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


5 × = thirty five

  • 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: Pleats and Posies

This dress gets filed into my personal "business drag" collection, the section of my closet devoted to things I would costume myself in to fit in to another person's board room, a nerve-wracking meeting, or a pitch.

What’ I’ve Learned: Marketing on Blogs and Social Media in 2014

Barbara Soderlin, a reporter for the Omaha-World Herald, recently contacted me for some comment about local companies advertising with bloggers in Omaha and we ended up having a really rich discussion about the changing landscape of online advertising in an age of social media. She had seen me post on Facebook about the decline of blogs as the epicenter of reader engagement in favor of other platforms that ask a little less of its users.

New at Hello Holiday: Dear Creatures Fall!

Dear Creatures is by far a favorite brand for our customers. I’m excited about every new piece we have from this LA-based husband/wife designer duo. Bianca and Rob describe their line as “visual optimism,” and I love how they blend their expert understanding of decades past with the sensibilities and whimsy of the modern woman.

OOTD: Dress of my Witchy Dreams

This dress fulfills everything I could ever ask of a garment destined to be a workhorse in my closet for years to come. Tiny gold round buttons at the cuffs and on the back, irregular pleating, and my favorite silhouette. I feel beautiful in this breezy black dress and I think it’s one of the…

OOTD: Extra Sprinkles

Right down the street from our downtown office is Pettit's Pastry, a 60-year-old downtown institution that still makes the best glazed old-fashioned donuts in the city. The original signs outside on the corner of 16th and Cass match the kitchy decor inside, where vintage bakery cases are packed with fresh and delicious donuts and pastries of all types. Seasonally decorated cookies and cakes, donuts with every filling and topping, and flaky krispies and pies fill the air with the aroma of sweetness, fryer grease, and childhood memories.
View All