Inspiring Kids and Challenging Entrepreneurs
What it was like to pitch to a panel of kids…Seven judges, six entrepreneurs, one stage.
This may sound like “Shark Tank” — and you’re not far off! The format of Pitch-a-Kid is similar to the show, but instead pitching to a panel of millionaire investors, entrepreneurs are challenged to sell the idea of their company to a panel of kids in Austin, TX. Founder, Mike Millard, created Pitch-a-Kid as a fun format for kids to learn what entrepreneurs do, connect with real problem solvers, and challenge entrepreneurs to refine their pitch.
Sloan Foster, CMO of Pitch-a-Kid, reached out to me after hearing about Serving Social’s work and asked if I was interested in a new experience while helping children. I’m always open to new experiences and loved the idea of pitching to a new audience: a panel of intelligent and inquisitive kids who provide an uncensored response. Naturally, I agreed and applied.
On the day of the event, I looked around at the faces of our community’s next generation and the importance of Pitch-a-Kid struck a chord with me. Not only was I going to share Serving Social with them, but I would demonstrate what being an entrepreneur looks like and inspire them to chase after their own passions.
When Serving Social was called to present, I surprised myself. I was nervous. I was more nervous to present to this young panel than when I spoke on a national stage to adults! In what felt like a rushed five minutes, I shared how Serving Social provides marketing tools and resources to small businesses while uniting them with social change initiatives to impact their community. At the end of my presentation, I felt prepared for the panel’s questions. Then I heard: “What is a nonprofit?” and “What is marketing?”
I was shocked, again! Being a marketer to small businesses and nonprofits alike, this is something I live, breathe, and take for granted. I didn’t fully consider my specific words, or the depth of their meaning until I was asked these simple questions. But to an eight-year-old, they have no reference for these concepts. This is the beauty of Pitch-a-Kid! It’s all about new perspectives.
The rest of the panel went smoothly and I happily took my seat, feeling both thankful and glad that I participated in this event. Now I was eager to learn more about the other contestants. I heard from other local companies, including Health Anonymous, statUP, Loop 1 Tickets, Prista, and Second Chance Fruit. After deliberation, the judges came back. I was both humbled and honored to hear that I won second place!
While the medal and bragging rights were icing on the cake, the best part of the whole experience was the kids. Their questions, perspectives, and insights into what they thought our business really does, offered immeasurable value to us. I am thankful to have participated in this event and want to thank the Pitch-a-Kid judges, coordinators, and contestants who made this experience exceptional.
For more information, we suggest the following:
Stay tuned for a throwback to the roaring twenties, a look inside our work with Survive to Thrive, and more!
Have courage and be kind,