Future Energy: Pitch FAQ

Q: What is the format of a pitch?

Each pitch follows this format (9 minutes total for each company):

  • First, the startup founder gives a 3 minute pitch
  • Each pitch is followed by 3 minutes of Q&A.  Questions will come primarily from the panel but also from the audience.
  • Finally, each startup will receive 3 minutes of panel advice.  During this section, the startup founder is only listening, not responding.

Q: What topics should my pitch cover?

Your pitch should focus on three areas.  You only have 3 minutes.  Be sure to rehearse your pitch so you can cover everything.

  • Your core technology
  • How your technology is different than existing solutions
  • How you will capitalize on that differentiation
Please do not focus on:
  • Global energy demand/trends
  • The regulatory environment
  • Market size

Q: Can I bring a Powerpoint deck?

Yes, you are required to bring slides.  You’re required to use this Powerpoint template.  You must submit your slide deck two weeks in advance of the presentation.  Your should have the following two slides:

  1. Slide 1 should explain your core technology in detail.  Use diagrams, photos, or images to demonstrate your technology.  You should spend 2 of your 3 minute pitch on this slide.
  2. Slide 2 should explain your business model.  You should spend 1 of your 3 minute pitch on this slide.
If possible, you should bring a USB thumb drive with a backup of your slides to the event.

Q: How can I make the most of my pitch?

  • You should definitely rehearse your pitch before the event.  You only get three minutes to speak, so make the most of it.  The more you rehearse the better you’ll be.
  • Ultra Light Startups has partnered with Mac Lipscomb, a CEO coach and investor pitch/fundraising expert.  Mac provides free presentation training for all Future Energy pitchers.  You will be notified of how to schedule this training after your pitch application has been approved.  Be sure to take advantage of this
  • It’s very important to speak directly into the microphone – and keep it very close to your mouth.  If you don’t, nobody can hear you and nothing you say will matter.  Not being able to hear the speaker is by far the #1 cause of complaints about bad pitches.
  • The audience will vote for their favorite pitches.  At most Future Energy events startups with the most audience votes will be awarded prizes from our sponsors and partners.

Q: How do I win the pitch contest?

The most important factors in winning are:

  1. Have a pitch that people can understand.  If  the audience can’t immediately grasp what you do, they’re probably not going to vote for you.  For best results, practice your pitch early and often.
  2. Have a compelling product and business.
  3. Have your friends there to support you. The more of your supporters you have voting for you, the better your chances.

Q: Is there a fee to pitch at the Future Energy pitch event at the ARPA-E summit?

  1. It is free to apply to pitch for the Future Energy pitch event at the the ARPA-E summit.
  2. If selected to pitch, you will need to pay an entrance fee to the ARPA-E summit.
  3. Note: This is only in regards to the Future Energy event at the ARPA-E summit.  There are no costs associated with other Future Energy events.
  4. You can find more information on the ARPA-E summit at the following link: http://www.arpae-summit.com/Agenda/Future-Energy-Pitching-Session

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