Founder Marie Bigham might be new to the B2B SaaS space, but she says her 23 years of experience in college admissions has prepared her well to go out and pitch Accelerated Equity Insights.
“Whether you’re at a college fair standing behind a table and you’ve got 30 seconds to convince a kid to pick up that brochure, or [you’re giving an] hour-long presentation on campus, everything in admissions in a way is a pitch,” she told Hypepotamus.
Now as a SaaS founder, she’s using those pitch skills to sell Accelerated Equity Insights to colleges across the country. She describes the platform as an “enrollment management” SaaS that helps colleges build more diverse communities from prospect to graduation. The goal is to help university administrators “create a culture of belonging at a college” for students of all different backgrounds.
Her next big pitch will be on the Techstars Impact Demo Day stage this week in Atlanta. She, along with nine other founders, have spent the last few weeks going through the Techstars curriculum, meeting with 59 mentors, and honing their three minute pitch for Demo Day.
In the last few days before Demo Day, Bigham said she is focused on rearranging her slides to make it the most cohesive story about her goal of reshaping higher education.
Another founder taking the stage on Thursday, Ian Cohen with the EdTech curriculum platform TARA, says that in the few days before Demo Day, he’s really benefiting from practicing his pitch with his fellow cohort members and others in the Techstars community.
“It’s not just about hitting the points about the problem you’re solving, the products you have, and the traction you have,” Cohen said. “But you have to do it in such a way that is authentic and that is passionate so that you can actually move people. It’s three minutes. So it’s really about trying to get this to strike a chord with folks and then using that as a catalyst to meet more people, share the mission, spread the word, and get people to come back and have conversations.”
He’ll be taking time to pitch his vision for a SaaS platform designed specifically for special educators, principles, and teachers.
Backstage at Techstars Impact
Demo Day is a big opportunity for the ten founders selected for the latest Techstars Impact Powered By Cox Enterprises. The crowd at The Eastern, a popular event venue in Atlanta, on Thursday night will be filled with hundreds of potential investors, customers, and ecosystem builders.
To get to this point, founders have integrated into the Techstars world, which is known as a world-wide network for early-stage, venture back-able businesses.
Founder Alex Edquist said the ability to continually practice her pitch in front of her cohort and others in the Techstars community has helped solidify her message about Good Agriculture, a regenerative farming support platform. Edquist jumped into the entrepreneurial world after spending the early part of her career in management consulting. She said going through Techstars Impact has been particularly important for her to zero in on her core business message and to figure out the next steps to grow Good Agriculture.
She’s been tweaking her pitch over the last several weeks and said getting feedback from the wider Techstars community has been particularly helpful.
“It is really cool just to get fresh eyes on stuff because we’ve been looking at the same pitch for weeks,” she told Hypepotamus. “The hardest part is crafting the story and making it succinct and understandable. Trying to explain regenerative agriculture usually takes like 10 minutes. So getting that down to [a few minutes] takes a lot of iteration.”
Getting To Demo Day
Want to see how the pitches for Accelerated Equity Insights, TARA, and Good Agriculture shape up? Grab a ticket here. We’ll see you at The Eastern!