2018 EPIC Business Pitch Competition Preparation
The EPIC 18 Pitch Competition will be held on May 2, 2018 at the Ozarks Small Business Incubator. Pitch winners will receive cash and business support to help grow their business. Entrants must complete an entry form no later than 4 pm on Wednesday, April 4th. Entrants must pitch during the Pitch Fest. Finalist for the EPIC 18 Pitch Competition will be announced on Friday, April 20, 2018. Entrants have the option to compete in the student pitch competition or the community pitch competition.
Pitch Fest 2018
The OzSBI Pitch Fest is an opportunity for those starting a business to pitch their business idea in front of a panel of judges. Pitch consist of 2 rounds. The first round will be Wednesday, April 11th. After the First round 6 will move on to the knockout round on Wednesday, April 18th. Finalist will be selected from the knockout round to present at EPIC. Those wanting to compete in the EPIC Pitch Competition must first compete in the Pitch Fest.
The time of the Pitch Fest will be set after receipt of entries. Each person will sign up for a specific time to present. They will have 6 minutes to present and 3 minutes for questions. Please use all 6 minutes. The pitch should follow the outline below.
Preparing Your Pitch
Entrants will pitch to a panel of 3 judges and an audience of 50 to 70 people. The audience will include a wide range of ages, education levels, and backgrounds. There will be significant representation from OzSBI board, mentors, clients, and business partners.
A pitch is part numbers and technical information, part performance art. Be sure to connect with your audience. People love to feel engaged and connected. Click here for pitch entry form.
Outline of a presentation:
- Briefly state your name, name of business, team members, your qualifications and role.
- Attention Getter:
- Use of a gimmick, graphic or surprising statistic here.
- Be charismatic.
- Outline your business concept. Identify the problem your concept solves. Describe the need for your business, key benefits, and the value you provide.
- Why should they care?
- How are you relevant? Make it personal, local and current.
- Business details:
- How are you advancing, creating or doing something different in a new way?
- Market Niche:
- What service(s) /product(s) are you offering to your target market?
- Target Market:
- Who are your customers? What is your market size? Opportunity?
- Who are your competitors?
- How are you going to stand out?
- What makes you different/better? Here is your chance to brag!
- You have to be able to sell yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be hard for someone else to believe in you.
- Why will you succeed when others have failed?
- Current status:
- Do you have customers, sales or prototypes? (Show that it is more than just an idea.)
- What are your milestones thus far?
- What are your next milestones to reach?
- Be memorable.
- Make sure to let judges know how YOU and YOUR business will benefit from OzSBI’s services and what you hope to gain from winning the competition.
- Visuals are optional, but encouraged. Power Point (10 slides max) is optional.
Remember you will be cut off promptly at 6 minutes. Make sure you get all the information in but at a reasonable pace. You want to be well prepared but do not want to have your pitch memorized word for word. Judges will be looking for a presenter who is convincing and confident. You were selected because your interview was both. Make sure you carry-through with the same attitude in your live presentation.
Part of your score will depend on things like articulation, posture, and presentation skills such as movement and eye contact, as well as your connection with the audience. You will be evaluated on the validity of your venture. Your concept will be evaluated based on whether or not a good team with adequate funding could make the business a success and whether or not you have assembled and/or identified that team. Judges will be looking for someone who is knowledgeable and has a deep understanding of all the areas required to execute their ideas.
Judges will also rank your potential investment quality and whether or not they would personally invest in your business if they were hypothetically looking to invest.
- Dress professionally, but ensure that you are comfortable
- Remember to bring visuals and business cards
- Make sure you practice your pitch. Start NOW. Practice it often.
- Make eye contact with the judges.
You will want to tell the judges and audience how you and your business meet the above criteria.