5 Tips When Pitching a Business Idea (As Seen on Shark Tank)

pitch1 /piCH/; a form of words used when trying to persuade someone to buy or accept something.

We’ve all pitched before. You may or may not know it. I can think back to some of my earliest pitches as trying to convince my parents to stop for McDonald’s on the way back from soccer or ball practice. “Mom, I promise if you get me the happy meal today, my room will be spotless by tomorrow.” It was simple, innocent, but still, a pitch.

Now we know the seriousness of the matter will be escalated when you are ready to present your startup idea to our panel of judges, and the format will be different. But do not fear, because your friends at Hatch got the keys. And we love to share them. As you get ready, here are Five Things to Keep in Mind for Hatch Pitch Night on October 10th.

1. Don’t forget your personality

See: The Drip Drop

The first time we saw the Drip Drop, we thought it was a little bit cringe. But what more can you expect from two 12-year olds talking about ice cream? What we do love about this pitch is the use of witty puns, age-related jokes, and overall charm - the young entrepreneurs made themselves relatable to the middle-aged sharks. Pitching can be a nerve-wracking undertaking, especially if it’s your first time doing it. It’s easier to get your idea across to a panel of judges if you show your personality, and it might even help in calming the nerves. If you’re hilarious, lace your presentation with jokes. If you’re good with words or poetic, string together some sentences that will have listeners on the edge. You want them to know you and your idea.

The Drip Drop received a $50,000 deal for a 20% stake in the company.

2. Highlight your Unique Selling Point.

See: Ten Thirty One Productions

Ten Thirty One Productions promised the scariest haunted house experience in America thus highlighting their Unique Selling Point. What sets you apart from all the other businesses in your market? Find it, use it, and make sure the panel knows it too. This will be helpful not only for pitch night, but for marketing, branding, and selling your idea/product/service/business. Ten Thirty One Productions received a $2,000,000 deal for a 20% stake in the company.

3. Have confidence in your idea.

See: Scrub Daddy

We will have a very knowledgeable panel of judges at pitch night including the Hatch directors, entrepreneurs, business owners, etc. But even with their extensive knowledge of the field, no one will know your idea better than you. Take advantage of that fact. Everything you say in your pitch should be said with the utmost confidence. We love Aaron’s Scrub Daddy pitch because he guarantees his products quality repeatedly in the short minute and a half clip. Get to the point that you’re extremely confident in your idea, because it will translate to confidence in your pitch. Scrub Daddy received a $200,000 deal for a 20% stake in the company. It is known as the most profitable Shark Tank product to date.

4. Tell a Story.

See: Breathometer A strong, captivating start can set your pitch apart from everything else our judges will hear you say. In the case of the Breathometer, Charles spoke about getting home after a night out drinking. He even took his story telling to the next level by conveniently pouring out champagne for the Sharks as he spoke. You want to have them engaged from the moment you open your mouth to speak, until you step off the stage. If your idea has a story behind it, tell it (make sure to stay relevant). Our judges don’t only want to hear what your idea can do, but also why your idea even exists in the first place. Take this into account, and if a story exists, tie it into your pitch. Remember you only have 5 minutes though. Breathometer received a $100,000 deal for a 30% stake in the company.

5. Have the best time of your life.

See: Jimmy Kimmel on Shark Tank Obviously, we don’t want you to do with Jimmy Kimmel did and we want you to take your pitch seriously. However, Hatch Pitch Night is not Shark Tank - so have fun with it! Unfortunately, Horse Pants did not receive a deal.

Once again, we are here as an ongoing resource for you throughout your journey from startup to global superpower. So, if the first pitch doesn’t go well, talk to us and pitch again. You’re not expected to come to us with a perfect pitch, but keep these points in consideration when you’re planning and practicing for the next week. We want you to become comfortable with talking about your ideas with us, with strangers, and hopefully with some other incubator and accelerator programs down the road.

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Looking for more information about Hatch or to discuss your application further?

Please email our Program Directors at hatch@cusaonline.ca

University Centre Suite 513

1125 Colonel By Dr
Ottawa, K1S 5R1

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