The E-cell of S.P.I.T. conducts a plethora of events all year round that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. One such event took place on 17th October 2019 called the ‘Elevator Pitch’.
A quick google search tells us that an ‘Elevator pitch’ is a short description of an idea, product or company that explains the concept in such a way that the listener can instantly grasp it. Pitching involves conveying your idea in the given time frame while incorporating various aspects like development, design implementation, and marketing strategies.
As the event began, Mr. B Saket, one of the judges of the event was called upon the stage to explain to the participants how important it is for entrepreneurs to find a solution to the right problems plaguing society. He is the co-founder of Liminal, a company based out of Mumbai that produces solutions and content in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. He also emphasized how presentation skills matter along with the content of the speech.
“You not only need a solution to the problem but also the skills to pitch the problem to the investors and the people who would benefit from it. This captures the true essence of an entrepreneur.”, says Mr. Saket.
The other two judges were Mr. Rajendra Gangan – founder and executive Chairman of Conbuss Online Manufacturing and KK sir – the faculty mentor of E-cell. The judges played an imperative role later in the competition where they gave important pointers to the participants after their respective pitches.
The event started with about 40 participants in teams or as individuals. They were provided with the newspapers and were told to identify a problem from it and design a solution, product or startup that would best solve that problem. The newspapers ranged from the Economic Times, Times of India to Bombay times. There was a rush amongst the participants to choose any one newspaper and think over what to select as the problem they’d be providing a solution about. They furiously wrote about the points they were going to present on the stage and prepared for the same. It didn’t take long for the 20 minutes assigned to this session to end.
Later the participants were given 2 minutes to present their pitch on stage and there was a bell too, to remind them of the time. They tried to give technical solutions to solve problems that the world is currently combating, like water shortage and energy crisis. They also highlighted solutions to significant issues like fighting the stigmatization of mental health in India and the means to help individuals dealing with such problems. The pitching was met with questions from both the audience and judges who were keen on analyzing the effectiveness of the proposed ideas and the target market for implementation and revenue generation.
Through the means of this event, participants were familiarised with the idea of pitching and its implications in the current startup scenario. The critiques from both the judges and the participants played a significant role in polishing the skills of participants for whom the concept of pitching was relatively new. Nonetheless, all the delegates put their best foot forward.
Report by Aditi Bagwe and Saikrishna Muralidaran
Photography by Sumit Kulkarni