Does Your Startup Pitch Suck? Call PitchPhone And Practice

Um, we leverage crowdsourcing and um, like, people’s social graph to like find out about new discoveries and the people and places you might find interesting. Right, OK. But what do you actually do? We tap into Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn to personalize our recommendation engine which generates the topics. And then, you know, you can like follow those and learn new things. It’s really addictive!

Oh, for god’s sake, what the hell are you? A mobile app? A digital magazine? A social network? Can you please just back up and start from the beginning and tell me what you’ve built? Who’s it for? What problem does it solve? We, um. Um. Well, it’s like the Facebook News Feed, but better – because it’s personalized to your interests, not your friends. CLICKHello? Are you there? …. I think they hung up.

Sound familiar? Maybe you need pitch practice.

I get it, really. Pitching is hard. It’s scary. Reporters can make or break the reception your startup receives, and getting investors can be the difference between seeing your dreams realized or having to close up shop. But wow, some people really do need help with their pitches.

The problem isn’t just one of eloquence, or having not thought through the hard questions, it’s also one of not knowing how to deliver a concise pitch. You’ve been knee-deep in this thing for months, maybe years. You know it so well, that you’re just itching to talk about its every little nook and cranny. But before anyone can admire every little brushstroke of your masterpiece, they generally want to know what it is. They want to know why you built it. They want to know, well, a lot of things. And you need to be able to tell them plainly and simply.

And because practice makes perfect, here’s something that can help with that: PitchPhone.

Created by DidThis and Addy founder Francis Dierick, who quit his job last year to work on startups, PitchPhone is a service that helps you practice your pitches over the telephone. (<— See what I did there? Be concise!) The service works in one of two ways: either you call PitchPhone and answer the question it asks you, or you can have PitchPhone call you at random times during throughout the day to ask you questions about your startup. Each time, you have 30 seconds to answer.

Dierick says he was inspired to create a tool that would help him practice pitching when he was planning to apply for Y Combinator with DidThis. At first, he built an iPhone app with 100 startup questions to help him out. But he soon realized that an app alone wouldn’t help him turn pitching practice into a habit, so he built the PitchPhone hotline instead. The hotline has been programmed with 100 different, tough questions about your startup, and currently works only within the U.S.

Right now, it’s free for the first 1,000 inbound calls, but there are pricing plans starting at $4.99/month for those who want PitchPhone to automatically dial them throughout the day. Dierick says he’s working to add international support, toll-free numbers, improved voice quality and support for call recording.

Ready to practice? Dial +1 (209) 215-2160 and tell that robo-voice guy why you’re going to change the world!