WED 5/29: Pitching Non-Investors

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    Social Media, Investing

Because friends, family, and mentors (not investors) are the usually the first to support a seed stage startup, join LAB member, Shaun Abrahamson, for an informative session on how to develop the pitch that will sway your crowd.

Non-investors? Why do I need to pitch them?

Early on in your startup, most of the important people who will support you, are not (always) investors. Your real friends, dear family, fearless advisors, brave partners and sure-we’ll-give-you-a-chance customers.

This is your startup crowd. They are an extension of your team and while they may not invest money, they will invest other important resources such as time, enthusiasm and knowledge.

The problem is, we tend to think about these people informally, while we have (usually) quite formal ways to think about pitching investors. So we’re going to work together to develop a pitch for your “startup crowd”, this important group of non-investors.

What we will do

Develop a pitch for your crowd to help you solve one of your biggest problems. You might be working on a sales deck or a new UX or your might be wondering about what messaging you should A/B test next.

How we’ll do it

 Theory – I’ll introduce some of the basic ideas behind working with crowds – briefs, incentives and recruiting, drawing on examples from Crowdstorm (

Design – Then its your turn. You’ll develop a draft pitch to solve a problem you are working on right now.

Review – Then its feedback time. We’ll gather feedback from other workshop attendees and I’ll weigh in too.

Action – I’ll close with some suggested next steps to put your pitch into action.

We’ll need about 3 hrs: 40min per session with some breaks. I’ll hang out after if we don’t get through everything.

What you will leave with

+ a draft pitch for your non-investors to help with a specific problem

+ a plan to reach out and engage your crowd

+ a framework to do this all again

Shaun Abrahamson is an early stage investor at Eigen Value in companies like ZocDoc, Trialpay, Sense Networks, Retrofit, Tonx, Modria, Refinery29, Everest, Stylyt, Jovoto and Crowdtwist.

Author of Crowdstorm about working with large groups to find and evaluate ideas. Advisor at Mutopo on all things crowdsourcing.

Speaker and teacher at SXSW, Social Media Week, Wharton and NYU. MIT Computer Aided Design Lab and Berlin School of Creative Leadership.

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