I had a great time at the Pitchcraft Event last Saturday at AIM. With nearly 70 people, there was a lot of energy in the air. Most importantly, I saw there was a lot of learning happening.
Just a quick summary of what happened, for those of you who missed it:
First, Karen Hipol of Carillion Partners (yup, she of the $100 million fund) came in to give the first talk: WHAT should the pitch contain. Then, Maoi Arroyo of Hybridigm delivers the second talk: HOW the pitch should be given. After a short break, the panel/simulation activity began. First a panel of experts are introduced: technology serial entrepreneur David Cruz, AIM professor and entrepreneurship expert Richard Cruz (not related to David), and Karen Hipol. The panel and the audience are then shown 5 selected pitch videos from Shark Tank. Both the audience and the panel are given a chance to chime in after each video. Finally, the audience is asked whether they would want a chance to do REAL pitches to a select group of investors in a post-event happening in 2 weeks. (14 volunteered)
Here are some of my observations and musings, post-event.
A) Entrepreneurs are willing to pay for LIVE!
This was the first Juan Great Leap PAID event, so I was paying a lot of attention as what would happen. Scores of people would attend our free events, so I was wondering what would happen if we attached a price tag.
I asked this precise question (would you pay P1000 for a startup course) to our JGL newsletter recipients (thank you for ALL the respondents!), and while the majority said yes, there a number of people who said entrepreneurial people (the target market) would find a ton FREE content on the web and will not pay. I found this to be a very credible argument – so I was eager to see what would happen with our own “MVP” which Pitchcraft represented.
3 weeks of marketing yielded 70 people.
There is still a large number of people who would want to learn LIVE! from experts – even entrepreneurs. I guess there is still something with a LIVE! learning session – the learning is more palpable, you learn with a community, you can network (with both audience members and the speakers), and when the content is good – there’s just a larger chance of not only education, but inspiration (try watching a training video for more than 10 minutes – even if the speaker is really good, I doubt if you’ll get the same impact).
Same reason as to why we still go to concerts even we could just download past ones.
I’m pretty happy with this development – not because I will be able to earn from it (I don’t earn anything from JGL activities), but because we can give you BETTER events and even more value-adding activities down the line.
B) Paid Tickets Magically Make Flakers Disappear
Yes, the last 2 JGL big conferences attracted around 200 people, but also had around 400+ signups. No matter how much I begged for people NOT to flake because the tickets are finite (someone will LOSE a slot if you flake), we still encountered a bunch of them. Our monthly open coffee attracts 60-70 people with around a 50% flaker rate as well.
Flaker rate in Pitchcraft? ZERO.
It’s a pretty predictable stat, but still, this makes me think.
I’ve always vowed to make what we do here free and as reachable to EVERYONE as possible. But this flaker thing is making me think. Open Coffee, because of what it stands for, will ALWAYS be free. But now I’m thinking the big conferences might actually benefit from say, a very reasonable P300 fee. (Tell me what you think!)
3. The Community Thing Is Just Awesome
It’s sappy, but it really warmed my heart to see so many JGL “regulars” learning at the event. I mean, for a number of these guys, I KNOW their stories, and where they are, and what some of their struggles are, and I just KNEW they got a lot of value.
Jode, Ricci, Tet, Mano, Burns, Luis, AJ, Alex, Romylee, Randy, Albert, Rona, Kath, Grace, John, and all the others whose names I have forgotten (because I am simply the worst “HR” person alive as far as name-face association is concerned) – thank you for supporting not only the event but JGL as a whole. I pray that we may always deliver what you guys NEED to take your ideas/startups to the next level.
4. Maoi is the REAL DEAL
Quick, think of the best stand-up comedian you know.
Now, think of the best teacher you’ve ever learned from.
Now proceed to COMBINE these.
THAT is the Maoi Arroyo experience. In a delectable mix of irreverence, wit, timing, experience, entrepreneurial knowledge and wisdom, she gave such a memorable talk that must have been exhausting to deliver (thank you, Maoi). You HAD to be there. (you can ask ANYONE who attended how this went)
(If you have a biotech/natural science-related idea and you need someone to help you get to the next level, do reach out to Maoi NOWand get Hybridigm to help!)
(more Pitchcraft pictures here)