Keep moving forward: Our Kauffman Foundation Demo Day pitch (with slides and a video!)

Yesterday my partner Sarah and I presented a quick six-minute slide deck about Hello Holiday at the Kauffman Foundation’s Demo Day in Kansas City. KC is in the midst of their Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration, and we were honored to be included as an Omaha startup. Also an honor to hold down the XX-chromosome contingency out of the 24 startups presenting that day. There was certainly a “type” of founder that day.

After the anxiety from the impending presentation died down and I re-watched what we said (we start at 1:30:00 if you want to fast-forward), I tried to look at it objectively. Here are some things I wish we had done better or differently:

  • Opened up with a screenshot of our website instead of our logo. I think this would have reinforced to the audience that we are a working business with revenue instead of just an idea.  Maybe a timeline would have been effective.
  • I wish I had maybe spoken less extensively about my personal background. Not that necessary.
  • I wish we had talked more about how we created what we have now instead of what we want to create. I think our vision would have been more clear that way.
  • I did not need to get super into explaining Instagram. That came out of my nervousness. I needed to talk more about how we’re going to innovate on OUR site rather than blabbing about social media.
  • I should have explained the percentage of inventory we have now that is from emerging designers vs. the percentage of other  brands/vintage we carry. (Right now in our early stages we only carry exclusive pieces from emerging designers Jane Round and La Lisette, and all the rest of our pieces are from mainstream brands like Seychelles and Dear Creatures.)

Otherwise I thought we did pretty well. Oh man I can’t even tell you how much ACCOUNTING I’ve done over the last two weeks preparing for the Q&A session. Turns out nobody asked us to expand on our financials at all.

Related sidenote, the 15th is going to be a big day for us too. It’s Sarah’s birthday (28! 28!), my deadline for the first part of my book, and the day Y Combinator announces interviews for its Winter 2013 class of startups. We’re non-technical co-founders but we had a pretty strong application and video, I think. I had everyone I know review it before we sent it and we had the recommendations of a few former YC founders so hopefully that will boost our chances a bit too.

Maybe nothing will happen. Maybe we won’t hear back. We applied to three different incubators this year and we got rejected from one of them so far. Obviously the incubators don’t matter to our business progress or goals, but we’d love to use them to gain some good advisers, publicity, and mentoring.

Keeping on!

xx

 

Comment View All


1 + = six

  • My two cents

    Practice makes perfect, Megan! Maybe giving your talk to friends/family and letting them ask you questions will help you prepare? Or you could look for a start-up group/society in your area?

    Bottom line, you must be able to speak about your company (and all the gritty details) like you’re having any old conversation. That’s what close friends who’ve been through all it tell me :)

    Best best best of luck!

  • Sarah Allison

    Good luck:)

OOTD: Office Hours

This summer instead of having our 4-year-old Alice go to her school’s summer program, Dave and I decided to get a nanny. Her name is Kylie and she’s been WONDERFUL over the past two months! I really wish we could keep her all year and just have Alice in this hybrid coparenting-learning-field tripping-coming to the…

Letter from a reader: Changes and consistency

I am a long time reader of your blog and have seen it through its various incarnations. I wondered if you might find inspiration one day to discuss the changes, i.e., the changes in you. For example (and these are purely from memory, so I may very well be misremembering things or just plain getting things wrong):

A Long Day

1. Woke up and read Dril’s favstar to start my day off on the right foot. Dropped Alice off at her first day of summer art camp—sculpture making at the Joslyn Art Museum. 2. Quick shower and blow-dry before Rebecca Forsyth’s Vintage-Inspired Hairstyling salon training class. 3. Got my hair set with my good friend and former Princess Lasertron model Caitlin. 4. Snacks on Jonathan Adler dishes under beautiful boxes of hair color. 5-6. Rebecca setting and styling Caitlin’s hair. 7. The “after.”

OOTD: Buy me, don’t buy me, whatever.

My friend Sarah and I first found these 70s-inspired tees from Funk Life creator Katie Heath on the bods of our friends who were buying them through her Etsy store and posting them on Instagram. After purchasing a few for ourselves, they soon became our favorite tees and we knew we had to carry them at Hello Holiday.

OOTD: Sunset Dress

This weekend I'm at my parents house in Spirit Lake, Iowa. The weather is beautiful and we're finally having some hotter days which makes going out on the boat even more enjoyable. My parents also just finished a long new deck across the shady back of their house where we can sit and watch the lake lap at the rocky shore. Duck families swim by, the neighbor's chickens cluck happily in their roost, and Alice alternates between climbing into my arms and trying to pull people down to the dock to watch her swim.
View All