Learning to pitch is an art and although nerves undoubtedly kick in the experience was exciting. True, it was a competition and the main objective was to win the money, but regardless I know that Trevor was looking forward to sharing SoJo with a roomful of people.
90 seconds is not a lot of time and every second has to count. A script was written and re-written. When asking Trevor of his experience, he said: "The pitch was practiced, memorized and then practiced some more. I stopped short of engaging my dog as a pretend audience, but by the time I left to the venue, I think even the mirror was tired of hearing my SoJo spiel."
One of the other four pitches was delivered by a team who had recently launched a startup accelerator space in downtown Calgary. When the time came for his pitch, Christian, one of the three co-founders, stood up. Instead of delivering the formal pitch he had prepared, he started out “this is a bit off the cuff, but we hope to win the grant so that we can match the $1000 and sponsor SoJo (gesturing to Trevor) to join our accelerator space.”
By the time the rest of the audience understood his words, Trevor was already beaming.
Both of us were humbled and inspired by the selflessness and belief that Christian had in Trevor and in SoJo. With scare resources and a risk adverse culture, the startup world can be very competitive. Collaboration is powerful and this organization clearly understands the strength was comes in working together, not against another.
At SoJo our mandate is to support youth in their journeys of transforming their good intentions into action to create social ventures. AcceleratorYYC has a similar mandate and last night was a living example of how they truly embodied their mandate. Thank you for inspiring us and for setting a new benchmark of what we strive to become.