I just had a great conversation with Adeo Ressi, CEO of the Founder Institute, about the fact that after only one year we are expanding beyond Bogota and will be running a concurrent semester in Medellin. Adeo is curious about the ideas and pitches and wanted to get involved (see below) in choosing the winners of the scholarships that I recently announced we’ll be handing out.
If you’re interested in winning one of the two scholarships ( one per city) , follow Adeo’s directions below and write your one sentence pitches in the comments section.
This year, the Founder Institute in Colombia has been getting great support from CO Internet, Ruta N in Medellin and our great mentors. In addition to the Ideation Bootcamp in Bogota, Andres Barreto will be joining us via Skype in Medellin for a similar event. Now for the fun part: Below is the text that Adeo wrote specifically for this post for those who wish to participate to win one scholarship in Medellin and one in Bogota. Feel free to write your pitch in Spanish although it’ll be easier for Adeo to provide his feedback if you leave it in English.
The calling is this:
The Founder Institute is offering a scholarship to the founder with the best one sentence startup pitch. Getting a one sentence pitch right is challenging. You need to communicate your core idea and your value proposition in just a few words. It needs to be clear, and it needs to stand out. As a Founder, you will pitch your business hundreds of times to cofounder prospects, to partners, to team members and to investors. You need to grab the listener’s attention quickly, so being able to explain your idea in one sentence is critical. The whole idea for the one sentence pitch came out of a conversation with a top Silicon Valley venture capitalists at the Founder Showcase event. The investors wished that entrepreneurs were more concise in their explanation of the business so that they could make a quick decision on whether to learn more.
And here is a one sentence pitch template that works:
My company, __(insert name of company)__, is developing __(a defined offering)__ to help __(a defined audience)__ __(solve a problem)__ with __(secret sauce)__.
Tips to full fill the blanks
Let’s go through each of the items.
a) The “defined offering” needs to be short, simple and capable of being understood by everyone, like “a website,” “a mobile application,” “hardware,” or “desktop software.
b) ” The “defined audience” is the initial group of people that you will market your offering to. In the case of consumer applications, it is usually a demographic, such as “women age 25 to 35 years old.” In the case of business applications, it is usually a job function at a type of corporation, such as “system administrators at medium sized technology businesses.”
c) Now that you have an offering helping an audience, you need to “solve a problem.” The problem needs to be something that everyone understands, such as “reduce the time collecting bill payments” or “engage in an immersive entertainment experience.”
d) The final component, the “secret sauce,” adds your unique approach to solving the problem and demonstrates a mastery of the market.
Some examples are “by sending automated email alerts based on analysis of highest response times” or “with virtual worlds constructed in reaction to the movements of the players.”
There are a large number of common mistakes in any length pitch, but particularly in the one sentence pitch. First, try to avoid using adjectives, particularly superlatives. Never say “first,” “only,” “huge” or “best,” as these are trigger words to signal inexperience.Second, don’t make your market so large that is can be easily confused for everyone or most of everyone on Earth, such as saying “consumers” or “women.” Third, eliminate any buzzwords, acronyms or industry jargon from your pitch. Lastly, keep it short. It’s easy to write a long sentence, but the right thing is to be concise.
In order to win the Founder Institute scholarship worth USD $850 in Bogota and USD $750 in Medellin (thanks to support from Ruta N), you need to post your one sentence pitch below in the comments by Sunday, March 25th, and you need to fill out an application at http://FI.co/join (make sure your city location is correct at the top right).
We will be reviewing and providing feedback on your pitches in the comments as they come in, and pitches with the most likes will get feedback first. The winner in each city will be announced in a separate post on Tuesday, March 27 the day before the Medellin Ideation Bootcamp. Please be sure to follow the format to quality. Good luck.