At Logika we believe that pitch competitions are an important part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Pitch competitions give entrepreneurs a chance to be seen by the community, practice and improve their pitches, and get exposure to potential investors.

We also know that organizing and running a pitch competition is hard. So, we want to offer a little help. Between organizing the event, recruiting entrepreneurs to pitch, and getting judges to show up, sometimes there’s just no time to create clear judging criteria.

This pitch guide is designed to solve that problem. Specifically, it is:

  • A transparent process that gives participants, judges, and audience members a shared, clear understanding of how the competition will be run
  • Based on best practices for developing and running a startup
  • Designed to improve the quality of pitches and make companies more successful

Download Files

Full-color Guide

Greyscale Judges Scoring Sheet

Permission to use

Be sure to check the latest version of the guide for the “official version” all of the details. In general, you may use this guide, without charge, for your event under the following conditions:

  • The guide is used in its entirety, without deletions or modifications
  • The guide is made available to all judges and participants
  • Optional, but highly encouraged, the guide is made available to all audience members (suggestion: distribute electronically on the website for your event)
  • Your event does not produce more than $10,000 in revenue including ticket sales, entry fees, sponsorships, and all other sources including in-kind support

Contact us to discuss permission to use under other conditions.

Eye see you

getting bigger

Joe Albano

Just about every new business has dreams of growing and making it into the “big time”. Yet, after an initial period of growth, many businesses require a different strategy.

Startups are not miniature versions of big businesses. The strategies, tactics, and actions they need to take to get things off the ground are not the same as those needed to get to scale. Remember that your startup is not your business. A startup is a search for the model that will eventually become the business that is the intersection of what you set out to create and what the market demands.

Many businesses want to go from idea to unicorn – and who wouldn’t. But for most, it doesn’t work that way.

We’ve found that most successful companies go through three–frequently overlapping– phases: start, sustain, and scale. Skip any phase at your own risk/peril. Here’s a quick overview:

start

Startups are about validation. A startup is a machine that turns your idea into a product and then wraps it in a business.

In a small startup, everyone does whatever is needed to get the business started and to bring in new business. In short, you do EVERYTHING required to get customers, make sales, and keep the business running. You ARE the business and the business is constantly changing. You’re making and testing assumptions about all of the key elements of your business.

You have successfully started when you can:

  • reliably create demand for your product
  • predictably meet that demand
  • manage the money to expectations

sustain

Sustaining is about giving your business its own identity – not just an extension of yourself. Frequently the first employees a new business brings on are hired to increase the capabilities of the founders – not those of the business. There is no distinct differentiation between the identity of the owner(s) and the identity of the business.

Sustaining is the process of turning the business into its own entity: separate and distinct from the founder(s).

We’ve found the following guidelines useful for assessing progress in the sustain phase. Can you:

  • take an extended vacation – say 6 months – from your business
  • not check email, voicemail, or other communications from the business during that vacation
  • return to a thriving business

Sustain does the “heavy lifting” of establishing the foundation for scale. One of the great ironies we’ve observed is that founders in start want to give away as much as they can (but often can’t afford to) and founders in sustain often resist delegating (even though they need to if they want to get to scale).

scale

The primary purpose of the scale phase is to reliably and consistently increase revenues faster than expenses. Beyond this purpose, scale is really about reaping the rewards of the hard work of start and sustain. For some that will mean exit planning. For others, continuing to grow the business or passing it on to future generations. Whatever your plan for your business, it’s important to make sure your plans align with those of your business partners … but that’s a subject for another post.

 


This is just an overview. There are decisions about instability, equity, transition and exit planning, as well as many other critical decision points that must be considered, and reconsidered as the business and its founders grow. At Logika we see ourselves as travel agents for the entrepreneurial journey.

Click here to upgrade your entrepreneurial journey!


Photo credit: Flickr user Christine Schmidt

Matisse Cut-outs

what is your why?

Joe Albano

Simon Sinek has taught every entrepreneur to “look for your why”: great advice indeed! But to truly understand the power of why consider the story of Henri Matisse.

In the last decade and a half of his life, the great artist Henri Matisse was diagnosed with cancer, underwent dangerous surgery, spent most of his time in a wheelchair, and lost much of the dexterity that allowed him to create many of his masterpieces.  He also created some of the most popular, impressive, and enduring pieces of his career.

Under circumstances that would have caused many to “retire” – to give up and rest on former laurels – Matisse was driven to continue and, in many ways surpass, his previous accomplishments. Driven by a deep need to express and create, Matisse worked with his associates to take the materials he was already familiar with (white paper and gouache) to develop new techniques that allowed him to extend an already impressive legacy.

If your why is because it gets you a bigger paycheck, or because if you do it long enough you may not have to do it anymore — maybe you need a better why.

Upgrade my WHY!

Photos and more info at: ArtsObserver