Peak Venture Group is launching a new program this month that aims to tap into the hearts and spirits of budding entrepreneurs.
The group, which has provided mentorship to up-and-coming entrepreneurs since 2000, is hosting a series of “Pitch Nights” – non-threatening nights where people with business, invention or product ideas can come, make a five-minute pitch, and get instant feedback, said JoAnn Schmitz, PVG president.
“We are trying to stimulate energy and make sure that all those energetic ideas get some traction,” she said.
PVG, a nonprofit organization, hosts the Five Minute Forum, where area entrepreneurs make a business pitch before a group of PVG members and then can advance to a 30-minute presentation before the entire PVG membership, which includes investors and long-time business leaders.
But, the group felt it was missing out on some of grass-roots ideas, Schmitz said.
“We wanted to cast our net wider,” she said.
Those making a pitch at Pitch Night can expect instant feedback and hopefully will get matched up with some more seasoned entrepreneurs. PVG members will stay away from making a statement like that is a good or bad idea, Schmitz said.
“Instead, we will try to translate the idea into a business objective.”
The goal is to bridge a gap between the idea and the experience, she said. PVG wants to provide a continuum of support to entrepreneurs – from the launch of the idea, to getting the budding entrepreneur matched with local agencies that can help write a business plan, to getting those entrepreneurs in front of investors.
PVG coordinates its efforts with other small-business advisors such as SCORE and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs’ Small Business Development Center. All entrepreneurs’ homework must be done and clean business plans in hand before investors are brought in.
But, Pitch Night can be where the entrepreneur begins, Schmitz said. She posted the meeting on meetup.com “where we are getting mega hits,” Schmitz said.
“They will have five minutes to make the pitch, and 1 to 2 minutes for questions and answers,” Schmitz said about Pitch Night. “I think this is going to be dynamite”