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Teru Talks About Boot Camp Experience
Teru presents 5 Minute pitch on Demo Day at the end of Boot
Auburn, CA - January 24, 2015. Teru emerged beat up but much
more confident from Velocity Venture Capital's (VVC) 2014 Entrepreneurs Showcase Boot Camp last month, the rigorous
10 week business startup crash course. New speakers came in each week from the Greater Sacramento Region and beyond
to share their slam-dunk successes - and resounding crashes. "Dan the Man" Wadhwani, Entrepreneurial Studies
professor at University of the Pacific, provided the course backbone while the VVC team kept it real with their
investment house and start-up experience.
Back in August at the start of this process, Teru Talk posted Teru's heartfelt if
awkward two minute video he used to fight his way into the Boot Camp. He won that first round, hands-down. During each of the ensuing ten weeks, Teru tackled another
piece of the Business Model Canvas to separate and clarify all elements of our start-up business development. He
examined concepts of Value Proposition and explored how those differed from Revenue Streams or Cost Structures.
He soaked up the importance of understanding diverse Customer Segments as different from developing Customer
Relationships. He dove into the importance of finding key Partners, as one of many key activities needing our
abiding attention. But as much as anything, he began to find more precise ways to say what we do.
Each of the Boot Camp participants re-examined every iota of what they thought they
were doing. Almost everyone experienced what the instructors called a "pivot": a mental turn from your
pre-defined direction, shifting the game toward where the market actually wants you to go. Sometimes that only
takes a slight course adjustment. Sometimes, it's more like crack-the-whip. Here's where the Boot Camp process
really paid off - their solid guidance helped find ways to use the centrifugal force that comes with dramatic
Boot Camp culminated in Demo Day, where VVC gathered perhaps a hundred potential
investors from this region for a concentrated day of show-and-tell. The trick is to learn the language of your
audience, not to instruct them in your own lingo. Each slide in the presentation deck and every word had to be
clean, clear and direct. By Friday, December 5th, all twelve plebes were ready.
Good introductory staging by VVC's speaker panel and crew set the stage. The class
then presented an even dozen five minute investment pitches, back to back - no stumbles, no stage
fright, just clean and confident. A link to the video of Teru's pitch is here. Everyone then stood post at their respective showcase booths, chatting up the
attendees. The audience stayed, visited, asked questions, and in most cases suggested follow-up meetings, which
really is the point of a five-minute pitch: to sort out who is interested in what you have, and engage them in
longer discussions. Teru made some excellent contacts and is continuing the dialogue.
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