6 Reasons Why Pitching Your Start-up is a Lot Like Online Dating

Here are 6 reasons why the competitive pitch process is a lot like online dating.

  1. You put most of your energy into the process with a low guarantee of success.

  2. Your prior knowledge of your start-up (or yourself ) doesn’t necessarily make you any good at pitching it. Pitching take practice.

  3. You present your assets in the best possible light, and you have a short amount of time to make a good impression.

  4. The other person tries to keep an open mind, but inevitably comes to the table with preconceived notions based on their own past experience.

  5. Let’s be real, race plays a role in the process as well, as founders of color are less likely to get funding or right swiped on an online dating platform.

  6. You pitch a lot, many pitches lead nowhere, but when you make a good match it can be amazing!

Let’s be real, there are a lot of pitch competitions out there. It is possible that the competitive pitch process (like online dating) will lead to a meaningful and long term relationship. But often it’s personal networks, and friends and family, that lead start-ups to capital, resources and the support they need to make it. We can and should continue to practice our pitch, attend pitch competitions, but we need to prioritize building the networks necessary to support long term business relationships.

We, the public and private community, have to continue to build programs and opportunities that develop a holistic ecosystem of opportunity for entrepreneurs.  Pitch competitions being only one part of the whole. We need to create equitable opportunities; for founders of color, female founders, as well as founders that can’t afford to attend the most popular business schools and accelerators.  

We, the entrepreneurs, need to attend, engage, and advocate for those opportunities and resources, schedule time to connect with others, get involved with diverse networks, meet people outside our comfort zones, become mentors and help build the community necessary to develop those long term relationships.

To grow our entrepreneurial ecosystem it is our collective responsibility to help entrepreneurs connect their curiosity with opportunity, and that opportunity with incubation, and that incubation with the resources necessary for whatever may come next – the sooner the better.

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