As a publicist, when you're pitching the media you have very limited time to get your point across. As a result, you learn to speak quickly, succinctly and cover all your bases in a minute or less.
That training came in handy today when I participated in the pitching contest in front of 3 venture capitalists judges during the final day of StartupLA which was a great "unconference" as they like to call it!
I've never, ever pitched a product in person like that before in front of an audience no less and it was a little intimidating to say the least, but afterwards I knew I'd nailed it. I was affirmed by the judges who said I'd done a great job which made me hopeful that I'd won, but still unsure because there were a couple others I felt were good too. I was so nervous my face was twitching during the judge's critique! I hope no one else saw that!:)
I wasn't able to stay because I had my class and asked a friend to accept on my behalf in the event I did win. She agreed as long as the main organizer agreed and she was fine with it so I raced off to Hollywood.
I was on such a high! It was like all these years of toiling away behind the scenes had paid off and I was validated as a professional in front of my peers. I've sold things since I was a child and am extremely competitive. As a result, when I came to the event today it was with the sole purpose of winning. I didn't even know there was a prize, but when I came out of my class I had 2 messages telling me I'd won a $1,000!
How cool is that? What a great event! I know how much work goes into organizing events having produced numerous events over the years. The speakers and sessions they produced were very impressive. I hope you make the next one!
I caught the tail end of Jason Calacanis' speech the night before and he totally cracked us up with his blunt observations on what it's like to be an entrepreneur. Anyone who's been doing this for any length of time could totally relate. He was a riot! If you EVER get the chance to hear him speak, do. You won't regret it at all.
He runs Mahalo along with Mark Jeffrey and it seems like it's a very cool company. A human driven search engine I believe - very cool.
StartupLA was very interesting because there were so many tech people and I haven't seen that many since the early days of the tech boom. People who are involved in the tech world are always extremely creative, extremely bright and extremely driven which I just love being around.
It was a great experience and I highly, highly recommend you attend the next one when it happens. I met some amazing VC's, heard some great speakers, saw people I haven't seen in a while, and met some cool entrepreneurs. Very fun and informative. Loved it!
Now to collect my money. Still can't believe I won a $1,000 doing what I do all the time! I'm thinking I should hire myself out to help entrepreneurs sell their ideas to VC's as a business! Couldn't you just see it now? I could pitch people's businesses at various VC contests (if such beasts even exist), win the prize money and take a commission off the money funded!
We'll see. Stranger things have happened, eh? I just got a call from someone whose work I highly respect and it came out of the blue. Could be a new direction for me and I'm all for it. For those of you interested in learning what it was I pitched, here's my winning 60 second pitch about Travel Play Company and the Travel Tray in a nutshell (give or take a few things because I was in the zone and can't really remember everything!)
$1,000 60 second winning pitch
My name is Joy Kennelly and I've been involved in PR & Marketing for the past 10 years. Recently I was hired to represent Travel Play Company and the Travel Tray for children. (I had a sample of the product and pulled it out to show how it worked and what it looked like.) This helps children keep their food and toys in their laps when traveling.
It retails for $19.95 or $24 and is manufactured for $3, but with mass production can be reduced to $1.50. The main target market we see this product sold to is the auto industry, next is the airline industry and basically anyone who has children. We've sold 1,000 pieces to date with minimal advertising support.
The company is looking to sell the patent, license the product or sell the company. I see it as a company in a box because it's ready to go with the right funding.
Okay, now I'm fuzzy. I think that's all I said - correct me if I'm wrong. I was so nervous! Anyway, it was a great experience and I'm eager to do it again for other companies and products. I love competition! Plus, I love the money! We shall see!
BTW, Travel Play really is for sale as is the patent. Contact me if you're interested. (the contact button is messed up and you really do need to contact me for any info ok? Thanks!)
Let's make a deal!
There was a minor mis-connect afterwards which prevented me from taking the check home tonight, but I've been assured the "check is in the mail." Can't wait! Pretty cool for a minute's work, eh?
After that, dashed downtown to the Murakami exhibit at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. It was the perfect way to wind down because it was like walking through another world. At one point I felt like I entered a whacked out It's A Small World from Disneyland it was so absolutely wild.
Another room felt like Wizard of Oz on drugs... Huge almost 2 story fantastical Anime sculptures, HUGE floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall paintings filled with bold colors, wild crazy images and lots of detail.
It was a little overwhelming after the day I'd been having. Almost too much sensory overload because the Geffen is a HUGE almost warehouse like space with lots of large rooms filled with lots of amazing, over-the-top pieces of art as sculptures, paintings, installations, media etc. I LOVED IT!
If you see only one art show this year, please make the effort to see this one. It will blow you away. I can only imagine what the curator and programmer went through to pull this all together.
I've never seen such variety of work on such a large scale ever. It was like walking through a crazy mixed up world of Japanese Anime art that someone crazy had come up with, but not in a scary way, more like a great big adult playhouse if this makes sense.
This exhibit is absolutely brilliant in my humble opinion. I'm going to go back to see it when there aren't so many people around, however, with the turn-out tonight I'm sure the crowds aren't going away any time soon. I think all MOCA's members came out for this event it was so packed! People watching was at a high because of it being Halloween weekend - lots of costumes, interesting people and children too!
My friend and I arrived on the early side and there were still lines out the doors for the video room and the Louis Vuitton store. Simply breathtaking and awe-inspiring to think all that art came from one person. I was blown away and I'm sure you will be too. Check it out and let me know what you think!
You have to like modern art obviously! I believe I heard rumor it's the only US Exhibit Murakami is holding. The show runs through February 11, 2008 - Run, don't walk to see this exhibit. You'll be glad you did.
Afterwards enjoyed great fish and chips at The Village Idiot courtesy of my good friend Adrienne of Magnolia PR who celebrated my win with me. She's had some great wins for clients recently too and as soon as she sends me the tear sheets I'll share it with you. She and I work really well together and she's going to help me spread the word on Travel Play Company too which will be great!
Okay, that's all for now. Have a good one!