It’s not everyday you get to be in the same room as Chris Messina (#inventedthehashtag) and Kevin Rose (founder of digg.com). Furthermore, it is not everyday you get to actually pitch to them.
I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to be included in the Startup Dream Team Summer Program.
In a nutshell, this is a 8-week summer program for 30 interns and young entrepreneurs whose goal is to create an environment highly favorable for the creation of startup teams and to create a teamwork-based framework to discover others with similar interests and complementary skills. http://startupdreamteam.com/about/
Three participants of the program where among the people pitching last night at Google I/O. Arvand Alviri from VenueWize (Analytics for event organizers) Alex Huckert , and myself. http://youtu.be/KSljF4cCBKM?t=29m50s
Special thanks to Pierre for organizing the event, Jon for enthusiastically helping me out and Ken, Edouard, Danny and Dom for their words of encouragement. We are team, and we will grow together. Next time it might me be pumping up Edouard for a presentation.
The event saw over 250 smart people break up onto several “circles” based off interest. From there teams where formed. The teams would then pitch to their respective circles. The other circle members would vote on their favorite ideas. 12 Circles each had a representative team make the final round. These teams then went in front of a panel of judges, which included Rose and Messina. Each team had 90 seconds to make a pitch. Jon helped me with the Google+ page and logos. And I presented. We made the crowd laugh and shared our vision of Marco Polo, a crowdsourced travel app that makes traveling less awkward. We got positive and awesome feedback. Although we did not win (winning team got 20k) it was a great learning experience.
It was one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my life. But it is these kinds of uncomfortable and challenging experiences that will make the presenters better speakers, entrepreneurs and leaders.