10 simple tips to help you prepare for Pitch2Win!

Pitch2Win provides students at De Montfort University with the opportunity to pitch their ideas for a chance to win a £250 cash prize and an invitation to the final awards ceremony in 2017.

Students will have 3 minutes to pitch their ideas to a judging panel. Although 3 minutes may not seem very long, being able to explain your idea clearly and concisely is the first test for aspiring start-ups and entrepreneurs.

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We’ve put together some tips to help you prepare the perfect pitch!

Don’t waffle!
It’s really important to concisely include the key information about your idea, while trying not to venture out on a tangent, as you may run out of time and miss out vital information.

What is your idea and why?
Tell the judges exactly what your idea is and why it may be unique. Think about what makes your idea different and explain why you want to make it succeed. Is there a personal story behind the idea or did you experience a problem first hand which inspired you to create a solution?

Where are you now
This is all about informing the judges what you have done so far with your idea. Even if your idea is in the very early stages of development, think about how you have progressed so far and let the judges share your excitement and enthusiasm.

Demonstrate that you’ve researched your target customer by explaining to the panel who will want to use your product or service. Help the panel imagine what you see.

How do you want to develop this idea further? In other words what are the next steps? Explain how the £250 cash prize can help with this if you won.

Silence is golden
Especially well timed silences. After you’ve delivered a powerful phrase or insight, allow the judges to process what you’ve just said by having a few seconds of silence.

Practice makes perfect
We know it’s an overused saying but it’s true! Try and practice your pitch in front of friends and family that will give you honest feedback. You will want to receive feedback about the content of your pitch and your presentation style.

It is important to note that 3 minutes means 3 minutes. Once you’ve gone over the 3 minutes, a member of our team will have to interrupt you mid flow, so ensure you also time your pitch when you practice.

Prepare for questions
Very often the judging panel will want to find out more about your business idea by asking questions when you’ve finished your pitch. A good way to prepare for questions is to develop a clear understanding of the different areas of your business enabling you to answer clearly and confidently.

Final words
Don’t leave your closing statement to chance. Think about what you want the judges to remember. Have you got a website where they can find out more information or maybe you want them to remember the company and your name.

Always finish with “Thank you” and invite the panel to ask questions about your idea. “Thank-you” is a polite and punchy statement which will round your pitch off nicely.

Be passionate
Last but not least, be confident in what you are pitching, if you’re not passionate and have no faith in your idea, why should others?

For more information about the Enterprise Team and how we can help you develop your ideas during your studies at De Montfort University, please head to our website.


Baldwins Kickstart 2016 Application Deadline Extended

We received confirmation this week that the application deadline for Baldwins KickStart competition has been extended until the 31 August.

Now in it’s third year, Baldwins KickStart is an annual award celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit of the younger generation in the Midlands and Mid Wales. The scheme is set to give financial support, mentoring and business advice to 18-to-25-year-olds looking to start up business.

The accountancy firm award the winner each year with a whopping £10,000 cash prize along with £10,000 worth of mentoring and accountancy advice. Two runners up each year are awarded with £5,000 of advice to help their business develop further.

DMU graduate Derry Holt reached the final of KickStart 2015 with gamification platform Spirit and it would be great to see even more students and graduates from DMU apply for this fantastic opportunity!


DMU graduate Derry Holt pitching at the KickStart 2015 final

As long as it’s a business which is yet to trade, or has started to trade on or after 31st August 2015, you reside within the Midlands or Mid-Wales region, and you are aged 18-25 years at the time of the final judging (w/c 5th September), you are eligible to apply.

Applications for KickStart are set to close August 31st. 

For more information and to apply, please visit the Baldwins KickStart website.

Start-up Story: UniYap

If there’s one thing that students love to do, it’s socialize. However, there is a distinct lack of platforms for students to communicate on. At the beginning of a meeting, I briefly discuss this issue, following up with the solution: UniYap. UniYap’s features include channels and instant messaging that are likeable to group chats dedicated to societies, courses, sports team etc.

I am not new to the entrepreneurial space. Over the last year, I have been building an app-based business called BackTracker. With my trips between Leicester and London, my meetings with accelerators and venture capitalists, it’s safe to say that I have seen the ups and downs. I taught myself to program iOS apps which kicked this all off. As a result, I spent a lot of time on the technical side – when it comes to business and marketing aspects for UniYap, I have fully utilized the enterprise team and the space around the city.


UniYap branding

With a total of £500 won at Pitch2Win, from a monthly win and a runner-up in the finals, you would be surprised how far that can go. This has enabled all the technical aspects which cost to get up and running along, with setting out a marketing budget. All of this would not be possible without the money. Not only monetary value was taken away from Pitch2Win, most importantly, it was the connections I made with other contestants. I also received guidance and support from the enterprise team at DMU – something you can’t put a price on.

Going forward, I am going to follow what is known as the LEAN model. This is where I make the basic functioning product and gain data to validate my ideas from getting new users on board. With my sights firmly set on Leicester, the plan is to get every Leicester student to use the product and expand nationally with that data.

The one thing that has stuck with me after only a short journey on the entrepreneurial road is that you can’t do it alone. Hold on to the people you meet and go out of your way to meet the rest. If I was to talk with someone starting their journey now, I would explain that someone has done this before you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You may fail along the way, but that just makes the win all that much better.