Update September 22: Due to an abundance of last minute interest to apply, the Chamber is extending the application deadline to midnight on October 5.
First reporting: Do you have nerves of steel and the new, best business idea since sliced bread? Then "Perfect Pitch" is for you.
Presented by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Perfect Pitch is a new program designed to prepare entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas to potential investors and collaborators. Enter your business idea on their website page by October 5 to pitch your idea to a panel of judges and the chance to win $5,000, entrepreneurial training classes and a dream team of mentors.
Anyone with a business idea can enter in one of the following categories: biomedical, advanced security/information technology, aerospace, wind energy, or “Other.” Submission ideas can be anywhere from the conceptual stage to an active business and must be original ideas. The top 10 ideas will be chosen and will work with mentoring teams that provide guidance on articulating their idea and proof-of-concept, differentiating their product from their competition, creating strategies for commercialization, explaining funding strategy and value proposition, and sharpening general presentation skills.
Finalists will then go in front of a panel of judges and make their pitch on November 10 at the American Theater. Each finalist is given five minutes to present their idea and 10 minutes to answer questions. From this round, five applicants will move into the final round of presentations. At the end of the day, the judges will choose the “perfect pitch” by category and a grand prize winner. Category winners each receive $1,000 and a scholarship to BizBuilderSC entrepreneurial training; and the grand prize winner receives an additional $4,000 (totaling $5,000), a scholarship to BizBuilderSC entrepreneurial training and a dream team for further mentoring.
“The final event is designed to be exciting, entertaining and educational. Somewhere between Shark Tank and American Idol lies Perfect Pitch,” said Laura Williams, Small Business director for the Chamber. “Entrepreneurs, business executives and investors are encouraged to attend and cheer on their favorite pitch and who knows you may find the next best company.”
The four industry categories will be judged on the following criteria:
- Viability: The entry makes a credible and believable case, is concise and easy to understand, and demonstrates relevant industry knowledge (competition, market need, pricing etc.)
- Innovation/Vision: Entry demonstrates creative thought, revolutionary or new perspective on existing markets and businesses, provides an extraordinary vision for a business in South Carolina.
- Profit/Revenue Potential: It satisfies a need in a commercially significant market, demonstrates operational feasibility and/or expertise, and/or offers superior alternative to products or services currently available.