Pitching to Win. A contest or a date? Same thing.


Yesterday, I won the first round of an elevator pitch contest at StartupNation – a national radio show and online business that serves startup businesses with information, community and support.

What an eye opener.

There’s not much difference between entering a contest of skill or the world of dating. Either way, you put your ego on the line, present your best self in a limited amount of time and learn not to take anything personally.

I didn’t wake up one morning proclaiming that I wanted to be an Internet entrepreneur. Maybe if I had, and the right someone special was there to hear it, he’d have knocked some sense into me … and life would be calmer these days.

I felt driven to create a service that would allow me to match compatible people using music as the filter. Eventually, it became my startup business called A Sound Match.

The business has been a labor of love for a while now. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The online dating service is launched, members can play music while browsing profiles and I’ve got a great cast of advisors. Knowing what to do, when to do it and how it’ll get done changes from day to day.

Bottom line is, I am still a one-woman show. I need help promoting and developing the service.

Launching a startup is exciting and draining. Just like dating. It can also be demoralizing and make you feel more alone in the world. Just like dating.

But, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, right? (Wayne Gretsky)

Five contestants were asked to go on the air and give a one-minute elevator pitch as though he or she was speaking to a potential investor. After hearing the pitch, the “entrepreneurial expert” radio hosts would critique it. Then, the online community would vote for it. Or not.

The upside was getting valuable business advice so that I could confidently approach angel investors. This became more important than avoiding a bruised ego if my pitch got slammed. So I agreed to compete (with only a day to prepare).

But, then the online voting got unexpectedly competitive. With only two days left to vote, I felt compelled to campaign hard and ask for votes or I’d lose the contest.

This is when my world opened. Family, friends, friends-of-friends, business acquaintances, and others still unknown to me all took the time to hear the pitch and cast a vote.

I am touched by their vote of confidence. Suddenly, I don’t feel so alone. Suddenly, I have a renewed sense of enthusiasm, motivation and inspiration to forge ahead.

If we don’t put ourselves out there, if we don’t pitch ourselves to a potential date, community or investor, we can never win the prize.

I have to move on to the final round, but as far as I’m concerned, I’ve already won big.



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  1. Posted November 16, 2006 at 9:07 am | Permalink


    you did a GREAT job in the contest (so far!).

    love your personal perspective in your blog entry.

    one thing: the link to startupnation is “broken”.

    way to START IT UP!!!


  2. Posted November 30, 2006 at 10:41 am | Permalink


    I thought you did a great job in the contest so far. I love the idea of asoundmatch. Being a music lover myself, I can say that it is a huge part of my life that I couldn’t live without. Stay positive!

  3. Posted September 21, 2007 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Hello. I don’t know much about your work, but like you, I am also very interested in bringing romantic partners together as well as providing a more sophisticated dating advice that is available out there through the mainstream popular media.

    Perhaps we could partner up?

    Please respond to me at arkady39@earthlink.net
    I look forward to hearing from you.