Last Thursday I attended a FoundersLive.com event on Capitol Hill in Seattle. I am not used to hobnobbing with 200 entrepreneurs in one room, but I was there to learn and to see how some of them presented their pitch to the audience.
Founders Live is an global community and social platform for entrepreneurs to inspire, educate and entertain one another. They connect mostly on line, but also in monthly get-togethers to help each other solve problems they are facing.
Here is how the evening worked. Five startups had been coached and selected to present their business idea to the group. They had 99 seconds to do their pitch and then four minutes to answer questions from the floor. After all five had completed their pitch and Q&A, the audience did a digital vote to decide on the best presentation. Three businesses got very few votes but one had 33% and the winner gained 42%, which was an app to improve the scheduling for those with therapy needs.
So what did I learn?
- Entrepreneurs crave feedback on their startup, and they want you to be brutal.
- Entrepreneurs don’t usually think accounting, but they were reminded of Warren Buffet’s wisdom, “…accounting is the language of business.”
- “Gather around the campfire” is a core-value. It highlights the importance of swapping stories, experiences and ideas (not necessarily advice) – just being a storyteller!
- Open the door and do nice things for others, and do it without expecting something in return.
- One presenter was asked, “where did your idea come from?” The answer – “from frustration.”
- Not all entrepreneurs are young people – I met an old dude like me – in fact two years older!
- Entrepreneurs are a positive lot; they don’t give up but keep seeking a solution to their problem.
Just a few ideas, some of which reminded me of one of the top BAM practitioners and coaches in the world. He coordinates “huddles” which bring like-minded Kingdom entrepreneurs together to tell their stories, experiences and ideas, and learn from one another. We in IBEC suggest that Kingdom business practitioners seek out such huddles or other venues for campfire talks.
Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures