Another week has flown by, which means we have less than two weeks left until the startup showcase! The instructors are focusing on getting all of the teams ready to show off their best. On the technical side, Ian and I held a HackAThon on Saturday to help teams with their prototypes. Most of the teams took advantage of this time to get together and work on developing their demos. We were able to work with students one-on-one and help each of them with their specific questions. The students liked the HackAThon so much that several of them requested us to hold another HackAThon on Sunday, which we gladly agreed to do. The double-HackAThon-weekend helped many teams move closer to a working prototype.
Bryan and Anjali are working with the teams to perfect their presentations for the showcase. On Friday, we held a Pitch Lab to give each of the teams a chance to practice. Each team was given 8 minutes to pitch their idea, demo their product, and explain their business model before making their “ask” for whatever they will need to make their business successful. The instructors critiqued the teams on each of these aspects as well as on their slide decks. The teams also received feedback from their classmates.
Some of the teams already have a very polished and professional presentation style, while other teams have to spend more time on developing the organization/flow of their presentation and work on connecting to their audience. This week’s lectures will involve hands-on exercises to help students practice these aspects of presenting. We also have another Pitch Lab planned for the end of the week.