New Meetup: Inaugural DC Spotter Business Pitch Contest

From: Jack
Sent on: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 10:17 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for The DC Metro Entrepreneur Meetup (DC Spotter)!

What: Inaugural DC Spotter Business Pitch Contest

When: Monday, January 31,[masked]:00 PM

Where: (A location has not been chosen yet.)

Here's an idea pitched by our DC Spotter Bill Murphy, author of "The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How 3 Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship." You can find more information about Bill at

Location TBA


Basically, it's to do a (very) small-scale idea funding contest. It would work like this. DC Spotter members who have an idea they'd like to pursue to launch or grow their company can submit a short proposal to the group, along with a $5 or $10 fee. Then, we'd have a meeting. Everyone who registers for the meeting ahead of time reads the proposals. If there are just a handful, the people who wrote the proposals stand up and give 2-3 minute oral presentations about what they want to do. If there are more than 5 or 6, we'd have a vote first, where we identify the "finalists," i.e. those who make the presentations. We'd also run a timer, so you get only three minutes to present---otherwise it could go on forever!

At the end, the audience votes on the winner, who gets the entire pool of entry fees in order to fund the idea. So we're probably only talking $50 or $100. Then they're required to come to the next meeting and give a 10-15 minute presentation on how the idea worked (or didn't). (I'd be willing to "guarantee" the $50, so that if only 5 people show up and we collect only $30, I'll throw in the last $20.) It'd probably be better to try to shoot for $100 though. Maybe we could get a few other core DC Spotter folks who'd be willing to pony up $20 each if necessary for the first event or two, so that we could guarantee at least $100.

Benefits to everyone would include:
* You'd hear about some good business jump-starters that you might not otherwise know about.
* Build a little excitement and camaraderie into the group.
* Get some feedback from peers (not that this is always a good thing!)

Obviously I'm not anticipating people proposing "I'd like to build the world's biggest social network for pet lovers." Instead I would expect things like:

* I'd like to test a small Google AdWords campaign. I'll put up $100 of my own money and I'd like to use the DC Spotter money to match it.
* I'd like to rent a booth at such-and-such an event in DC (Adams Morgan Day, etc---I know that's already passed, but something similar). I'd put the DC Spotter money toward it.
* I'd really like to have a couple of interns blog or tweet about a certain event. I'll use the DC Spotter money as a prize for the one who does the best job.
* I want to print self-addressed, stamped customer feedback postcards that I can hand to every customer who uses my service.
* I want to subscribe to a couple of databases for a month so that I can research the market I'm thinking of launching my business in.
* I want to go to a conference here in DC. I'll use the DC Spotter money for the ticket, and then come back next month with a report on everything.
* I want to try building a Ning social network for my customers... $100 would cover the first few months.

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