Venture Atlanta is next week, October 16 & 17, 2018—and it offers entrepreneurs and investors a great forum to meet, establish relationships, and perhaps find some opportunities. You don’t have to be on stage or in the showcase to walk away with great ROI for your registration fee. To make the most of an entrepreneur’s conference, we’ve gathered some advice from previous and current Venture Atlanta attendees who are also part of the Launchpad2X community, including Barbara Jones, CEO of Lillii RNB, Inc., who presented at Venture Atlanta 2017, and Mary-Cathryn Kolb, CEO of brrr°, who was in the Venture Atlanta 2017 showcase and will be presenting on stage this year.
Practice your presentation “If you are presenting, practice your pitch in front of business colleagues and entrepreneur friends. Ask them for candid feedback and difficult questions so you can polish your pitch before doing it live.”—M. Kolb
Network “They have a lot of sessions – we were in the ‘early stage company’ session. After that, everyone comes out and there are networking opportunities, and they’re wearing color coded tags so you know who the investors are versus the startups, so you can network. Have a deck prepared, because while you’re there someone may ask to see it. Have a deck ready to go, have your elevator pitch down, and just network like crazy. I heard one company got acquired just by networking — they didn’t even present.” —B. Jones
Use attractive visuals in your presentation and deck “Create a couple of beautiful visuals that illustrate what you are saying—a bar chart, a pie chart or something that shows how your product or supply chain works. People will absorb the message better when you show it as well as tell it.”—M. Kolb
Take time to master the moment “Pause and think. It’s OK to have a couple seconds of silence while you gather your thoughts before answering a question.”—M. Kolb
Talk to other CEOs and founders
“Definitely talk to companies that have presented because they’ve received a lot of good coaching, and they probably have some good advice that can help you.” —B. Jones
Know your quick pitch
“Have your elevator pitch down pat. You must be able to clearly explain your product or service, why it’s better and how you make money in 90 seconds or less.”—M. Kolb
Expect the Unexpected “You never know who’s going to show up. When we were the event last year they had Mark Cuban as a surprise keynote speaker, and I got a picture with of me meeting Mark Cuban.”—B. Jones
Prepare for a media and marketing boost “Just being able to pitch on that big stage and see the response of people who weren’t familiar with us before was amazing. We got a lot of press around it, so it was great marketing to get our name out to the VC world.”—B. Jones
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