Friday, 27 June 2014
In October 2012, when my idea for MyCarGossip was pretty much just an idea with a very basic website that was just about ready to launch, I met a lady called Maila Reeves who at the time was the UK editor of The Next Women Magazine.
I went for lunch with Maila and showed her MyCarGossip to get her opinions of it at it's early stage. Maila really liked the concept and gave me some great feedback. At the end of our lunch she told me that I should come along to The Next Women pitching event that was being held a few weeks later. A group of entrepreneurs would all be pitching to a panel of judges and an audience of about 60 people. I thought to myself that it would be a really good idea to go along and watch. I went home and bought my self a ticket and informed Maila that I would be coming along to watch.
Maila emailed me back saying that I had purchased the wrong ticket and that she wanted me to buy a ticket to be one of the entrepreneurs who would be pitching on the day! I was shocked that she thought I would be capable of pitching the first version of my website to a whole room of people. I couldn't miss out on this opportunity so I went ahead and bought the other ticket so that I would be pitching on the day. The day would include a workshop which would give me pitching practice and help me work out which information was the best to have on my slides.
The day in November came and I was so nervous! I had never done anything like this before. The pitching workshop was very useful and it was in a very friendly environment. As the day went on I was getting more and more nervous. I remember sitting in the audience waiting for my turn to go up and pitch to this (what felt like, a very large audience!) A few minutes before my pitch I had to run out because I thought I was going to be sick!
Finally, it was my turn to pitch, I walked up to the front of the room sweating and shaking and delivered my pitch. Possibly the most nerve wracking experience ever! But it was a great experience and I am so glad I did it.
The feedback from the panel of judges was great, they were surprised by my age (23 at the time) and were really impressed with my idea. They even gave me a special mention at the end when they were picking a winner as some of the panel wanted me to come in third place.
I was even mentioned in an article that was written after the event by a lady called Natalia Martinez who is a career coach. She wrote in the article that she was particularly attracted by two of the pitches, one of which included mine! :-) You can see the article here
The lesson I learnt from this experience is not to miss out on opportunities because you never know what will come of them. Because of The Next Women event, I have met some very inspirational people who I still keep in contact with.