Startup Weekend pitch

Convince a packed house, a more or less vague idea, with a Pitch of 60 seconds and not one more. This is the first test of a startup weekend and not least.

If you do not know what a startup weekend is, I invite you to read this article: What is a startup weekend.

In this article we will see together the good practices and the various tips that I use regularly to prepare my pitches of one minute. Thanks to these simple things, I managed to pass all the ideas that I pitched, even the most crazy. ????.

Ready to become a serial pitcher?


You have only one minute to convince and especially to remember you. During startups weekends, you will be between 20 and 30 project carriers on the starting line, which does not facilitate the task …

What is important here is to make an impression. You must do it with the content, which we will see right after, but also with the container: you!

In other words, be different.

Example: I had pitched for idea a service that would revive hitchhiking by using the regular daily routines of thousands of motorists as “bus line”. Before the presentation, I had prepared a small box (as the hitchhikers often have) with marked “Road to smart city” (Smart City was the theme of the SW) that I left at the 55seconds saying something of the style : “Let’s take the road together towards the smart city of tomorrow” with my cardboard right hand and thumb left hand.
With the idea selected, I then pasted my poster so people could easily put the idea

The example is simple, and requires nothing more than cardboard and black felt, yet it was formidable. The idea received a max of gommette, and for the record, we finished second and I pulled out my little sign at the final pitch.

The bottom line is that it’s important to have a differentiator that will allow everyone to connect you to your idea. If in addition you can do something a little “fun” then it’s Banco. It may be a garment, an object, a scream, whatever you want as long as you remember it and there is a connection with your idea.


Always remember these three words:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Able to convince others

These are the foundations of your pitch. To be able to answer these famous 3c in one minute, it is important to respect a certain format that we will decrypt together.

To support my explanations, I will use the pitch of “Beelive”, a new generation dating application. The pitch had been a huge success, the idea was over and had received a lot of cheer at the time of the vote. No podium at the end, but one of my best SW despite everything.

Introduce yourself - Between 3 and 5 seconds

Purely by politeness, this phase in the pitch of a minute is really not important. Just say something like:

  • “Hello My name is Nicolas and …”
  • “Hi, I’m Nicolas and …”

Nothing more will be needed.

Capture your audience - Between 6 and 10 seconds

I usually ask a question to start. This allows on the one hand to allow everyone to feel concerned, and on the other hand to involve the assembly. To be honest, the answer does not matter to me, but it’s the gesture that counts ☺️.

Be careful, however, not to ask a question that would put you in default. If no one raises your hand to your problem, people may think that your idea does not make sense. For example, avoid the questions of the style “Who has already galley while hitchhiking?”. Few people hitch-hike nowadays and you can be sure that very few hands will get up.

Example: For Beelive I had turned the question like this: “I have a question for you: Who in the room is single?”

Easy, there are inevitably single people in the room and moreover it is a question that can disturb or … interesting. In short, perfect to capture the attention!

Leave a blank of one or two seconds and go on, taking care to interest yourself in the result.

Problem solving - Between 15 and 20 seconds

Express clearly what is your problem. Here it takes 10 seconds to understand exactly why your idea will be useful and what problem it will solve. The idea of starting with the why is not me, but the great Simone Sinek, who made a fabulous TedX about it. I warmly invite you to watch it here.

Example: “It seems that today it has never been so easy to find love ___________ it seems …
There are today dozens and dozens of dating supports. But they all have one thing in common => If you both have a cat, it’s assured love ________ Seriously?!?!?!
Since Tinder, the application where you can skip left or right, no one has ever really managed to innovate in the dematerialized meeting. “

In the example we understand where I am coming from. There are many (too) dating applications and the criteria on which they are based are not tangible. It is therefore complicated today to find love. However, we still note that I speak of Tinder an application that works and is very used … why? Just to kill the chick in the egg. Indeed, if some thought that my idea could be assimilated to the application Tinder, now it is clear that no. It is a very used technique to avoid questions or ambiguities. Use them!

True or not it is not important. The important thing is that we believe in it. So be convincing by putting rhythm in your voice, with intonations supported and speaking facies! By the way, the “_______” and the “?!?!?! Are really written on my sheet. This allows me during the training to mark breaks at key moments of the pitch or to insist on the question. I strongly advise you to do it. Remember: the content is as important as the container.

I have a dream - Between 15 and 20 seconds

Having a problem is good, the solution is better!

More seriously, here it is important to propose a solution that seems more or less consistent. Do not be :
– Neither too precise, at the risk of making everyone flee by saying that your idea is already much too clearly stopped and they can not make you change your mind or co-build with you.

  • Not too vague, just to avoid being aware of the “bull-shit” that you are telling ????

Simon Sinek says that you first have to talk about (How) how and then (What) what to finish. What is true for the speeches and the final pitches is not really true for this one. It will be necessary to bring together the how and what at the same time so as to save time for the conclusion.

Example: “My idea is to develop a powerful behavioral analysis algorithm, supported by a capable AI, thanks to many existing scientific data to accurately determine your profile and ,,,, actually ,,,, allow you to meet THE person who really fits you. ”

Nothing special except that I voluntarily use a lot of super superlatives to support even more the solution. Because this solution, it is great, it’s the best, and without that the world may collapse. ????

The highlight of the show - About 10 seconds

The conclusion is hyper mega supra important. If at that moment you get to show the girl or the guy cool, energetic, optimistic, dynamic that you are, in addition to having the idea of the century, then it is won.

People choose the idea, but also the person with whom they will spend their weekend. Content, containing ….

Say here why you have to come with you, why it’s going to be great, and why you’re going to win this SW. Do not be afraid of ridicule and send everything you have.

Example: “So if you too (point the room), you like beautiful encounters, challenges, fun, and AI, let us have fun and reinvent the love of tomorrow! “

I finished this pitch by drawing a huge heart on the board behind me.


You know, when we say that it’s important to smile on the phone because it’s heard on the other end of the line? Well, it’s a little bit the same for your pitch.

  • Enjoy
  • Keep having fun
  • Have fun again
  • Do not forget to have fun

For the rest, with the advice that I have just given you, you will only carton! Moreover if the article helped you, I would be really happy to have your pitch in comments ☺️

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