TechCrunch Pitch! – The TechCrunch Summer event

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Video: 60 second version of the Apple WWDC keynote

TechCrunch UK will be holding a startup pitch competition on July 10th in Soho, London, entitled “TechCrunch Pitch!”

The idea came about for this after I went to a number of demo and pitch events in the last few months and realised that too many startups were not actually getting to the point when they tried to get their idea across to the audience, and potential investors.

So I’ve decided to put on an event which strips the whole thing back to basics and just asks startups to answer the following fundamental questions in just 10 slides:

1. Problem: what is the market pain, size and how are you measuring it?
2. Your solution: You have the opportunity to be “the Google/eBay/Skype/iPhone etc of what”?
3. Business model ( and potential for revenues)
4. Underlying magic: Technology / What you are trying to build: how much and for how long?
5. Marketing and sales: How will you get distribution?
6. Market: Drivers & dynamics / Your positioning and sustainable advantages
7. Competition
8. Team
9. Milestones so far and projections
10. Funding requirement & potential exit routes

The tricky bit is that I will only give them 30 seconds per slide, or in other words 5 minutes to pitch their startup. I will also quiz them live while they do it, if they deviate or start to ramble. Not hard then.

Pitches must be done on Powerpoint or Keynote and brought to the event preferably on a thumb drive for speed (or your laptop as a last resort). You can illustrate your slide how you want, so long as you answer the question. There should be no need to access the Web during the pitch. Tip: Focus on the areas where you are strong and talk less about the areas where you are weak, so if you haven’t launched yet, then “milestones” will be less relevant.

We are looking for 6-8 startups to pitch. How? They have to email me and tell me why they should be selected. I will also be looking at the wider market and inviting startups. There is no fee for startups to pitch. They will be selected on merit only by TechCrunch editorial. Deadline to sumbit is June 20.

At the end of the startup presentations, the audience will be asked to vote on which startup should win the competition. The winning startup will be named as such in the event coverage on TechCrunch and will win an iPhone 3G.


TechCrunch Pitch! will offer opportunities for sponsorship at the event. At the moment we have three sponsor slots: Gold, Silver and Bronze (this may change depending on demand). Sponsor companies will get the chance to say “hello” at the opening of the event, but although they won’t be entered into the competition they will get a healthy sponsor slot on TechCrunch UK and

We also have two non-pitching sponsor slots:
– Drinks Sponsor
– Giveaway sponsors e.g. iPhone / plane tickets etc.

We’re charging £10 for a ticket just to help cover costs and incentivise people to show up(increasingly an issue in competitive landscape for events).

Flickr Tag: Please Tag photos “TCPitchSummer08″

How do you get a ticket?

We are phase releasing tickets with ticketing partner Amiando. The first tranche is here.

  • Vinay

    The charging of £10 is for general audience who would like to visit this event, if I am right? This event and idea sounds pretty interesting and I would like to be there to see the startup’s pitch!

    The link amiando is for us to grab the tickets.. isn’t? Best Wishes for the event and getting sponsors. Excited to know who will be taking part in the pitch event. And surprised how the event is hosted just a day before iPhone 3G release!


  • Nicola Robinsonova


    (Bit a of a scary prospect though… the butcher’s den)

    How long do I have to get my email to you?

  • james

    Get Doug Richard from Library House / Dragons Den as a judge ?

  • Jamie

    As a recent start up looking to move towards second round investment later this year we look forward to attending and picking up some useful best practices.

  • Mitch Sava

    Interesting idea. I like the the twist in which you imposing a structure and time limit to get to the core of the pitch. I believe that entrepreneurs who decide to prepare such a pitch will find value in the process of developing a pitch in compliance of your guidelines, irregardless of the eventual result.

    That said, 10 slides in five minutes will be quite a challenge, and I would imagine runs a strong risk in forcing participants to abstract out their message to such a high-level that it may be of no value. I’ve always been a big fan of Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule, in which he encourages entrepreneurs to distill their message down to 10 slides, not at all unlike the points you’ve stated in your post. However, his rule-of-thumb allows for 20 minutes for presentation of these slides. (The ’30’, if I recall correctly, refers to his suggestion that no font on the slide be below 30 points).

    I respect that you hear more pitches in a given day than most of us do in a month, and so certainly defer to your experience. However, I was once a professional presenter in a far-earlier life, and recall that any given point (let alone visual) requires a particular minimum amount of time not only to deliver, but to be processed by an audience. I imagine that allocating 30 seconds to a given point should translate to 2-3 spoken sentences, allowing for the occasional question from you/the panel.

    Is this adequate to provide a sufficient level of detail for the audience to make a judgment? Perhaps for for those firms whose offering matches an existing mental construct and clearly understandable market. I fear, though, for those that might be pursuing something more radical, and thus, more challenging to grasp in such a short amount of time. I’d be curious to hear what others, particularly those experienced at delivering The Pitch, think about this.

    I look forward to the experiment.

  • Chris

    What time will the event start?

  • Kosso

    Oddly enough, just before reading this, I started the process in setting up :)

    Seems like it would be a perfect way to use phreadz. :)

    Great to see you again yesterday and thanks so much for the opportunity to even be there!


  • Andrew J Scott

    Get the oneliner is a pain you must endure {seesmic_video:{“url_thumbnail”:{“value”:””}”title”:{“value”:”Get the oneliner is a pain you must endure “}”videoUri”:{“value”:””}}}

  • Yakov

    I would pitch Quintura. We have evolved our business model a lot over the past year and now ready to raise big money to scale our search & ad business.

  • rtrthrthhrth

    ooh an iphone! very generous and WELL worth the effort of subjugating yourself in front of know-nothings who can do fuck all to add value to your startup. I can’t wait for Arrington to bin you clueless twats.

  • Shak

    Tried buying 2 tickets twice and keep getting an error code :(

  • Mike Butcher

    Apologies for problems with tickets. They all sold out a lot faster than I thought! I will release some more tomorrow. Stay tuned.

  • Fat Man Collective

    Easy and one slide will be a picture of Kojack with a Q stencilled on his shiny head.

    Let me at em…

  • Stefan Richter

    Do those who want to pitch need to buy a ticket? And what’s Mike’s email address..?

  • steven Dotsch

    Hi Mike

    Whilst our current budget does not really provide for sponsorships
    I am willing to consider a ‘token’ contribution (Bronze?). In addition,
    we may well want to offer our services to the top three ventures on the basis of reduced success fees?

    Please let me know

    Best regards

    Steven Dotsch
    Managing director
    WirelessMatch Ltd – UK’s Wireless Funding Network

  • Joe Williams


    The non www part of your web address does not resolve ( as linked to from your name.

    You probably want to 301 redirect it to the www version.

  • amiando - Teamblog | Neue Konferenzen bei amiando

    […] TechCrunch Pitch! it’s time to get real. TechCrunch Pitch! is a stripped down, “bare essentials” event. Just fast pitches from startups and networking. Six to eight early stage start-ups pitch to an audience of potential investors, press and tech industry people. It is designed to run fast and smooth, followed by networking over drinks and nibbles, in the heart of London’s West End. At the end of the pitches the audience will choose the startup who pitch and idea they think was the best. The winning startup will get an iPhone. […]

  • Anna Bance

    What is Mike’s email? I’d like to Pitch at the event. Thanks,

  • Old Git

    Mike – are there any more tranches of tickets, or is this now at capacity?

  • Josh Anstey

    Mike, is there any way of getting more tickets?

    I am from Australia and I will be in London for 3 days around the event. Would love to come to it!


  • Joe Williams

    I am a gutted the tickets have sold out, would have been right up my street.

  • Stewart Townsend

    Looking forward to this Mike, as Im finding on my trails, pitching the idea is hard to get across and needs practice, so be great to see these quick flowing defined presentations and how that message gets across.

  • Mike Butcher

    FYI – Just working on getting final numbers of VCs/Investors. When I know that number, I’ll release more tickets. Meanwhile, apologies for the delay and stay tuned to the blog. Trying to blog, run events, answer phone calls, email and travel around Europe at the same time is an interesting game.

  • Fabio

    Any update?

  • TechCrunch UK » Blog Archive » TechCrunch Pitch! Here it comes…

    […] just over a week until TechCrunch Pitch! in London next Thursday and the excitement is building. People have been clamouring for tickets, […]

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