SoSooper participated in yet another start-up competition!  We reached the second round for the Spark Life Competition and pitched at Viva Tech to the judging teams from

  • Accor
  • Sodexho
  • SNCF
  • Steelcase
  • The Camp

Here is our pitch?

Playing to Win…or is Playing Winning?

Why do we enter?

Friends tell us we won’t win…and considering the early stage of our endeavor there is a high probability we won’t come away with the official grand prize.

SoSooper Grand Win

We always gain with our PERSONAL GRAND PRIZE.

Here is what we won:

Confidence.

I cannot write this big enough.

For years (!) I hesitated to address the parenting market from a business perspective.  (As a reminder, the SoSooper App helps parents resolve challenges with their children while maintaining a positive connection.)  I feared investors would laugh me out of the room.

Instead, I learned to pinpoint a need.  SoSooper may not have yet identified the ideal solution, but repeatedly men dressed in grey business suits confirm that there is a need to engage with the next generation and to help parents manage their professional and personal responsibilities with excellence.

Parenting is a taboo issue.  Every time I present, folk either respond hot or cold.  There is no lukewarm.

Getting up and out in front of the crowd proves to me that I can survive the cold shoulder…and learn from it and grow through it.

Contacts

“No man is an island.”

When we pass the first cut in a competition, doors open.  Rather, doors open when we know on them.

Thanks to the SparkLife Contest and their invitation to Viva Tech I have met with decision-makers of multiple companies.

And the wonders of attending a large conference such as Viva Tech is that we can test our elevator pitch and rehearse it so that when we do meet the contact of our choice, we introduce ourself with dynamism, vision, and ease.

Insights

After each competition, I follow up with the organizer for feedback.

It’s a bit delicate to ask for insights when we are chosen to move forward to the next step.  Like, “Please pat me on the back and tell me how great I am.”

Engaging in an open conversation when we did not make the next cut are enormously insightful.  It does require being vulnerable and thickening the skin.  And, not necessarily that much.

When we do our best and it’s a good job (just other companies have a better positionning and more viable business model) and we seek to improve, people step up to help.  It’s been my repeated experience.

Folk who organize a competition do so with passion.  Asking for feedback recognizes the risk and devotion on their side too.

Bonus insight for you:  It has been my repeated experience that advisors share insights.  It is also my repeated impression that few contestants seek it from them.

It is up to us to guide the conversation to learn to the utmost.  Have those open-ended questions ready.

  • What issues were brought up when they discussed my project?
  • What strengths were identified?  And the weaknesses?
  • What would you recommend to improve our pitch?

AND their honest responses will give you

Confidence!

Start-upper.  Go for it!  T

ry. Test. Fail. Tweak.

Try again. Test again. Succeed some things. Miss the mark in others. Tweak.

Repeat.  Again.

Smile too.

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