Wow. Holy cow. Oh my goodness. I won.
What a journey it has been this last year growing the business and striving daily toward my dream of becoming the next big gluten-free brand.
In the startup world, pitching your company via competitions is designed to help growing businesses get their brand out into the world and attract the investors they need to grow at the exponential rates required to be successful. It is also extremely beneficial in helping brands and founders dig deep into their businesses and gain a deep and profound understanding of who, what, how and why the business will succeed.
Earlier in September I was accepted to compete in Denver Startup Week’s Trout Tank CPG competition. Trout Tank is a wonderful program run three times a year by the Colorado Small Business Development Center in conjunction with The Rockies Venture Club Pitch Academy. The CPG edition for Denver Startup Week was a partnership with Colorado Food Works to help highlight food and beverage brands in Colorado.
The first part of the program was Pitch Accelerator training. I learned how to hone my pitch deck and present my pitch and also had the great opportunity to practice my pitch in front of the other competitors. The training was invaluable and gave me the insight and guidance I had been looking for since I started pitching in 2016.
Then there was the “audition” to take the group from 15 to 5. I ran my pitch and felt confident but still, I waited nervously for the email, not knowing if my pitch was good enough to make the top five.
After receiving the “you made the top five” email late the next day, I screamed in excitement so loudly my employees thought something horrible happened to me!
The finals were set for September 18th at Industry Denver. To say I was nervous was an understatement. So much was riding on this pitch and I internalized it as a “make it or break it moment” I am truly surprised I was able to function that day.
All the other pitchers were formidable (Pieno Pasta, Backyard Soda, Best One Yet and Sun Valley Mustard) and we were all there for the same reason: to propel our brands forward. I wanted us all to win but, no, life does not work that way.
I was as Zen as I could be sitting of to the left of the stage waiting my turn to pitch. I reminded myself how grateful I was to even be in that situation and that calmed me down, a bit.
I executed my pitch, made it through the Q&A and was happy to sit down and wait for the results. I felt confident but the feeling of nervousness never left me. When they called my name as the winner, I was elated, excited, shocked and so many other adjectives all in one moment.
Thank you to Doug Helbig, Colorado Food Works and Morgan Alu, Denver Small Business Development Center for this event and for everything I have learned and experienced. Thank you to everyone else involved from the judges to the audience.
And a thank you Rich, my partner in life and business. Woohoo! We did this!!
I am so excited to forge ahead and grow Victoria’s into the amazing brand I know it is destined to become.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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