An early-stage startup can never have too many pitching opportunities. From telling a stranger on the bus to pitching in front of thousands at a major competition, each and every chance one gets to spread the word and get feedback is golden. Jilliene Helman (Founder, Realty Mogul) had her golden opportunity at the 13th Founder Showcase. In the post below, she highlights what she learned from the experience and how her pitch earned her Investments from Angels and valuable brand credibility.
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"We participated in the 13th annual Founder Showcase only seven days after we officially launched our website!
Sounds crazy right?
Well, if there is one tip we can share with the future entrepreneurs, it is to take advantage of every opportunity to pitch your business and idea out in front angel investors, media and potential customers. The more opportunities you have to expose your business to a wide audience and receive feedback, the more refined the pitch becomes and the greater likelihood of gaining credibility in the marketplace. So for us, Founder Showcase delivered on both those aspects.
First, we honed in on our message. Only seven days into our live website, we were still developing how to clearly explain a sophisticated idea, and more importantly what potential clients wanted to hear. As a result of Founder Showcase and receiving quality feedback, we were able to create a 19-word slogan: Realty Mogul is a marketplace for accredited investors to pool money online and buy shares of pre-vetted investment properties. This refined definition of our company is not used solely for pitch competitions, but is what every person in our company uses to explain our business – whether it be in an interview for PR purposes, or in a conversation with a potential client. Our message to the entire marketplace is the same, eliminating any possibility of mixed messaging and delivering a powerful synopsis of our business in seconds.
Secondly, participating in Founder Showcase enabled us to share our business and establish new relationships with members of the panel and the audience. As a real estate business, we were in the position of needing to grow two client bases simultaneously – on one side real estate professionals to bring new deals to our platform, and then on the other the actual investors into the deals on our platform.
Consequently, Founder Showcase helped us deliver brand credibility about who we are and what we do to an audience that included individuals from both sides of our business model. In addition, because of Founder Showcase, we established relationships with Angel Investors who decided to become investors into the actual company.
In sum, get out to as many events as possible and network, pitch your idea and listen to the feedback. The Founder Showcase helped us start building momentum that we have yet to relinquish!"
About the Founder Showcase
Now in its 16th edition, the Founder Showcase is a major seed-startup event that gathers over 500 startup investors, founders, and press in Silicon Valley to hear from startup experts, and see promising seed-stage companies. In addition to getting the best speakers, we pride ourselves on showcasing the best early-stage companies before anyone else (pun intended). Past contestants have raised over $355 million, and we have showcased companies like Udemy, RelayRides, Thumbtack, and Kaggle in their infancy.
If you'd like to network with top Silicon Valley startups, investors, and CEOs, purchase your tickets to the 16th Founder Showcase today.