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Startup Founder Hot Seat


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Pitch Your Idea to Startup Experts

Do you have an idea for a startup? Could you use blunt, honest (and maybe even a little soul-crushing) feedback on your ideas from experienced startup advisors and entrepreneurs who’ve been there, done that, and have the caffeine addiction to prove it? Then join us for the Startup Founder Hot Seat event, from Okanagan coLab.

During this event, members of the audience will present their ideas to a panel of experts, who will then rate each presentation on a scorecard, and provide helpful feedback. Even if you don't want to present, you are invited to register, hear startup ideas, and watch how the experts analyze and critique new businesses.

How Hot Seat Works

Submit your idea!

Send your name and idea in no more than 35 words (that’s not much, we know) to shane@okcolab.com before May 25th. Come present your idea on June 1st at coLab. We will be sending you feedback on your application by May 28th. Only selected entrants will be allowed — that’s right, this is going to be more exclusive than Mensa.

Looking for a pitch format to follow? Start with Founder Institute's one sentence pitch framework to help you begin: http://fi.co/madlibs

The format is strictly a 5 minute pitch with 5 minutes panel feedback. (Lesson one of the startup world: If you can’t make them care within 5 minutes, you need to refine your idea until you can.)

Ideal for:

• Anyone who wants feedback from leading entrepreneurs
• Anyone who has an idea for a startup or an early-stage company
• Anyone who needs practice and expert advice on pitching

The Format

Each participant will place their name in a hat to be drawn at random and then be asked to be in the “hot seat”. (If it helps, you can pretend the seat is suspended above a boiling vat of lava like in every James Bond movie ever.)

Be prepared to answer questions such as:

What have you done to date about your idea? I.e. business research, contact with suppliers, sales, etc. (In other words: Have you actually gotten up off the couch, or is your canine shoe startup Wood Clogs for Good Dogs simply the product of a rhyming joke you made that one time on your coffee break?)

What do you believe you need to do next to move your idea forward? What’s your biggest concern? (AKA How do you plan on getting from here to there? And don’t say “monorail”.)

Don’t worry, this is not the Dragon’s Den – you won’t be asked to make a formal pitch, and we promise to keep Kevin O’Leary far, far away from all of you.
Our Startup Expert Panel

Todd Embley
Todd, an Okanagan native, spent 8 years in China both as an entrepreneur and as a VC with the fund SOSV building up and running Asia’s #1 early-stage startup accelerator, Chinaccelerator, based in Shanghai. After a brief stint in Silicon Valley running the oldest co-working space in San Francisco then building a growth program for funded graduates of accelerators, he has returned home to start working on blockchain solutions in the ecommerce space.

Warren MacPhee
Warren is a local business owner, entrepreneur and investor. He is deeply passionate about applying his diverse experience towards helping the Okanagan entrepreneur ecosystem thrive.

Richard Tuck
Richard Tuck is a seasoned executive and former professor of entrepreneurship who has helped start more than 100 companies by embedding himself in the early stages of the company to get the proper internal infrastructure set up in order to take on investment, hire and train employees, and understand financial and sales cycles.
Spectators are welcome!
Even if you don't want to present, you are invited to register, hear startup ideas, and watch how the experts analyze and critique new businesses. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn what “KPI” stands for. Fun times!

For more free startup events, visit http://okcolab.com/calendar

Hot Seat is an inclusive community event, and we’d love to have you attend. Interested in getting involved? Contact us at hello@okcolab.com.