunch of really talented, intelligent, energetic entrepreneurs to solve this problem for us… oh wait!  We do, but they are all focused on bigger problems.  Go knock ’em dead!