I’m a Semi-Finalist for the Women 2.0 Napkin Business Challenge!
Apr 17 2008

Go to www.women2.org to learn more

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I made it to the semi-finals for the Women 2.0 business plan competition in California for my company Babble Soft! It’s so exciting because it’s a great opportunity to meet people who ‘get’ what I’m trying to do.  People in Silicon Valley live & breathe social media and social networks which is very different than here in Texas.  The grand prize includes some money ($1500) but more importantly access to a network of people with great experience!  Here’s the email I got this morning:

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the semi-finals of Pitch 2008. This is the next step you should take.

Please log into your application via Angelsoft and upload a 2 min video pitch. Any pitches that are more than 2 mins will be disqualified.

Upload your video by Apr 20 2008, 11.59PM (PST). If we do not receive your video pitch by Apr 20 2008, you will be eliminated from the competition.

If you have already submitted a video, please ignore this message. You are only required to upload a 2 min video pitch. Do not upload any other files or presentations.

Please RSVP to this message so that we know you have received this email. Thanks.

All the Best,
Women2.0 Team

I guess my napkin handwriting skills were better than I thought! My husband, who has much better handwriting than I do, didn’t have time to help me, so I ended up doing it myself.

Now I have to submit a 2 minute video for a chance to make the finals.  I haven’t done a video pitch for Babble Soft before so I’m not exactly sure what to do.  Actually, I have never done a video pitch.  Should I be formal about it? Should I have my kids in it? Should I walk through a slide deck? Should I beg, borrow, or steal a professional to help me with it? Should I just use our digital camera and record something in our house or should I do it outside, etc., etc., etc.?!?

Help!

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, competition, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, fundraising | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

25 Comments on “I’m a Semi-Finalist for the Women 2.0 Napkin Business Challenge!”

  1. 1 Kristin Gorski (KG) said at 8:34 AM on April 17th, 2008:

    Congratulations, Aruni! :-)

    (I know nothing about video production, but I’m sure someone else in Twitterville does…)

    Kristin Gorski (KG)’s last blog post..How do you make your book “social”?

  2. 2 Melanie Notkin said at 8:41 AM on April 17th, 2008:

    Congratulations, Aruni! Great news! WOOHOO!

  3. 3 Anne said at 8:57 AM on April 17th, 2008:

    Aruni – saw your twitter! CONGRATS! I don’t know much either about video production but maybe a couple of super brief testimonials from a parent or caregiver about how helpful Babblesoft can be! Just a thought!
    Good luck!
    Anne

  4. 4 Eric Doggett said at 9:02 AM on April 17th, 2008:

    Wow – congrats! Well since they are only giving you 2 days to do the video, they can’t be expecting a slick production! :)

    My vote would be for something light and fun – fun music, with some kid shots tossed in there. You could have a screenshot or two, but I wouldn’t go deep into it, because you wouldn’t be able to get through it all in 2 minutes anyways!

    I would definitely go for fun – make them interested because they like how you did your video/etc.

    Here’s a video testimonial I did for the (soon-to-be-released) poster website:

    http://www.viddler.com/ShootTheBaby/videos/1/

    Eric

    Eric Doggett’s last blog post..Episode 6: How To Hold The Camera

  5. 5 Lid said at 9:49 AM on April 17th, 2008:

    Hey Aruni – Well Done!

    My only thought at this point is that if your napkin business plan made it this far – you should continue the theme you set with that. Would be nice to see what you wrote to be able to better offer suggestions though…got a copy?

    Lid’s last blog post..Tech Talk Radio and RSA 2008

  6. 6 HM said at 9:52 AM on April 17th, 2008:

    Aruni,

    Congratulations!!

    Don’t know much about video pitch, but make sure the passion you have for this company shows in the video!

    It shows up in your writings, sure enough it will be in the pitch too..

    Good Luck!

  7. 7 Sylvester said at 9:53 AM on April 17th, 2008:

    Congratulations, I would love to shoot the video for you. That are great ideas here in the comments. We just need to find time to do it. If you want give me a call or shoot me an email.
    Sylvester

    Sylvester’s last blog post..GTD lite

  8. 8 Jason Carr said at 10:03 AM on April 17th, 2008:

    Congrats Aruni! I agree with Eric…fun and funny is the way to go. Keep it light and get your message across and you’ll do fine. Best of luck to you! -jd

  9. 9 Rose said at 10:21 AM on April 17th, 2008:

    Congratulations!!! I’m so excited for you! I’ve never done a video pitch before so take what I say with a grain of salt. While I think a little personal in the video is good. I think you should concentrate on the sales pitch. Maybe work in your family or other families in how babble soft has made your / their lives better. Why it is awesome for parents and care givers and people who know about it will buy it. Good luck!

  10. 10 Aruni said at 12:32 PM on April 17th, 2008:

    Thanks everyone for your great suggestions and support! All I can say is “wow”

    Thanks especially to Sylvester for helping me make the video happen. Sylvester is the video cowboy behind http://danalynnmedia.com/ and shot the video of me for an interview on Austin Business Babes they did last year!

  11. 11 /pd said at 3:07 PM on April 17th, 2008:

    Hey Aruni

    Al the best with this venture and opportunity. Whatever you do, have fun :)-

    love what you do, do what you love and you can never go wrong.

    Keep chuggin, we’ll keep clapping !!

    /pd’s last blog post..#CBSA -Whats this stupid guy posting twitter ??

  12. 12 allison said at 9:29 PM on April 17th, 2008:

    hi there. I did a search and found your site- i’m a semi-finalist too. I was happy to see someone else isn’t’ sure what to do about the video. good luck!

  13. 13 Linda Sherman said at 11:18 PM on April 17th, 2008:

    I agree with HM about passion. Congratulations and good luck!

    Thanks for for your Twitter reference to my blog post about women and competition.

  14. 14 Carole said at 6:13 AM on April 18th, 2008:

    Congratulations, Aruni!!!

    I agree with Eric: keep it light and fun! If it’s fun for them to watch, they’ll remember it, and that’s a good thing….

    Good luck!! : )

    Carole’s last blog post..Speaking of things I want to remember. . . .

  15. 15 Aruni said at 7:52 AM on April 18th, 2008:

    Thanks everyone! We are planning to keep it light and fun. There’s not a lot you can say in 2 minutes so we’ll do our best to focus on the basics.

    @allison – I look forward to seeing you at the conference and good luck to you too!

  16. 16 Evan said at 10:53 AM on April 22nd, 2008:

    I’m with Angelsoft, and saw your post come up on a google alert.

    Congrats! The Women2.0 is really shaping up to be an exciting event (this is the first year we’ve been involved).

    As for tips on a video pitch, this is your time to shine in terms of personality, passion, and authenticity. All qualities that are quite difficult to get across in your paper-only business plan.

    Most investors are really placing a bet on the entrepreneur rather than the company, so this is a great time to prove that they can trust you with their money, and that you’re the kind of person that will over-come all kinds of problems to help them get a return on their investment.

    Good luck with the pitch!

    Evan’s last blog post..What happens after you apply?

  17. 17 Aruni said at 8:26 PM on April 22nd, 2008:

    Hi Evan – thanks for commenting. It has been an interesting experience so far. I mentioned in my first post on applying: http://www.entrepremusings.com/index.php/2008/04/07/im-apply-for-the-women-20-napkin-business-plan-competition/ about filling out the Angelsoft application.

    It was challenging to distill everything down to such short character limits, but fortunately I had some practice because I’m on twitter. :-)

    There were a couple of things missing that I thought would be important to add such as company advisors and board members that might help potential investors get an idea of who is supporting the entrepreneur.

    I hope to see you or someone from Angelsoft at the conference!

  18. 18 Evan said at 9:01 AM on April 23rd, 2008:

    Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to the conference. I’m tied up with our first annual investor user group meeting at the Angel Capital Association conference in San Diego. I’ll just barely miss it!

    Either way, thanks for all the feedback! Your comments about the short character limits making it similar to twitter are spot on! The one page summary our system builds is designed to contain the absolutely core essentials that an investor needs to make make a PRELIMINARY decision. Something needs to grab their attention, so they’ll be compelled to dive in and look at the rest of the details you include.

    It is often quite difficult for them to get through so many applications, so we really try to make it possible for them to give a fair shot at as many entrepreneur submissions as possible.

    Its also a great exercise for the entrepreneur to be able to state their companies objectives so concisely.

    Once an investor is interested, then they can always click on the extra docs, business plans, videos, etc that you’ve included.

    Hows the video pitch going?

    Evan’s last blog post..What happens after you apply?

  19. 19 Aruni said at 1:07 PM on April 23rd, 2008:

    @Evan – I uploaded the video pitch on Sunday and I think it turned out really well given we had just a few days to put it together. :-)

    I couldn’t have done it without Sylvester’s help. Check out his site at http://www.danalynnmedia.com! He was great to work with.

  20. 20 dallasalice said at 2:25 PM on April 27th, 2008:

    Congrats Aruni! I am so proud of you! Good Luck! I know they will love you and whatever you submitted.

    Alice

  21. 21 allison said at 9:52 AM on April 29th, 2008:

    hi Aruni!
    Have you heard anything yet? I checked out your website- you should be a finalist for sure.

  22. 22 Aruni said at 7:55 AM on April 30th, 2008:

    @dallasalice – thank you!

    @allison – I haven’t heard anything yet, but I think they said they’ll let us know by May 3. I’ll be going to the conference no matter what happens just to meet some great people. I hope to see you there!

  23. 23 allison said at 6:45 PM on May 2nd, 2008:

    Hi Aruni,
    I’m anxious to hear if you are a finalist. I wonder how many applicants there were?

  24. 24 Aruni said at 7:52 PM on May 3rd, 2008:

    Hi allison & everyone else – Well, I got an email from them this morning and I did not make it to the finals. A bit disappointed, but I’m going to the conference anyway.

    On the bright side, now I can focus on meeting people and getting to know them instead of being anxious about my pitch all day at the conference. :-) As an entrepreneur, we always have to find the silver lining or we wouldn’t try to do the things we do.

    I’m looking forward to meeting some great people and I’ll definitely blog about my experience at the Women 2.0 conference!

    Thank you all for your well wishes!

  25. 25 Ada said at 8:02 PM on May 3rd, 2008:

    Did you make it to the finals?