How Amanda Allen of NewlyWish discovered, applied to the competition and won the PITCH NYC 2012 Startup Competition
By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)
PITCH NYC 2012 Startup Competition finalist NewlyWish‘s CEO and co-founder Amanda Allen talks about how the past few months of competition began, how excited she was to share the NewlyWish mission with the investor-elite and how she came out on the other end of this experience with a bright future.
How Did You Hear About The PITCH Startup Competition?
“I actually found out about the PITCH Competition on Women 2.0’s Twitter account. Last June, I was in Las Vegas for the bi-annual Engage! Conference – a huge networking event for the luxury wedding business – and after the trip, decided to take advantage of being on the west coast to visit my old college roommate Kim Lembo, as well as speak to a few product specialists and business development folks.
Kim owns her own film production company and while I was visiting we spent a few days composing a short, informative video for users on the NewlyWish experience. Shortly after arriving back in New York, I saw a tweet encouraging women entrepreneurs to submit an application to PITCH.
I reviewed the qualifications and it just so happened that one of the mandatory parts of the application process was a consumer facing marketing reel – what Kim and I had JUST put together. Here’s a look at the 90-second reel:
How Did You Prepare For PITCH NYC?
NewlyWish CEO Amanda Allen said, “I was just really happy to have the application in, knowing that 30 angel investors and VCs were going to take a peek at our business model. I tried not to set any expectations beyond that so I wouldn’t be disappointed, but in September, we got an email letting us know that NewlyWish was one of 10 finalists! I was thrilled!
The team of co-founders including myself, Robard Williams and Mark Bartlett immediately started getting our pitch ready — we knew it had to be sexy and informative and deliver a powerful punch – all in five minutes.”
She continues, “It wasn’t easy. I started by writing down everything and anything that I thought was important, relevant and interesting. I practiced my pitch at that point, and it was over ten minutes long. From there, we cut and refined and cut and refined until our message was totally concise and to the point. We were lucky to have competed (and won!) two pitch competitions before, so we were familiar with a flow that works and points that needed to be made — the formula for success! Our ultimate goal was to focus on what we’ve done, where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.
“If I could break it into five main points, it would be the story of how we began, the problem/pain point that exists in the current market and thus, the market opportunity for NewlyWish. After that, we wanted to touch on the functionality of the site from a consumer and a merchant standpoint, our progress to date and the steps we needed to take to reach our goals over the next three years,” said Amanda Allen, NewlyWish CEO.
Winning PITCH NYC 2012 Startup Competition
“I just couldn’t get over the amazing opportunity that NewlyWish had earned to get up on that stage and pitch our idea to such an esteemed panel of renowned VCs with such crazy credentials and unbelievable insight. Those judges are really the top in their field and to speak to them directly is a real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was so delighted to be part of the entrepreneurship community at that moment,” said NewlyWish CEO and co-founder Amanda Allen.
She continues, “Without a doubt, winning this competition has granted us access to the insight and knowledge of and attention from VCs and the investment community. As a result of participating in and winning the competition, our professional network grew substantially overnight and we are looking forward to nurturing that and seeing how we can in turn add value and contribute to this community.”
Read the full story of how NewlyWish prepared for and won the PITCH NYC 2012 Startup Competition on NewlyWish’s blog here.
Apply for the PITCH SF 2013 Startup Competition here – applications are being accepted on a rolling basis so apply today for your best chance at winning!
Women 2.0 readers: Are you applying for the PITCH SF 2013 Startup Competition? Let us know in the comments!
Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education through our platform. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design at various Silicon Valley startups. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.