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Today we got to pitch Sunken City to a small group headed by Robbie Vitrano and Tim Williamson, founders of Idea Village. The event, BarPreneurs, gives a handful of entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their idea/company for one minute. From this, three semi-finalists are selected for a question-and-answer period, and one finalist gets to stay and have lunch with the big wigs. Sunken didn’t make it past the first round, but on a whim, we stayed to see what we could learn from the Q&A. There, we picked up three seemingly simple questions that, as artists, we don’t think about nearly enough:
1.) What is your business (in one sentence)?
2.) How will this make money?
3.) What do you need to make this happen?
Personally, we spend most of our time thinking about the vision of Sunken (“Wouldn’t it be cool if there were a TV comedy about NOLA made by artists who live here?”) and not enough time thinking about the business angle of what makes our show profitable and attractive to investors. Among artists, there is often a natural aversion to “money talk”; it feels nobler to imagine that we can continue making art simply in the name of love, truth, and expression.
However, the truth is that whatever you are making–a web series, a fashion line, a giant man of straw–you need money to make it. And someday, you will find yourself face-to-face with someone who possesses the very resources and connections you need. It may be in an elevator, a restroom, or crowded somewhat awkwardly around a bar in the French Quarter. Wherever it is, be prepared to describe why your idea is awesome, how it will make money, and what EXACTLY you need RIGHT NOW to level-up.
The best way to get there: practice. Pitch as often as you can. There are no shortage of pitch events and networking meet-ups in this city. Go make yourself uncomfortable. And when you aren’t selected to move on to the “next round” at one of these events, don’t leave. Instead, nurse the one free cocktail you got, stick around as long as is socially acceptable, and see what you can learn from those who are selected.
Also: check out FitLot. We think they’re gonna be big.
Follow Sunken City on Twitter @oursunkencity to learn how you can support the show!