Apple acquires Workflow, check out this short pitch


The trend toward short, and I mean really short pitches has made it more challenging than ever to stand out. Check out Workflow‘s pitch in 2014 for a look at how it’s done! Recently acquired by Apple.

As reported by Verge:

Nick Frey, Conrad Kramer, Veeral Patel, and Ari Weinstein built the app in January 2014 for a Major League Hacking student member hackathon hosted by the University of Michigan. Judges evaluated contributions from 604 people, taking into consideration usefulness, originality, technical difficulty, and design.

Workflow won the hackathon’s grand prize and was named the best iOS app there. Among other things, the team took home iPad Mini tablets with Retina displays and 128GB of storage — courtesy of Apple. Within a few months, they published Workflow on the App Store. And the rest is history.

Here’s their pitch:

Beware the Cargo Cult Pitch

Beware the Cargo Cult Pitch

Pitching, Update

“In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they’ve arranged to imitate things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas—he’s the controller—and they wait for the airplanes to land. They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn’t work. No airplanes land.” – Richard Feynman

Investors notice them from a mile away. They see these people at demo day after demo day. I’m not talking about serial entrepreneurs, rather just the opposite. I’m talking about the startup CEO who serially pitches for demo day checks and trophies.

Look, we can’t fault entrepreneurs for seeking out all avenues toward keeping their startup alive. I get that $10,000 to $100,000 in prize money is real money, and often enough to get the lights back on. But what if I told you there are startup CEOs who have totally lost their way, and are just pitching for the paychecks and karma?

These startups are often run like a “startup cargo cult” by a founder who has fallen into the cognitive trap that pitching constantly will somehow automagically lead their company toward billion dollar dreams.

Reality doesn’t work that way. Neither do businesses, and any success is made harder when a company distracts itself with pitch competitions and demo days instead of doing something that matters -delivering to paying customers.

Pitchcraft advises client founders to constantly re-evaluate why they are pitching. Is it for the publicity alone? Is it an ego thing?  Is there anyone in the audience whom they know will attend and want to network with? What’s the stated ROI of attending and winning the demo day? Confirming those details is one of the first priorities of pitching.

Grand Prize at Seoul Digital Forum

Grand Prize at Seoul Digital Forum

Media Coverage, Pitching, ROI

Congrats to CookieVR for winning the Grand Prize at the Seoul Digital Forum Next Media Challenge pitch event!

Pitchcraft and CookieVR worked together on refining the overall business strategy messaging. The founder had several directions he wanted to discuss publicly, and he had to tailor his message for Chinese investors. Together, we worked on focusing the product roadmap from what the company was working on now and what was in store for the future. The result was a focused message that generated excitement about the future of VR, AR, and mixed reality applications!

CookieVR is creating next generation mobile experiences for entertainment and education. By augmenting media clips with virtual scenario-based dialogue, Cookie’s app allows users to learn and experience conversations with famous celebrities, animated characters, or the perfect friend.

  • Consulting type: 1:1 coaching, pitch deck advice
  • Events: Singapore Investors networking, Chinaccelerator, Seoul Digital Forum Challenge Pitch
  • Results: $10,000 Grand Prize. $20,000 seed funding.
VR Education Demo at Hatch Fair

VR Education Demo at Hatch Fair

Demo Day, Pitching, ROI

Great work Marvrus for taking your pitch to Vietnam’s HATCH Fair 2016!

Pitchcraft and Marvrus worked together on their pitchdeck by focusing in on the information that really mattered. The pitch deck was re-organized using elements from the Y-Combinator pitch format, and key messages were reduced to simpler, easier English. Their pitch battle was in the short 4-minute format, so the pressure was on! The result was a pitch that was among the best pitches given at the HATCH Fair.

Marvrus is a new VR-based English education company started by an MBA graduate while attending KAIST. The technology platform they are developing allows language students to travel virtually to international locations so they can practice speaking English like a local.

Consulting type: 1:1 coaching, pitch deck advice

  • Events: HATCH! Fair Pitch Battle
  • Results: $120,000 seed funding
Pitchcraft Seminar @K-Connector

Pitchcraft Seminar @K-Connector

Pitching, Seminar, Update

An awesome all-day seminar with the startups accelerating through K-Connector!

The 2016 K-Global Startup Acceleration program, called K-Connector for short, is a startup program collaboration between Rehoboth and NIPA (National IT Industry Promotion Agency). Over 10 teams were selected for acceleration, seed investment of $20,000, with investor-related business trips to Vietnam and China.

Pitchcraft and K-Connector worked together by mentoring the program participants and by helping them improve their pitch decks and startup knowledge prior to travel overseas. The startups needed to pitch in front of international audiences, some of them for the first time in their career. They needed to know how to speak in English in front of investors, judges, media, and other tech startup professionals. Pitchcraft coached each founder individually in hour-long sessions, and in the final all-day workshop, all the startup founders rehearsed their improved pitches for additional feedback.

  • Consulting type: 1:1 coaching. Seminar (all-day).
  • Results: 11 startups trained. Demo day pitch preparation.