My wife, Kate and I own outdoor adventure company, DNK Presents. Last summer I applied for a chance to pitch our business in the Dolphin Tank at the Indiana Conference for Women. Shock, amazed, scared, were the words I was thinking when I first received the email that DNK Presents was accepted into The Dolphin Tank. At the time, I did not know that my 5 minute pitch would connect us with several large organizations interested in our services, give me the tools I needed to successfully execute our business story, and a chance to connect with other impactful women and mentors as part of the process.
The months leading up to the conference were just as important as the day of. The Dolphin Tank finalists received three optional check-in Startup Study Hall sessions conducted by The Startup Ladies, an organization that connects, identifies, educates, and connects women entrepreneurs starting up and scaling up their businesses, to assist us in our pitch for the Dolphin Tank. These sessions were incredibly valuable in the successful delivery of my pitch during the Indiana Conference for Women.
We made several connections from this experience; one of the most significant was made with $6 billion dollar technology company, Salesforce. Two of their executive team members approached Kate and I after the pitch, we met later that year, and have since scheduled an adventure outing with their Women’s Inspiration Network (WIN) group. This connection and business growth would not have occurred without the prestigious Indiana Conference for Women, and by including Springboard Enterprise’s Dolphin Tank into the conference. We could not have asked for a better experience from receiving the initial, you were accepted email, to the end of the conference. We are forever grateful to the courageous women who initiated this conference, and the amazing efforts of others to bring in influential women and businesses to this conference.
Being accepted into the Dolphin Tank at the Indiana Conference for Women not only gave DNK Presents remarkable exposure, but also confidence, and tenacity convening our message and delivering our story to a room full of strangers. The feedback and energy from the entire day left us feeling recharged and excited for our business to accelerate to the next level. The Indiana Conference for Women is an outstanding day filled with inspiration, networking, and motivation for women entrepreneurs, and women in business. We look forward to the conference this year and to the many years ahead.
When we started DNK Presents I never thought we would ever be pitching our company, but wow what an extraordinary experience it has been. Even though we aren’t necessarily looking for investment, pitching our business has been an amazing opportunity to get in front of individuals in which we may not have been able to before. I came up with a few reasons why you should pitch your business even if you aren’t looking for investment.
Reasons to Pitch:
- You don’t know who is in the audience and you don’t know who they know.
– Pitching will get you in front of an audience you may never have thought would be beneficial or applicable to your company. The ideas the panel or audience members have could shed a whole new light on your marketing efforts, business development, target market or several other aspects of your business. When they ask questions this also gives you on the spot practice at answering sometimes-difficult questions you may not have thought of before.
- Practice selling your business in front of multiple people
-You are constantly selling you and your business, and if you want to continue to grow your business you will never stop selling. Speaking to an audience confidently about what you do only gives you more practice, confidence and experience with your industry. I found that preparing for these pitches has made us research the industry even more, in every business you should always be learning and staying one step ahead of the game. Pitching makes you refine everything you already know about your company and industry, which will only make you more credible and knowledgable.
- Public speaking
According to the Washington Post, still the number one fear in America is public speaking, heights and bugs are behind and zombies have now made the list! But for years public speaking has topped the charts. Public speaking can scare you, or you can use it to your advantage…if you are good at it. The audience can tell in your voice and body language if you are uncomfortable. It’s ok to be nervous but you can still speak confidently and smoothly being nervous.
Read some tips on public speaking here:
If you still feel uncomfortable invest in a speaking coach or group that will help you and your presentation skills. The fact is most people don’t like public speaking so if you can use this skill to your advantage you will be able to get in front of many individuals and companies you may not have had the opportunity to before.
Where are we pitching next?
It was only a week ago today we pitched our business for the first time at The Indiana Conference for Women at The Dolphin Tank® part of Springboard Enterprises. We were one of six woman owned businesses chosen to pitch in the Dolphin Tank. This experience was absolutely amazing. We learned so much and were able to take that advice into a pitch we got accepted into the following Monday for the InnovateHER Challenge through the Small Business Administration.
And tonight we have the opportunity to pitch again for the same InnovateHER Challenge, which will be at the Microsoft Store in Keystone Mall. We look forward to tonight and we hope to see you at our next pitch.
In case you missed the Dolphin Tank, check out our video of the pitch here.
If you’re trying to raise money check out this link for grants available to small businesses.