Last week, the 11 SVP Fast Pitch finalists and their coaches met for one last group session before the Final Showdown on November 10 at UW Kane Hall. After an intensive three-month program, the finalists are nearly at the end of their Fast Pitch journey.
These 11 outstanding organizations committed to social change have come a long way since last summer, when they were among the over 70 groups that applied for the program. After a thorough screening and deliberation process, 21 semifinalists were selected to move forward to participate in the free three-month program, where these social innovators have honed their story telling skills and built new connections with their peers and mentors.
Participating in Fast Pitch is a big commitment, and, collectively, these dedicated organizations have spent hundreds of hours working with their coaches to refine their 5-minute pitches. They have participated in several group sessions, where they have practiced and received feedback on their abilities to demonstrate innovation, sustainability, social impact, leadership, and more.
They have battled jitters, learned, and grown, and along the way, deeply moved and inspired those of us who have the privilege of supporting them. After semifinals on October 15, the 11 finalists were chosen to present to a full house at the upcoming Final Showdown event.
For last week’s practice session, we gathered at UW Kane Hall for the dress rehearsal, and by the end of the evening, the final logistical details for all the presenters had been ironed out. Each finalist had the opportunity to run through their 5-minute pitch and get used to being on a larger stage. They learned about the overall flow of the day, where to enter and stand on stage, and how to not be blinded by the spot lights. They got familiar with a new slide clicker and practiced with a lapel microphone. These were just some of the myriad of details that were addressed to make sure each contestant feels as comfortable as possible on the big day. When November 10 comes around, all they need to focus on is the delivery of their heartfelt pitches to audience members, who will surely cheer on this incredible group of social innovators.
Although November 10 marks the end of the 2018 Fast Pitch competition, the journey has just begun for the participating organizations. As a Fast Pitch coach, I have witnessed the tremendous growth each of them has gone through during the last three months, and I have watched many of the pitches evolve from bare bones beginnings to polished and convincing narratives. Several of the innovators have commented on how the Fast Pitch process has been invaluable in helping them clarifying their vision and talking about it to potential customers and investors, and some have already formed partnerships outside the program. All 21 organizations are social change makers that we will continue to watch, and they will, without a doubt, continue to inspire us with their hard work to impact social change in our community.
Join us for a moving evening out, filled with connection and impact at the 8th annual SVP Fast Pitch Final Showdown! Tickets on sale through Friday! Following the stage program you are invited to meet all 21 participating organizations at our Innovator Expo and Reception where you’ll enjoy amazing food, drinks and community connections. You can network, find ways to engage, and celebrate the efforts of these stellar organizations to create positive social change. See you there!
Tove Hoyer is a marketing professional who is dedicated to helping area nonprofits reach their full potential through mentorship and coaching. She joined Fast Pitch as a team coach this year and will be sharing her experience throughout the 2018 season.