In less than a week, I'll be standing on a stage in Salt Lake City, pitching my vision of Po Campo to investors, buyers, and the media. I've been selected as a finalist for the Outdoor Industry Women's Coalition (OIWC) Pitchfest, a huge honor.
This will be the first time that I've participated in a pitch-type event, which makes me a little unusual for an entrepreneur, I suppose. I always thought they were for tech companies, where there's a strong expectation to always awe and dazzle. I was also told in Po Campo's early days that no investor would ever invest on my business, so I just bootstrapped and muscled my way through to where we are today. Now I realize that I was probably not talking to the right people back then. And I realize, through the act of actually working on the pitch, that I do have a story to tell and an idea worth investing in.
Explaining the problems with backpacks
For the pitch, I have a short 5 minutes to explain the product, traction in the marketplace, my vision for the future, hurdles to growth, and what I specifically need to overcome those hurdles. At the start, I sorta knew all these things, but they were like butterflies in my mind, just random thoughts flitting around without connecting to each other. I realized I needed to get in there with my butterfly net and catch all the thoughts, put them down on the table, and see how they were connected to each other.
Explaining the beauty of our solution.
It has been a truly remarkable process, where six weeks ago if you had asked me, "What's your vision for the future and what's your plan to get there?" I would have rambled on about selling more products to more people, yadda yadda yadda. But now I'm ready to talk about how Po Campo will continue to offer differentiated product, why being an emerging category is a hurdle but how to overcome it, and why expanding to more areas experiencing a bicycling renaissance will grow our sales. And why I need to raise money to hire the right people to make it happen.
You can read more about the process of getting ready for the event in my interview with Misadventures Magazine. If you're interested in becoming an investor, please contact me and I'll give you the pitch and we can talk.
There are six other women entrepreneurs presenting at the PitchFest, all with different products and services, and all worth learning more about. See the full line-up here.
Lastly, PitchFest is open to the public. If you're in Salt Lake City, or will be on Aug 2, you can RSVP here. Going to the Outdoor Retailer trade-show? Make an appointment to see Po Campo's 2017 line.