Summer Catalyst: Week 5
From ideation and product development to pitching, sales, marketing, and more, creativity plays an integral role in entrepreneurship and innovation. And implementing creative approaches to problem solving can help entrepreneurs overcome obstacles, explore new possibilities, and work toward achieving their milestones.
Kate Merritt and Summer Catalyst Director Bob Stringer kicked off a series of workshops about the art of selling. The sessions were informative, fascinating, and even theatrical! The first part of the session included an introduction to consultative selling techniques. Teams learned about four different types of sales questions, as well as the importance of understanding the buyers’ needs, engaging in active listening, and avoiding pitches. Then, Bob played the role of a buyer and each team implemented the new sales skills they learned. Each team had the incredible opportunity to run through a practice sales call with a potential buyer for their own venture. Kate provided instant feedback to help Summer Catalyst participants build their skills, develop greater confidence, and prepare for the real deal. This workshop continued throughout the week so multiple teams could take advantage of this opportunity.
Pablo Uribe MBA’21 was in the Hot Seat pitching his venture Disliz, a watch brand featuring characters from popular media. The following rebuild session enabled Pablo to revamp and strengthen his pitch.
This week, I launched a series of Creative Consultations to leverage my diverse artistic passions and support my Summer Catalyst peers. As the Creative In Residence at Summer Catalyst, I am passionate about various forms of creative expression including, but not limited to, writing, photography, design, user experience, innovation, problem solving, and art. These sessions provide a unique opportunity for the entrepreneurs to receive feedback on creative projects related to their ventures. The consultations are collaborative in nature; they can involve reviewing content, brainstorming, solving problems, and exploring different possibilities and perspectives. For instance, we can discuss content, visuals, and design while also exploring usability or accessibility topics.
Feel free to book an appointment with me, if you have specific questions or would like to chat about creative approaches to tackling challenges. I look forward to hosting additional sessions in upcoming weeks!
Today, the Summer Catalyst teams joined a Lunch & Learn conversation on fundraising and angel investing with Joe Caruso. They learned ways to effectively pitch to angel investors, like painting a vivid picture of the problem and telling a compelling story. It is imperative for the entrepreneur to clearly know the problem they are trying to solve and effectively communicate, with evidence, the reasons why they are asking for money.
The teams participated in office hours with Alexa Pozniak, an award-winning journalist at CNBC in New York. Alexa offered the entrepreneurs tips for developing engaging content, crafting compelling narratives via storytelling, and pitching to the media. Afterwards, teams engaged in an SEO for Beginners session with Noam Rifkind.
What’s in store for next week?
Activities for Week 6 include: more Creative Consultations, office hours with Emily Green, a fundraising Lunch & Learn with Summer Catalyst Advisor David Chang, coffee meetups with Juan Giraldo MBA’18, and more Hot Seat sessions.