Last week I had the honour of judging 200 Pitches at the African Innovation Week 2020. Each start-up had three minutes  to pitch their idea, and were expected to tell us a bit more about who they intend to serve, why, how, their traction so far, planned revenue model, and the team.

Out of all the start-ups I judged, only three managed to deliver their pitch within the time limit. Most of them suffered from two problems:

  1. They presented their disjointed thoughts, instead of a coherent idea. As I've argued before, elaborate thoughts into ideas before any significant investment.
  2. They rambled on about seemingly unrelated topics. Since they had little coherence, they struggled to point out the most important elements of their pitch.

Nearly all of them are working on important issues. A lot of them had a kernel of relevance and potential impact. If you are in their—or similar—position take notice of the points above. It's an easy fix once you notice these issues.

For further development in these areas, try my articles:

From idea to business
Do you have an idea, but don’t know where to start? Begin by delving into this interview.
Lean Startup in a nutshell
Lean Startup, a methodology for developing businesses and products, in 56 minutes.
Faster horses fallacy
Innovator’s job is understanding customer’s needs as well as their current processes so they can innovate and create delightful products and services.