The Energy Of Listening To Pitches: Classes Discovered From Impactathon 21

We usually consider pitches, pitch occasions and pitching to enhance the pitch.

But by collectively convening almost two dozen occasions that culminated in 1-5 minute pitches for social enterprise startups, I can safely say that there’s super, ignored worth in hear to pitches.

Impactathon #21 – Pacific Northwest (PNW)

Just a few weeks in the past noticed the twenty first gathering of Innov8social’s signature occasion and the primary within the Pacific Northwest. We name it Impactathon® and its totally different kinds deliver folks collectively to determine issues and brainstorm enterprise options.

This Impactathon MINI – Quick Pitch Edition, organized by Startup253 bee TractionSpace in Tacoma, Washington, had a particular goal. To assist members’ inventive considering and fast pitching. Many members had been lively entrepreneurs, angel buyers and ecosystem builders used to sharing and listening to pitches. And some had been newer to arising with an concept and pitching with a “question.”

The Objective: To Pitch One Thing New

Given the knowledge within the room, we added a component to this distinctive Impactathon: pitching one thing new.

Through a guided mini-workshop, members do five-minute dash rounds to assist brainstorm issues, deliver concepts collectively, map out options, and determine what they want, have, and questions from the judges on the occasion.

As founders, we typically expertise intervals of stagnation in pitching. We repeat sentences to elucidate our work, not as a result of they convey it extra clearly or convincingly, however as a result of they’re acquainted, remembered, and a part of our pitch mainstream.

So this objective and train gave permission—a mandate, actually—to provide you with concepts that may very well be brainstormed in just some minutes, and that members may overtly and boldly pitch to—with little at stake and little precise sweat. and monetary equity for the thought. It was a name to reconnect with the enjoyable and sense of ‘taking part in’ in brainstorming and pitching. With the thought of ​​placing us again within the playground sandbox, in order that when members revisit their present, hard-won concepts and ventures, they’ll imbue their ordinary pitches with a brand new perspective.

What Truly Occurred: Studying By Listening

These had been the issues we hoped for when designing this Impactathon Mini. And given the enthusiastic suggestions, I hope we supported that. But after listening to greater than 20 pitches, I used to be most struck by what we discovered by listening.

There was a pitch that shared a private quest for social connection by way of an concept for an app to attach fellow people all for attending the identical live shows, occasions and new eating places. There was a pitch sharing the challenges of getting a cherished one on the autistic spectrum and arising with methods to introduce potential stressors of group interplay by way of VR. There was a pitch concerning the new lens of the necessity for wearable know-how that may alert wearers to sudden spikes in blood strain gained from a lived expertise of a current stroke. There was a pitch that passionately articulated the challenges of being a single mum or dad and a founder attempting to community and hook up with the entrepreneurial ecosystem by way of that lens.

The options had been modern and daring, however the tales stayed with me. I at all times encourage Impactathoners to determine and resolve points that they’ll validate, that they might have some perception into. By sharing it could have launched or opened one thing up for the Impactathoners, and it actually did for me as a listener. I used to be put within the sneakers of one other individual’s expertise to narrate to the issue I used to be coping with.

With these seasoned entrepreneurs, it struck me that they used this time to just do that, in a number of the most private methods. If (and when: ) I develop into an investor, I want to ask the founding groups what they’re susceptible to that they may heal from. Even if not simply shared in dialogue, the questions themselves are catalyzing. I imagine sharing our tales and truths makes us extra human and relatable. Rather than compromising our perception as founders, it might assist us decide the larger “why” and supply a path to ask others to interact with our work in a really genuine approach.

Pitch Awards

Awards had been handed out to groups to acknowledge nice concepts, compelling pitches and entertaining options, together with:


You can view extra Pictures of Impactathon 21 Mini: Quick Pitch Edition.


First of all, thanks to everybody who pitched. For some, it was a enjoyable, straightforward, light-hearted alternative to share. For others, they leaned on braveness to take the stage. Your voices had been heard and your concepts can proceed to affect others by sharing them.

I’m grateful Stan Nguyen and the Startup253 staff, Richard Fichera and TractionSpace, and Karina Martija-Harris (she/her/her) and Maritime Blue for being a part of the occasion and serving as judges.

It was nice and really particular to have Innov8social staff member Clara Hermesz be a part of her first dwell occasion.

And the occasion befell on the After Party after a energetic day of panels and discussions on the South Sound Tech Conference held on the University of Washington Tacoma and co-hosted by the Pierce County Economic Development Board. Thank you to the groups from each establishments for creating an inclusive house that flowed by way of the post-event gathering.

Impactathon is a registered trademark of Innov8social.

👋 I’m Neetal Parekh, the founding father of Innov8socialcreator of 51 questions on social entrepreneurshipand compiler of Impactathon®. Innov8social companions with people, firms and establishments to assist construct social impression ecosystems by way of the design of gatherings, content material and communication methods. You can observe us on @innov8social And @impactathon.


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