Have you had enough of pitches that rely more on their videos, flashy graphics and buzzwords than their content. Do you want to be able to show others your product in all it's naked glory (or otherwise!) and be able to get honest and constructive feedback where you need it.
If so then you need to get along to Don't Pitch Me Bro ran by the famous 3 Beards. I caught up with them this weekend and asked them a few questions about Don't Pitch Me Bro.
1) Where did the idea for Don't Pitch Me Bro come from?
Through our other events, Silicon Drinkabout & Digital Sizzle, we've had our ear to the ground on the startup scene for quite some time. From speaking to a lot of people that work at startups, it was quite apparent that when you're working so hard on something, for a prolonged period, there's a tendency to get lost in your own work. Having a focus group for startups to demo and gain feedback seemed like a logical solution to the issue.
2) How did you go about getting word out about it?
Quite simply, through social media and word of mouth. I think that's an area that we do quite well in - there's 3 of us, and we all have access to the various Twitter accounts and Facebook pages for our events, which were already very well established. So a dash of cross-account promotion, combined with spreading the word at our weekly Silicon Drinkabout definitely helped to promote the event.
3) You guys run two other big tech events, Digital Sizzle and the famous Silicon Drinkabout, making you very busy. How do you find and manage your time?
That's a question we get asked a lot! We all have full-time jobs (I've got a startup called Pollarize, Bryce works at a startup PR agency for entrepreneurs, and Joe works at a startup called ToBeSeen), so 3beards and the events we run are our 'side-gigs'. It's a real labour of love - and we help each other by taking up the slack when one of us gets too busy. It means a lot of late nights (I'm still at the office as I write this to you!), and very little sleep - but it's the passion that keeps us going. It's great to see that we're making a difference in the community.
4) You place a lot of emphasis on supportive feedback - do you feel this is key in the early stages of a startup?
Definitely. "Fail fast" is a term thrown around a lot in the tech community - basically meaning, if what you're doing isn't working, pivot, or move onto something else. The benefit of being an early stage startup is that you're still small enough to be agile, and adapt. Big corporations move slowly, and there's usually a lot of red tape and a chain of command, which adds valuable time to any decision making or product/service alteration. This is precisely the reason we decided to run Don't Pitch Me Bro - if the startups that demo can get valuable feedback which helps them move into a different, better direction with their business, then they can implement the changes before it's too late.
5) What's the most interesting pitch you've had come to one of your events?
We're big fans of startups which focus on solving genuine issues - so when we had a company called "Mindings" demo recently, we were blown away. They make it easy for elderly relatives to keep in touch with their family through the use of simple to use apps. Another favourite was "MyChoicePad" by InsaneLogic (who are a fellow-Wayra startup with me at Pollarize). They have created an app to help encourage language development and communication amongst the disabled, and it's endorsed by leading speech and language therapists. Our audience loved these 2 services - and for them it wasn't so much the business-altering feedback which mattered the most - it was the validation that they were on the right track.
Follow Stephen Canning on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Canning_