“Today is the big day’’, I told myself when I was making my way down to the Team Academy. My five minutes of fame are coming up, exciting times!
In just a few hours I would be presenting my business in front of the whole school. A five minute pitch which would explain what I had been doing the last three months of the accelerator program here at Team Academy.
Together with my team Fetch, fourth year student team, I have been part of this program since September. During this period every team member was challenged to set up a business from scratch, going through the many phases and facets of it. From customer discovery, product validation, finance, team building.. everything had to be designed from the ground up mostly. It was a challenging three months and on Monday the 30th of November we had to pitch the result of these three months in front of the whole school and a professional jury.
When arriving at Team Academy in the early morning the nerves started to kick in. Meeting up with my teammates to go over the last specifics of each others pitches. In our ‘’safe room’’ we practiced in front of each other. Closely timed by countless timers to see if everything we had to say would fit the five minute mark. For hours we evaluated each other on our final version of our presentations, giving last minute tips how we all could improve, and the reassurance that everything was going to be okay.
The stage was set, the audience was in place and Fetch was ready. Eight pitches, eight start-ups, each five minutes, Let’s do this!
Arjen Hemelaar, our team coach, was hosting the session. He told everyone what they were about to see, the product of three months of hard work. I was first to go. Kicking off this pitch session with my start-up BeVree & The VRee Foundation. A company structure with its mission to create new solutions for children in rehabilitation, all through virtual reality games.
As Arjen called out my name and my heartbeat spiked and the adrenaline rushed in. My legs felt heavy when making my way to the stage. Last exchange of looks with my team members, showing confidence and encouragement in their eyes.
As I set foot on the stage my mind was focused and clear. Something I didn’t expect. I took a good look to the audience, took a deep breath and I was ready to do my thing.
The pitch went great and so did all the others. Fetch performed well and had fun while doing it. The audience and jury asked challenging questions and we did our best to answer them. After the session we all came together and cheered, congratulating each other on the delivered performance.
For me this was an awesome experience. It was the first time I had the platform to share my idea and business concept. At first I was anxious, as one might be after working so hard on something and then suddenly expose it to outside opinion.
But then again, isn’t that what being an entrepreneur is all about?
Sharing your ideas of doing and creating business. Getting out their and test your hypothesis and your assumptions. You only know so much, to really get further you need to pursue answers and face the probability of running into a wall. It is all part of it.
You learn more from a no than a yes someone once told me. And although it is hard to receive, it is a key element to get a yes in the future.