S4 Rant from BarCamp Tampa 2013

Derived from a much longer workshop on startup strategy and messaging, this compressed session dubbed “Stupid Shit Startups Say” always draws a fun crowd at BarCamp.

This year’s rant blended in a bit on the state of the tech ecosystem and how the regional economic development leadership in Tampa Bay is or isn’t coming around to the realities of our evolving market place. The Hillsborough County EDI2 program is a good example of how government can help without becoming too involved or too invasive in the ecosystem building process.


Pitching vs. Bitching

Are you looking for a co-founder, a developer, a business partner or an investor? Are you submitting your company to one of the local or national start-up accelerator programs? Are you starting a new venture that will shake up the industry?

Are you ready to pitch the next BIG thing?

Probably not.

So much of what I hear in pitches from newly minted start-up founders focuses on what they think they need before they can start. Many of these must-haves are based more on what they want others to provide to them (funding, advisors, partners) rather than a good understanding of how they are going to validate a product and launch their company.

Based on the widely popular S4 (Stupid Shit that Start-ups Say) presentation I gave at last year’s BarCamp, I will be leading a workshop on Thursday July 25th hosted by the FirstWaVE Venture Center. In this session I will discuss how the best way to present your business model and focus your messaging is to anticipate the questions that will inevitably be asked after your pitch. In the very noisy world of new tech stuff, it has never been more important to know the answers to the mantra “Why This, Why You and Why Now?”

So forget the 30 page business plan or the guaranteed-to-work template that you found on the InterWeb, come join in a PowerPoint-free discussion on what not to say.

Thursday July 25th 5:30 – ?
First WaVE Venture Center
400 N. Ashley Drive (2nd floor)

I can’t believe that I am doing this for FREE, so Register here before I change my mind.