Three minutes – about the duration of an elevator ride – that is the time frame available for founders and young entrepreneurs at the Elevator Pitch BW to present their business idea. Ten startup teams rose to the preliminary regional challenge. Two KIT teams won over the jury and about 100 listeners with their poised presentations.
The initiative for start-ups and business succession (ifex) of the Ministry of Finance and Economics Baden-Württemberg initiated the novel state-wide event format Elevator Pitch BW in 2013. Until reaching the state final, this annual series of competitions travels through several cities in Baden-Württemberg looking for the best founders in the state.
At the local pitch events, the so called regional cups, the aspiring founders can submit their business ideas and gauge themselves. Through a public online voting the ten most convincing ideas are determined – and they may make their pitch in front of a competent jury at the regional cup. The respective winners of the local pitch competitions win not only the prize money but also a place in the state final, where they can present their idea in front of a large audience again. There they have another chance to win prize money for the three best ideas. Even if it does not work out with a rank at the regional cup or the state final, all teams benefit from the media presence and the feedback within the Elevator Pitch BW.
For the regional cup Karlsruhe 2014, a total of 19 ideas were presented for the online voting. With 174 to 324 votes, ten very different ideas reached the regional cup Karlsruhe. This took place on November 18th, 2014 as part of the day of the founders and young entrepreneurs of the chamber of industry and commerce Karlsruhe. The following teams presented their ideas, in the three minute pitches, to the jury and the interested audience:
- Fibeon.de – Finanzverwaltung
- soop – the crowd solution platform
All teams confidently presented their ideas and answered the critical questions of the jury, consisting of representatives from ifex, the Karlsruhe founders’ alliance, and startup firms from Karlsruhe. The pitches from Karlsruhe and the other locations will shortly be published as videos by Elevator Pitch BW. At the regional cup Karlsruhe, three KIT teams finally managed to prevail with their business ideas and convincing pitches.
- Place: vasQlab, with miniaturized printed human organs, as “Body-on-a-chip”- system, via a 3D printing process
- Place: Key point, with flexible software for the display and ordering of figures to support project monitoring
- Place and the audience’s favorite: Lehrwerk, with construction kits that can be touched, as teaching materials for engineers and technicians
We are happy about this success and congratulate the three prize winners. We are curious how far vasQlab and Lehrwerk (with a wild card) will come in the state final in the summer of 2015!
Whoever dares to take the step of starting their own business from a business idea often has to rely on supporters and advocates. Especially in the search for capital, one has to convince investors of the idea and business model. But how to convince major investors and multipliers of the idea?
The most important step: The potential investor needs to get to know about the idea; the founders must introduce him to their business concept. In a very brief time, the investor should understand the idea and realize the market potential. This presentation situation is known as “Elevator Pitch”: In two minutes, at the most, the prospective entrepreneurs present their business idea, waking the potential investors’ appetite for a promising investment. Here, the decisive factor is the first impression that the entrepreneur leaves with the investor. In this important moment, the founder must succeed in selling his business idea and himself as good as possible and make the investor curious. If you believe the elevator pitch, the chances for an invitation to a follow-up meeting are not bad at all. In an in-depth discussion, the comprehensive business plan can then be submitted and the business idea discussed in detail. A well-prepared pitch is therefore the “entry ticket” to key contacts and opportunities for further development.