Elevator Pitch!

I’m back! Recently I have been excused from blog posts because I was working on a special presentation. This presentation was an elevator pitch in front of Cal Poly teachers and staff. This was a huge opportunity for me and when I heard about it I was very interested. I was going to pitch on my business idea Kacey and I have been working on for a while; Vision: First Step Photography. Honestly, I was a bit nervous at first and didn’t know if I was going to do it because I don’t really do well presenting in front of a crowd. Luckily for me, it was over Zoom so that got rid of a little bit of the fear, but I was still a nervous wreck leading up to it. There were only 10 presenters; 5 from Cal Poly and 5 from Cuesta. We had 90 seconds to pitch a business idea to a panel and the audience and could potentially win $1,000! This got me really excited so I emailed Stillittano and told her I was interested in pitching and she set me up with Gayla from Cuesta to help practice. It was go time.

Here I spent the next 4 weeks practicing and refining my pitch until it was perfect. We met with Gayla every week on Wednesday to run the pitch by her and get her feedback, as well as get some more information about the pitch. It’s really interesting to see where my pitch was before meeting with her and what my final product was. Stillittano and Gayla made sure I was so prepared and had me practice so much that I was even dreaming about my pitch. At work, I would repeat my pitch over and over again and my boss thought I was crazy. It was worth it though because I felt so prepared and ready toward the end. I have never practiced this much for a presentation before this one but I knew if I was going to have a chance at winning, I needed to feel confident. I was going up against college students with great ideas to make the world a better place and here I am with my picture day company haha. But I would never win if I didn’t try. 

The day of the pitch came around a lot faster than I thought it would. I spent the entire day stressing and saying my pitch over and over again. It was so nice seeing all of the teachers promote the pitch and wanting other students to go and see me. That made me really happy, but also more nervous because I was representing the school and wanted to do my absolute best. It was time to do my pitch and after practicing it hundreds of times, I felt ready. I was fourth on the list of pitches which was perfect because I didn’t want to go first but also didn’t want to go last. I heard lots of good ideas before me like a travel bag and a gift-giving app which I thought were much better than mine. It was now my time. Nervous, but prepared, I stood up, looked straight into the camera, and gave my pitch. I think it went well, practicing definitely helped and made me feel much better at the end. I was very happy for it to be over because yes it was fun, but also very stressful and when it was done a ton of weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I sat back down and listened to the other pitches until it was time to announce the winners. They first announced the audience choice award where the audience gets to choose a winner for $500. Then the actual winners got announced. I waited anxiously. “Vision: First Step Photography!” I was astonished that I actually won. I knew my idea was good but I didn’t know it was good good. I was filled with disbelief and happiness as I got tons of emails and texts congratulating me. I not only have $1,000 but also have something super cool to put on a resume and college applications which is more important to me.

Before the pitch, Stillittano asked me if the stress was worth it and before pitching, I didn’t think it was. It was all I could think about for days and I was putting off other classwork to get this pitch done. But after pitching, I can say the stress was worth it. Not only because I won but because it was such a cool experience and I gained a lot from it. I gained confidence, a memorization strategy, and got to get a taste of what college life is like. I would recommend this pitch to any aspiring entrepreneurs who have an idea but don’t know how to get it out to the world. This is a platform for you to share what you are passionate about and even if you don’t win, you are pitching a potential business idea to a few hundred people who could reach out and help make your idea a reality. Thank you Ms. Stillittano for pushing me to do the pitch and helping me make it perfect! Without you, I wouldn’t have even had the confidence to do it, so thank you and I’m sure we will work together this year to use the money. 

 

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