By Rebecca Lipon (Application & Judges Coordinator, PITCH Competition 2012) Competitors for PITCH 2012 have two more weeks to submit their applications! If you've been considering applying, read this:
- DO IT! This is the time of The Lean Startup -- start early, iterate often. Applying to PITCH is a great way to access investors and get publicity for your service with the Women 2.0 community, but you can't take advantage of this opportunity if you don't apply. First 100 applications to Women 2.0 PITCH Startup Competition are FREE thanks to Bing!
- Be clear on your vision and concise in your pitch. The most common complaint I hear from judges is that applications are too verbose (if you can't summarize it, how will you advertise it?)
- Explain the problem you are trying to solve and build the case study for why it is a real pain point. The most typical feedback from judges to applicants is that they aren't convinced that the company is solving a real problem.
- Describe your founding team in detail -- not just who you are, but also your background and why you are a great team. They are investing in YOU, and not just your product.
- Have a working prototype to demonstrate. Really. We aren't kidding.
- Take the time to spell and grammar check your work. Your online judges represent the premier investment firms in the nation. Your application should be professional. Misspellings reflect poorly on the team and the company.
2012 is our 5th annual Women 2.0 PITCH Competition and the Conference will be a much larger affair than ever before with 500 expected attendees, keynote speakers, panels, and case studies in addition to pitches from competition finalists. This conference is an incredible opportunity to network with a community that is committed to your success.
There will be one overall winner as well as winners in the following categories:
- Most likely to change the world
- Most disruptive
- Most likely to be a sticky time suck
- Most promising team
- Most promising business model
If you are not in the Silicon Valley, you should still apply to PITCH. Historically, 5-10% of the applicants have been international, but please do keep in mind that the conference is conducted in the Silicon Valley, and all finalists must be present to win on February 14, 2012.
We are here to help throughout the application process! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Rebecca Lipon is a product marketing manager at Synopsys, where she works to make sure the technology for verifying computer chips is state-of-the-art. A passionate advocate for women in technology, Rebecca mentors several San Francisco Bay Area non-profits and sits on the board of Spark SF, an organization promoting equality for women throughout the world. Rebecca is also the lead singer of the funk and soul band Sinister Dexter. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Follow her on Twitter at @rebeccalipon.