How Testlio won $ 25k at AngelHack ’12 using this simple technique:



Testlio’s Kristel Viidik and Marko Kruustuk are Baltic entrepreneurs who are currently building their product Testlio in London – it’s a marketplace for testers, one of the ‘distributed’ testing startups we’ve seen popping up lately. (See also: Usertribe, which we wrote about earlier).

They recently won $ 25 000 dollars at the AngelHack Fall ’12 competition using a very simple technique – and they’re sharing it on their blog: it’s called practice.

Different demo days have different pitch lengths, in case of AngelHack we had only 3 minutes. It’s much easier to demo longer, but really hard to get your point to people in 3 minutes. At Global Demo Day we saw teams who really hadn’t practiced their pitch at all. I almost felt embarrassed when the alarm rang and the most important parts of the pitch were yet to be covered (market size, adoption etc.).

So it might be a no-brainer but practice your pitch before you get on stage. Our finals were in front of very smart people and that’s what you need to keep in mind when you prepare your pitch, specially when you have little time. Give them enough to want more and don’t explain every little detail they know anyhow. Remember, they hear 10s of pitches a week and most probably in one form or another they have already heard what you’re pitching. What’s important is showing why your team is best one to execute the idea!

We started practicing our pitch exactly one week before the finals on the plane ride over to San Francisco and we still went on the stage shaking. If you haven’t done it before you better practice even more and do it in front of people. You will probably “black out” when you go on stage so I advise you to have the pitch in your subconscious mind so you could do it anyhow. In fact this was the case for us and many others as we heard. But we did it and oh how we did it – winning is the best feeling!

(Yes, of course, you need a good team and a great product too.)

[Testlio][photo: alex torrenegra, Flickr]

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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