The innovator journey continues, and the progress from two weeks of incorporating feedback, practicing, and refining key messages was striking!
When the 21 Fast Pitch semifinalists and their coaches gathered for the first practice session a couple of weeks ago, we got a first glimpse of the social problems these organizations are trying to address and how they presented themselves. Each contestant had five minutes to convey their story on stage and make an impact on the audience, and the feedback, from coaches and peers alike, was plentiful. Comments ranged from praise for great delivery, to how their stories can be improved upon to better demonstrate innovation, sustainability, social impact, leadership, and more.
It was apparent as we went through the evening’s roster of pitches that all the semifinalists had been hard at work evolving their stories to make them more compelling. Whereas some of the pitches received minor, but important, tune-ups, many of the organizations had given their narratives a complete overhaul. Mission and goals were more clearly defined, stories flowed better, gaps in what, why and how were answered and the ‘asks’ took on a stronger sense of clarity and urgency.
Not only did we see a dramatic improvement in content, but most presenters were also a lot more confident in their deliveries. As a Fast Pitch coach, it is incredibly rewarding to see these heartfelt pitches taking shape, a feeling I share with my fellow coaches. “I imagine it’s a bit like the excitement a diamond cutter feels when she sees a promising stone in the rough, knowing full well how compelling the final product surely will be” was just one of the many supportive and encouraging comments that were made.
The semifinalists will continue to hone their pitches, working towards our next cohort session on Monday, October 15 where it will be decided which ten organizations will pitch on stage at the annual culminating event, the Final Showdown.
Other organizations reported recent news about receiving innovation awards, forming partnerships outside of the program, and competing in other business accelerator competitions. “This is a really useful process, it has made it so much clearer what I want to do with my business” reported another innovator. There is no doubt in my mind, that this is just the beginning of many more ripple effects to come from SVP Fast Pitch participation for these committed organizations.
Come enjoy a night out and support this group of dynamic innovators!
Finalists will be announced October 17! Tickets on sale now.
Photo Credit: Lisa Bontje
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.