DIY Biz: Countown to Demo Day

2012-08-01 20.21.26

This week we had an event on Wednesday night called the Countdown to Demo Day Party. Demo Day is the conclusion of Excelerate Labs, and it’s now less that 4 weeks away. On that day, August 29th, each team will climb up on stage at the House of Blues and present a 10 minute pitch to a sold-out audience of investors. The objective is to raise money but it’s also a graduation of sorts, the conclusion of our intense summer experience. (The only thing that remains after Demo Day is the awesomely named party the next night – Excelebrate!)

Because Demo Day is a pretty rare experience (when else would you ever have an opportunity to pitch to that many people at one time?!) we work hard on our presentations for the entire month of August. (Actually we started on Monday which was still July!) Every day between now and then, weekends included, I’ll practice. So far, it’s just a Word document with the story and a few slides with black text that says things like ‘awesome visual here’. But in just the last week it’s already morphed and changed *so much* that I’m very glad we start early. I cannot begin to explain how helpful it is to have people like Troy, Sam and the IDEO team working on this alongside me. Transformational.

There are annoying parts about practicing every day, too. I never seem to have enough time to work in all the changes that came from the last meeting. We’re never as far as I want to be on some of the objectives for the business that I want to include. Lots of numbers still need to be refined, double-checked, considered. There’s only so much that can happen in a day’s time. We can’t get it all done. But that’s startup life, and really just life in general. It’s uncomfortable. I’d rather have everything polished each time I present, I really really would. But my experience this week is a good reminder of what a mistake that would be, because I’d be wasting my time perfecting the wrong thing.

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