Below is a list of commonly asked questions regarding Pitch Zoo.

When are Pitch Zoo events held?

Pitch Zoo events are usually held the first Monday of each month from 6:30pm to 7:30pm.  However, there are times when the event gets moved around because of scheduling conflicts.

Where are Pitch Zoo events held?

Pitch Zoo events are held at the Maestro offices, which is above Food Dance.  The address is 401 E. Michigan, Suite 202, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. [ Note: enter the building from the E. Michigan side of the building. If you get lost or can’t get into the building on the night of an event, you can send an email to info at pitchzoo.com or a text message to 303-435-1859 (John Mueller’s phone) ]

Parking is available in the parking lot across E. Michigan from the building — parking lot is labeled Food Dance, and is across the railroad track.  Here is a link to the parking lot: Parking Lot Location on Google Maps.

In addition, free parking is available on the streets in most spots in downtown after 6pm.

Note: Please do not park in the Food Dance parking lot that is on the north side of the building.

Is there a fee to attend a Pitch Zoo event or to pitch an idea at Pitch Zoo?

No.  It is FREE to attend and it is free to pitch an inning at Pitch Zoo.

Do I have to RSVP to attend the event?

No, you do not have to RSVP to attend a Pitch Zoo event.  However, by RSVPing we are able to better plan for the number of people that will show up (e.g. to provide enough food and drinks for the attendees).  In addition, if you want to pitch your business idea, if you RSVP you will have a better chance to pitch an inning at the event you want as opposed to having to wait for another Pitch Zoo event in the future.

Who can (or should) pitch?

Individuals that have a new business idea or are in an early-stage company

– AND-

Individuals that want to practice their pitch and receive feedback on the pitch (and business idea)

Who is the audience?

The local audience consists of individuals involved in the Kalamazoo startup community. However, when you pitch, you need to let the audience know who the target audience of the pitch is (e.g. potential angel investors, venture capital investors, bankers, employees, customers, etc.).  That way the audience knows why you have included certain information in the pitch, and can provide you better feedback.

How many individuals can pitch at a Pitch Zoo event?

3-5 individuals pitch at each Pitch Zoo event.  Time permitting there could possibly be more pitches.  However, the goal of the Pitch Zoo event is to wrap up the activities within an hour of starting (i.e. by 7:30pm, since events start at 6:30pm).

How long does an individual have the floor for her/his pitch?

Each individual has 10 minutes of floor time, which is broken into 3 minutes for the pitch and 5 minutes of feedback from the audience.

Can props or a slide deck (e.g. PPT slides, Prezi, etc.) be used?

No.  The pitch should only be an individual talking about his/her business idea.

Can more than one person pitch their team’s business idea?

No.  The pitch should only be performed by 1 individual, even though the business idea has been developed by a team of individuals (which is great, as teams have a better chance of success in building a new venture than does 1 individual).

How do I get selected to pitch?

You can either show up on the day of the event and ask to pitch your idea.  Or when you RSVP for the event, indicate in the form that you would like to pitch and include a one sentence explanation of your business idea.  The individuals that submit their request to pitch via the RSVP form have precedence over the individuals that ask to pitch on the day of the event.

What is a pitch?

A pitch is when an individual talks about their business idea to a targeted audience for a purpose (e.g. to inform the audience, to raise funds, to get people interested in the concept).  A good pitch is a pitch that succinctly and quickly explains the business idea and opportunity to the targeted audience and gets the targeted audience excited about the idea.

What should be said in a pitch?

That depends on you, the nature of your business idea, and your target audience.  However, each pitch should at the minimum include the name of the company or business idea, your name, an explanation of the problem or opportunity, how you are going to solve the problem or take advantage of the opportunity, and an explanation of the market (size, who the customer is, and the revenue model — how you are going to generate revenue), and what makes you different from others in the marketplace.  If you are presenting to investors, then you might also want to include how much money you are looking to raise and the potential return on the investment.

Keywords: address a problem, provide a good solution, tell a story, keep the vocabulary simple (4th grade vocabulary), and have a killer closing — one sentence (leave them with what someone should repeat to others), practice

What does an pitch sound (and look) like?

Tips and example pitches of a business idea can be found in the “Pitch Resources” section.

Can you pitch more than once at Pitch Zoo?

Yes, you can pitch as many times as you would like as long as there is space for you to pitch — and actually we promote that because it gives you extra practice.  However, you can’t pitch more than once at an event nor in consecutive Pitch Zoo events.

If you have a question that was not answered in the list of questions above, send an email to John Mueller at info at pitchzoo.com.

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