Lately, I’ve been doing my fair share of pitching. Whether a customer pitch, or for investment, life …. is …. a … pitch!

Looking back over the years and the cycles my business has gone through, I have been fortunate to experience and compete in a few competitions. In the beginning they may not have been as strategic as they are now.

In the beginning, every project, opportunity, competition seems like a good idea. In my experience, it is not. These “opportunities” take up valuable time which could have been better spent generating sales. However, the “catch-22” resides in these experiences resulting in better pitches.

The following competitions have been good from a learning and strategic perspective. The older ones tested the concept for the local market and the later tested international markets.

  • Xi’an International Entrepreneur Competition, Xi’an, China, November 2017
  • Xi’an International Entrepreneur Competition, Cape Town, September 2017
    • Selected as one of five South African companies to tour China in November 2017
  • SA Innovation Summit – Pitch Den, Cape Town, September 2017
    • Finalist
  • Swiss-SA Venture Leaders, PitchFest, Zurich, July 2017
    • Second Place – prize, experience and contacts
  • SAB Kickstart, Cape Town, 2010.
    • Second place “Start-up Category”
    • Prize: R40K
  • Cape Town Entrepreneurship Competition (CTEC), Cape Town, 2010.
    • Second place “Start-up Category”.
    • Prize: R20K

Lesson, think about what you’d like the outcome to be. Whether exposure, contacts or cash, use your time wisely. At the start of a business, I know I should have used my time more wisely (and we know that we cannot get time back …).