March 10, 2013: Here’s a dispatch from my small slice of the deal related activity at SXSW 2013 for the first three days. I’ve been trying to adhere to my own advice published in the WSJ Accelerators online last week, particularly with respect to the stamina required to cope with this event.
There’s much being written about how to tackle SXSW if you are looking for funding, partnerships, clients, brand recognition, and fine dining. However, it’s worth a few words to talk about the other side of the equation – those with resources who are coming here looking to buy or invest.
After a first round of coaching sessions with the five SXSW Accelerator companies assigned to me, I thought about some general advice on pitches. This particular batch is starting out pretty well, but I still find myself pointing out many of the usual problems that fail to get the message across. There have been millions of words written on pitch presentations and techniques, but nothing beats live coaching to fine tune the process. You can see that vividly in the polish shown by the Longhorn Startup Lab teams as they progress through the semester. We have a TA who is a Ph.D.