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

 

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  • 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:)

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