Pitch Pageants

...a public entertainment consisting of a procession of people in elaborate, colourful costumes, or an outdoor performance of a historical scene.

…a public entertainment consisting of a procession of people in elaborate, colourful costumes, or an outdoor performance of a historical scene.

In my inbox is another invite to a Pitch Pageant.

Some startups have executed some process and we have to go and clap at them. Well done, folks, you’ve managed to survive a process for a few months. I was at an event a few years ago where a startup was awarded a “Continuum Award” – signalling that they had successfully accessed every support programme available. I have no interest in seeing a Pageant.

It’s very simple.

You only pitch for investment or for a customer.

So if there are no investors in a room, you don’t pitch. If there are no customers in the room, you don’t pitch. Last time we ran our RAISE THE BAR event, there were meetings and one is progressing to terms on the basis of a pre-revenue model, a good business description and a hell of a lot of work (on the part of the startup).

But pitching for applause? Catch a grip. Parading around the stage to applause? It’s investment theatre. Suck it up and get back to work – there’s already too many startup CEOs spending more time on the lecture circuit than behind the wheel of their startup. Knuckle down, work hard, be prepared to fuck it up and do it better next time.

But don’t you have a process too?

And yeah, our startups need to survive our process too. And some won’t survive. That’s just the way things go. We aren’t in the business of keeping startups alive – we’re in the business of acceleration. If you’re one to wither on the vine, come back next time with another idea. You’ll find us enthusiastic and welcoming!

Share our content