I attended MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Program in 2017 where we worked in teams to apply Bill Aulet’s ‘Disciplined Entrepreneurship’ process and pitched our start-ups at the end of a week. I’ve since attended start-up competitions at MIT and Babson and seen some fantastic pitches from undergraduates, graduates and alumni. The winners typically cover the following items:

1.      Tell a story to introduce the target customer, pain points and opportunity: Describe the target customer’s persona so that the audience feels connected with this person. The team that did this best at MIT EDP, ‘Wear it Out’, introduced a grandmother, Mary, a 75-year-old widow with high blood pressure, living at her own home in Florida away from her children. The team quickly described Mary to be a proud woman who enjoys watching TV soaps and playing bingo, and doesn’t own a smartphone. They presented her daughter as a 45-year-old married, working woman, with 2 kids in Boston who’s concerned about her mother’s health before going on to present the target addressable market (TAM) for a wearable technology solution. The audience had a clear understanding of the user, customer and opportunity through their story.

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