In late January, I got invited to the panel of Dragons’ to judge pitches made by aspiring UBC entrepreneurs. First, to be chosen alongside a seasoned investor and entrepreneur was humbling and secondly, to be able to help early entrepreneurs get an early start in this scary realm was quite fulfilling.
It was a simple exercise, the students got some guidelines of what fictional company they could create in an hour or so and then they would pitch ideas they were excited about to us for feedback. It was unreasonable to expect any real ideas with potential to be presented (although a couple had a chance) as it was more about helping them understand what the process of pitching an idea. Within the process, it revolves around what components turn an idea into a company with potential to add real value.
What stuck out to me about this event was it’s great turnout of 50+ people pitching and the inspiring curiosity they had in getting their hands dirty in the whole process. If I would have had the opportunity to enter something like this in my first year it would have made a tremendous difference in learning the basics early and failing through the first experiments far quicker.
Key benefits from pitching events
- Meet likeminded entrepreneurs (both early and seasoned) to help you either build a team or make a valuable connection down the road.
- Get feedback and learn within an intense amount of time. Just by passing your idea by other people and mentors, you are getting instant feedback on what is viable and what isn’t – the hardest thing is cutting out the things that don’t add maximum value.
- Practice failing and rebuilding. Doing this in an event greatly reduces the chances or severity of your real life fails in entrepreneurship. It’s a process you need to build a foundation in before you can really give an idea wings.
If you’re playing around with the idea of entering the world of entrepreneurship, you can start super basic with an evening event like this or something a little more intense like a Startup Weekend – the next one is in March at UBC make sure to register!
A big thank you to the EProjects team for inviting me to partake in this great event and hats off to all participants that stuck it out there and stood up to any of the CONSTRUCTIVE criticism by myself, Daniel Eberhard, and Todd Farrel from the panel.