Skip to content

Entrepreneurs Making a Pitch For Funds: 15 Questions Sharks May Ask You

March 21, 2013

tuesday-is-shark-tank-night             Last night my mom and I attended the Entrepreneur’s Pitch Contest in Downtown Wheeling, West pitchcenterlogoVirginia.   It was an event sponsored by the Gary E. West College of Business  and the Center for Entrepreneurship at West Liberty University  (I am an advisory board member for the Center).  It was held at the Capitol Music Hall  (yes historic concert venue where Johnny Cash and June Carter played-we named our son, Jackson, in part after this Johnny Cash tune).

Basically, it was similar to the SHARK TANK tv show, although we did not have  investors sitting on a panel; the whole audience could ask follow-up questions! Local entrepreneurs and small business owners were given 5 minutes to pitch their business to the audience.  The audience was given an opportunity to ask questions about the business and then the audience voted for the best concept.   The entrepreneur with the most votes was awarded a $2,500 cash award from sponsors.  At the end of the event, attendees could also contribute to any entrepreneur if they so wished.

What a dynamic night!  Entrepreneurship is alive and well in this Ohio Valley.pitchcontestflier

There was a cocktail hour with hors d’oevres and then a keynote speaker Eric Carl, founder and president of talking about crowd funding . Here is his powerpoint presentation that he kindly shared with me.

The pitches started at 7 p.m.   I wanted to share thoughtful questions audience members (a/k/a/ SHARKS) had  so that if you are an entrepreneur you could better understand what to expect at an event like this (there will be more in the future) and ask yourself some hard questions about your business concept:

  1. How will you actually make money with this business?
  2. What are your expenses?  Will you need employees?  Office or warehouse space?  What will be your profit margin?  For each product or service, how much will you have to spend or incur in order to make how much?
  3. Who is your customer base?  Men? Women? What do they do? How do they spend their time?
  4. Is there enough traffic in the targeted area to draw the customer base?
  5. Did you research patents?
  6. Are there pending government regulations or laws that may negatively impact your business?
  7. Are there cultural or technological trends that may make your product or service obsolete?
  8. How does your product or service actually work?  Explain to us better how it functions.
  9. How are you different from your competitors?  Why would I use you rather than your competitor?
  10. What is the price point for your product or service? Is that reasonable?
  11. How do you plan to use the proceeds from tonight? Where will you invest your money? What do you need next to take your business to the next level?
  12. Do you have an advisory board put together?
  13. How did you come up with this idea?
  14. Could there be security issues with your product?
  15. Have you sold any of these products yet? Have you tested this service yet?  What was the response?

If you were a shark in the audience, what would be some of your questions?  Come to our next Pitch event!

Kathy Kesich Glover pitching KIND Walk, an online platform to assist corporations, non-profits to FUNDRAISE.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: