Look out Cinco de Mayo, there’s about to be some new pitchers in town full off two parts brain and one part confidence. Charlotte-based innovation powerhouse Edison Nation will host its first ever Pitch Day in the Queen City, the 37th most innovative city in the country according to Innovation Cities Index 2014.
The unique thing about this inaugural pitch day is that innovators far and wide can pitch an idea just at the concept stage (on a napkin written in lipstick) with absolutely no money. Edison Nation will invest its time and resources into as many great ideas as they want, too. There is no one winner; it’s not a competition.
“We definitely expect a lot of people from Charlotte because we have a really growing innovative community, but if our casting calls [for their television show Everyday Edisons] from the past are any example, we’ll probably see some people fly in from other countries even to present ideas,” Matt Spangard, Edison Nation’s CTO, said.
Edison Nation’s Pitch Day is tech-focused, encouraging applicants to bring ideas that involve mobile apps and app-enabled products, “Internet of things” according to Louis Foreman, president and CEO of the company. Foreman asks potential innovators: “How do you make certain products work better by virtue of connectivity and your cellphone or Bluetooth or Wi-Fi?”
Innovators must first submit their ideas online at edisonnation.com along with a $25 fee, and then Edison Nation will then weed through hundreds of ideas to find 40 or 50 innovators to invite to the Pitch Day. Once accepted, innovators will get a time slot of 15 minutes to wow the panel of tech gurus and Edison Nation experts in person.
So what makes a good pitch? “You’ve got to identify a problem or a pain that a large segment of the marketplace suffers from. Then come up with a remedy or a solution that solves that problem and can do it cost effectively, at a cost point that consumers are willing to pay and can afford,” Louis said.