The time I played “Shark” for the New Enterprise Forum in Ann Arbor.

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I was privileged and thrilled to serve as a “Pitch Pit” judge at the Oct 18, 2018, Showcase and Pitch Pit, organized by the New Enterprise Forum (NEF). Based in Ann Arbor, MI, only 45 minutes from downtown Detroit, NEF offers local entrepreneurs extensive coaching, networking and other support services so that they can be successful. Pitch Pit gives startup leaders the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community. Basically, our brief was to offer constructive and useful feedback, a more helpful version of the “sharks” on Shark Tank, to help the entrepreneurs pitching their business.

I loved every minute of it! I decided to evaluate each pitch on four criteria: 1) Content framing (e.g., use of the product, market development, customer delivery), 2) Non-verbal communication (e.g., confidence, body language, tone, para-language), 3) Message amplification (e.g., audience identification, data visualization, narrative hook), and 4) “Zing” factor (viz., what’s special that stands out compared to anything else out there?)

Legacy Shave was the showcase presenter on this event, while Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) was the featured stakeholder. Find out more about the presenting entrepreneurs and other judges HERE.

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