Recently Talu was selected as one of the top 16 startups in the Venture Madness/Invest Southwest pitch competition.
This was an honor for us at such an early stage. We were excited that other people saw the potential for what we were building. But to be honest, we were initially hesitant to enter the competition. There was a valid concern that it would be a distraction from building our product. We had momentum. Why switch gears now? And since we're bootstrapping it, like we did with our first company, we weren't seeking outside money. So did it make sense to put effort into a pitch for capital?
WELL, WE WENT FOR IT AND WE'RE GLAD WE DID
Our biggest lesson: Going out and talking about your company is not a distraction from your business. It makes you better.
Just because you're in bootstrap mode doesn’t mean you shouldn't learn how to pitch your company. These skills are essential whether you are talking to investors, customers or even your own team. It forced us to look at our elevator pitch and messaging to see if people really understood our product. We found out we had some work to do. Articulating who we are, our growth plan and our target market is essential for confidently presenting Talu to the world.
SO HOW DID IT HELP OUR MARKETING?
We went to Venture Madness to compete, but we quickly realized that our competitors could be future customers. That literally jumpstarted our sales and marketing efforts. Suddenly Talu was being mentioned in the press and in social media, without any solicitation on our part. Names we'd never seen before were dropping into our private beta. We got moving on marketing efforts that would have otherwise been backburnered for months: promotional videos, a robust marketing site, a digital press kit, white papers, cool business cards and more. As we continue to pitch, we will refine all of these marketing tools based on feedback and effectiveness. If you follow our story, you'll see that evolution on this site.
THANKFULLY WE DON’T NEED MONEY RIGHT NOW, BUT WE WILL SOMEDAY
Now is the time to start building relationships and refining our pitch, so we are well positioned to go to market, and eventually, to raise money for serious growth. We'll keep you posted as we make progress.