Earlier this month I was invited to pitch at the Out In Tech Talks in NYC, which united 450+ leading and aspiring LGBTQ and allied voices to advance the dialogue around diversity in tech and address the power of tech to create social change. I was really excited to receive the invitation and have the opportunity to present my company, Citus Health, with six other LGTBQ led startups.
As a startup founder, pitching my company is something I have to do on a regular basis. I wouldn’t say it’s “no big deal” at this point, but I have gotten fairly used to it. What keeps me on my toes however, is that each forum I’m invited to requires a different format for the pitch. For example, sometimes it’s a 5-minute pitch with 10 power point slides in the background or a luxurious 10-minute pitch with 12 slides. What made the Out in Tech talk really unique is that we were given only 2-minutes to present with one background slide. This was my introduction to the “lightening” round pitch.
I fretted over how I could possibly boil down my entire company; the problem, solution, market, traction, team, business model, etc. into 2 minutes. Every time I crossed out a section of my longer pitch I thought, “if I don’t say that how could they possibly understand my business?!?” Well, it turns out this was a very important exercise for me. We all know peoples’ attention spans are short and being forced to distill my pitch into only the most attention-grabbing, must-know highlights, was a really positive experience. The exercise gave me a better understanding of how to explain my company efficiently without the excessive fluff and I now have a pretty solid elevator pitch to boot! I’m grateful to Out in Tech for challenging me to get my pitch down to a bite-sized chunk that gave my audience a taste but didn’t force feed them.