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Final Pitches

What to Expect on Pitch Day

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We have all taken tests and we know how important preparation is. The same goes for pitching your company. Your pitch marks the culmination of countless hours of researching the market, number crunching, prototyping and (not) sleeping. When pitch day arrives, it is important to remember that you are the expert on  your company. You should know the ins and outs of every aspect of your product or service and should be prepared for the toughest questions.

Yes, it is absolutely necessary to know your go-to-market strategy and financials inside and out. It is expected that you will be able to answer any questions about your beachhead and TAM. You will need to justify the decisions that you have made and routes that you have abandoned. However, the most important thing to remember is that pitching is not about getting funding; it is about proving that there is a market for your product or service. Build value and money will come later.

We asked some of our Session 1 Launchies to share their insights about pitch day.

Gabi“The days leading up to Demo Day were daunting, but being able to see all the work we had put in over the past 4 weeks come to fruition  was nothing short of amazing.You’re going to be nervous standing up in front of the crowd, not just because you want to do well and to impress the board, but also because of a need to make your teammates proud. But you can’t let that worry you too much. This is one of the best moments of launch, let yourself enjoy it, and be sure to support your fellow Launchies. For me, demo day was the cherry on the cake. It let me show off what I had learned and appreciated from all the other wonderful businesses at launch. There was a real sense of community and bonding among us all. It was bittersweet to see the 4 weeks finish with such a spectacular bang, but it felt like more of a beginning than an end.” –Gabi Fullham, Politifund.

 

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“Pitch day helped everything come together – it was amazing to see all the teams present all the hard work we’d put in during the four weeks at launch, and pitch day acted as a grand culmination of our time and effort.” –Michael Wang, Self Check.

 

 

ANair

“From a country where people don’t respect entrepreneurship as much, I was overwhelmed to see hundreds of people cheer when I presented my own company. And the joy I had when a guy from a VC firm came up to me and gave me his card cannot be quantified. I would never have such an opportunity if it wasn’t for launch. It was an experience that I’ll never forget and will always be special to me.” –Anirudh Nair, Atria

 

Check out the Launch pitches on the MIT Launch YouTube channel.

Session 1- That’s a Wrap!

 

 

Launch session 1 has come to an end and session 2 is just a few days away! It was an amazing four weeks and we’re so proud of all of the work the teams have accomplished. While we miss the students already, we’ve asked our session 1 Launchies to share some of their reflections and thoughts about their time at MIT. We think Nakul sums his experience up nicely:

 

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“Imagine being in your dream school with dream classmates, mentors, speakers and teachers in a dream classroom where dreams come true, that is MIT Launch.”

– Nakul Goel, co-founder of Edibo

 

At Launch, we encourage students to reach for their goals and achieve more than they have before. Our classes combine like-minded students with the entrepreneurial drive to change the world. While our teachers and mentors provide content and inspiration, it’s the students’ hard work and resiliency that drives the program.  

Mantej

 

“I would say that Launch as a whole goes far  beyond teaching just entrepreneurship.  It teaches you how to deal with adversities,  overcome challenges and adopt different perspectives on issues.”

– Mantej Singh, co-founder of Lyfeband  

 

Launch students spend four weeks living together on the MIT campus. For many of them it is the first time living away from home and among peers. The bonds formed at during the nightly dinners and work sessions are invaluable and will endure long past Launch.

 

Gabi

“You don’t really know what to expect when you set off on journeys like these. I’m not a ready-made billionaire post-launch, but I am a bit stronger, more confident and I have the best friends in the world.”

-Gabrielle Fullam, co-founder of Politifund

 

Continue reading “Session 1- That’s a Wrap!”

In Focus: PurchaseMate

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Hi, we’re PurchaseMate and we’re here to help you be a more conscious and effective shopper.

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PurchaseMate is a social impact data company, working to educate both shoppers and corporations on the products that they stock, ship, and buy. We work through a user base of socially responsible shoppers; people who are looking to vote with their wallet.

Continue reading “In Focus: PurchaseMate”

In Focus: Bites

Hello! We’re Bites and we’re on a mission to make sure you never miss a home-cooked meal again!

Bites

Bites connects hungry students to chefs in college campuses to sell home cooked meals to each other. Through a mobile app platform, Bites creates a marketplace where chefs sell meals with ease to students to pick up near them.

Team:

Ishani Thakur: Chief Technology Officer

Xavier Rivera: Chief Marketing Officer

Cao Andong: Chief Design Officer

Jack Zeiders: Chief Finance Officer

Experience: For us, one of the greatest lessons Launch gave us was how to live and breath your business. With Bites, we decided that testing the viability of our concept was crucial for us to see if making this company was worth it or not. Throughout our time at MIT, we ran multiple MVP’s that required so much coordination and demanded so much of our attention that we found ourselves working on the Bites Beta tests all the time outside of our team’s working hours. This showed us what it takes to bring a pretty concept to rugged reality. People questioned every facet of our freshly made business decisions relentlessly as they were beta testers. In our classes, we seemed to have an answer for every question our teacher asked us regarding our company, but Launch taught us that in concept, there is always the right answer, but in practice, when you’ve launched (and are generating revenue) that is when the most valuable lessons are learned.

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Future: Going forward, we’re launching Bites in our team’s local universities. We also plan on starting Bites in new apartment developments where Bites can really spark a food sharing community. We would love to come back to MIT Launch and work as interns next year because it would be the perfect way for us to pass on our lessons from Launch to the next batch of amazing entrepreneurs next year just as this year’s interns generously shared their insights with us. For the future, we hope that Bites will spread to new communities and that we are able to get as much feedback as possible to continue growing and developing the company.

In Focus: Dropwise

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Hi! We’re the Dropwise team, and we’re here to connect you to your water usage in a smarter, more effective way.

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Dropwise uses modernized technology to connect homeowners to their water usage in a smarter, more effective way to encourage smart water conservation. Our device clips easily onto water meters and transmits real-time water usage data to a smartphone app, where users can track and understand their water usage throughout the day. By providing homeowners with the tools to easily monitor and act on their water usage, we can help them both reduce their water bill costs and save the environment.

Continue reading “In Focus: Dropwise”

And the winners are…

Judged top overall:  Amadi

“With albinism prominent in Nigeria, the lack of adequate and advanced sun protection leaves people out of the workforce and increases risk of skin cancer and premature death. Amadi Suncare builds its brand around solving this problem. At Amadi Suncare, we believe in stimulating growth through sustainability. Through our line of all-natural suncare products, we hope to target the needs of the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) market in the United States. We will reinvest a portion of our profits to create a constant stream of sunscreen for the growing population of people with albinism in Nigeria so that they can ultimately lead more productive, healthier, and longer lives.”

Leah Rothfeld, Ikya Kandula, Jyothi Vallurupalli

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Best Execution: AnyMeal

“Food sensitivity is a growing concern and decision criterion for people who choose to eat out. AnyMeal creates greater value and confidence in the restaurant experience by providing accurate and in-context dietary data about specific dishes for anyone who wants—or needs—to make food sensitive choices. AnyMeal is a lifestyle necessity for anyone with any diet, anywhere.  Our iPhone application currently showcases 50 Cambridge restaurants and their respective menus, including gluten-free and vegan metadata for the dishes. In the next month, we will roll out in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and then New York.  We are inspired by family members with food sensitivities to provide credible and accessible information, so that they and everyone can ultimately lead a better, healthier life.”

Drew Bent, Michael Matias, Nadine Shalaan

anymeal2 AnymealPitch

Best Story: Unbounded Travel

“Unbounded is a travel program designed to provide services to families affected by autism. In the United States, 1 out of every 88 children is diagnosed with the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The characteristics of autism – sensory demands, transition difficulties, and communication challenges – often intimidate families from bringing their children into the community. Unbounded offers vacations for families affected by autism by partnering with hotels, providing staff for behavioral support, and designing positive leisure experiences through recreational therapy. We are on a journey to revolutionize the way individuals with autism and their families experience the world, and would love you to join us.”

Samantha Burns, Ben Latz, Rohan Sinha

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Thank you to our pitch judges!

Pitches today are attended by potential angel investors and a panel of esteemed judges.  Judging criteria is based on business viability, potential value, and pitch delivery.

  • Viability: the project team has addressed risks associated with customer development, has a product that is viable and protectable, has a strong competitive advantage, and attractive financial potential.
  • Potential value: there is attractive margin potential, cash flow, and value creation.
  • Pitch delivery: all team members contribute to the pitch, transition well, provide strong introduction and conclusion, communicate all key messages, stay within the time limit, and respond well to questions.

We are joined today by the following people to act on our panel of judges:

  • Maren Cattonar – MIT Deshpande Center Innovation Manager
  • Heather Groat – Associate at CommonAngels, a hybrid angel partnership and fund, and former MIT $100k competition organizer
  • Alex Gruentzig – Consultant at AT Kearney and judge at $100k competition
  • David Ward – MIT research lab, PhD from MIT, and founded an internet startup company
  • Dan Lambert – Founder and CTO of Pushpins

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