First Pitch Complete

In the Startup Journal, serial entrepreneur Justin Draplin documents his newest startup, Zimzet.com— from idea to exit— and how the Charleston tech scene is playing a role in the process. Chronicled in real time, you know what he’s doing as he’s doing it. Uncensored, unscripted. Get real versions of his marketing materials, website, and pitch decks as he’s using them. How will it end? Either a successful exit or flat on his face. What role does Charleston and the local business community play in his success? Stay tuned to find out.


I pitched to SC Launch yesterday in Greenville.

When I first got the news I was going to pitch, it did take some follow up. So if you are pursuing and have a good idea, and you’re going to be awesome, then keep at it. I was happy to finally hear back, and excited it was in Greenville.  I’m in Charleston, and I feel like these are opposite cities in more than just location, but both are pretty amazing.

The first pitch deck I created was data heavy.  It was probably better for me, just to get my thoughts out on paper.  What I found was that using it in an actual pitch would have probably been a really, really BAD idea. Either way, here is the original:

Superfly Connect LLC Pitch Deck – First Draft

A lot of words.  And it looks very Microsoft-ish, even though it was created in Google sheets.  Luckily the Booster guys turned me on to canva.com – WAY better for this.  With their feedback and feedback from too many others to mention, I started over, hacked away, and this is what I ended up using in the pitch yesterday:

Zimzet SC Launch Pitch Deck

I had hoped to tape it, but basically it was around 20 minutes of presentation with a few questions intermingled, followed up by 20 minutes or so of questions from them.

It was a lot of fun. I was told they would get back with me early next week, so we’ll see. Either way I’m pushing this business forward.  If you are dependent on someone like SC launch giving you money, you’re probably doing it wrong. Though with their money it could knock two years off my timeline, which would be awesome!

I would also recommend the book “Pitch Anything” by Oren Klaff.  It was recommended by a friend of mine and I read it over the last couple of months.  IF this pitch works, I owe a great deal to my friend who suggested the book, the writer of the book and the people who provided feedback on the pitch leading up to it.  So if it goes over well, get the book. If it doesn’t, don’t.

So regardless of additional funding……..ONWARD!

Next steps will be continuing to tweak the site I have, since I can’t yet afford the full custom site, and pursuing additional pitches with investors.  I’ll be making some tweaks to the deck and getting it over to Jim at the SBDC who offered to get it in front of some other potential groups.

I also got introduced to a pitch class of sorts. It consists of eight weeks, two hours a week, with a pitch at the end. Seemed interesting. Then out of nowhere after reviewing the website, submitting info, and meeting the person that runs it, they sent me the application and told me it costs $600.  So I walked away.  I didn’t see the value in spending the time or the money. It might work for someone else, but quite honestly I didn’t even think twice about it once I found that out.  I was already on the fence so that was the nail. Seems everywhere I turn I can pitch if I pay money.  But so far the feedback I’ve gotten has been the ones you have to pay for don’t really turn into much. Just the feedback I’ve gotten, not my personal experience. I also haven’t heard of anybody having any success by submitting their pitch online. So while I have started a couple, I’m going to give up on that. I only have so much time, and while there are some good opportunities to pitch, my time is best spent on building the business.  Good pitch opportunities will come; my job is to determine what will my time BEST be spent on in any given moment.  So I’ve decided some of these “opportunities” I will turn down, though likely any “free” pitch opportunities I would take.

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