A startup’s pitch many times comes across like a postcard, one of those “…wish you were here…” photo cards that you receive from a friend on vacation with a few scribbled lines on the back to whet your appetite all the more, that’s the work of a startup pitch– to impress.
Most times when startups are pitching, it’s because they are trying to sell their startup to customers, investors, peers in the same industry (you guys aint seen nothing yet), or their fans hence it’s usually a talk about success. Much like the entire journey has been like riding one giant wave that never crashes. However a startup story is a different story.
Startup stories are different, there are the good parts and there is also the crash and burn of startup life inseparable from the lives of the founders. Another difference is that startup stories are not designed to impress, the founders try to say everything, as is, with the desire to share their experience.
On Wednesday (March 20, 2012) the US Embassy in Abuja invited us, as APPS4Africa 2012 Business Challenge winners, to show Prowork and tell our story as part of their “Technology for Growth & Change” programme. And as any good story, we started– “once upon a time …”.
Another reason why our startup story, than a pitch, was a better fit for the event was because of the varied background of people in attendance. There was a small crowd of about 50 people with a few technology developers, business people, some government representatives, and others in social enterprise. It was what you call a nice crowd.
The feedback has been impressive and what is clear is that most people could relate and apply our story for themselves. Thanks to the US Embassy Abuja- especially Joseph Adah, APPS4Africa, and thank goodness we didn’t do a pitch.
There is a need for more events that focus on stories rather than pitches as it’s more effective in achieving growth in the local industry. This is the first time we’ll be telling our story and not pitching at a public event, my guess is that we’ll tell it better with more opportunities.