NYU ITP Pitchfest 2015


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Workshop Series: What is your concept. Your idea. Your project. Pitch your Idea  for support and feedback: Workshops, Practice Pitch Prep, and Pitch Festival.

Adjunct Professor: Jen van der Meer

Background: Over the past five+ years NYU ITP has organized increasingly successful Investor Pitchfest to showcase startup team ideas worthy of funder consideration and attention. Prior Judges for Pitchfest have included Joanne Wilson and Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures), Andy Weissman (Union Square Ventures), Phin Barnes (First Round Capital) and Frank Rimalovski (NYU Tech Ventures), Amy Millman (Springboard) and a number of active Angel Investors.

This year we are augmenting with more super sub micron seed stage investors, project funders, and social impact angels.

We schedule the workshop series after Thesis Week and the ITP show.

In the past five years, there are now so many more opportunities to pitch.

The Stern Berkeley Center Competition, The NYU Summer LaunchPad Accelerator, the Dorm Room Fund, the application process for YC and Highway 1 and other accelerators in NYC, the Bay Area, and China.

But we know there are those out there that haven’t yet ventured into thinking about their idea, project, or concept as a venture.

We have also augmented the prep workshops for the range of potential ideas we’ve seen at ITP over these years:

  • The projects that just need to exist in the world.
  • The social impact idea that must find its home.
  • The high growth potential company that hasn’t yet gotten picked up by an accelerator.
  • We welcome all of you. We want to help you launch.

Submit your business concept ideas to be considered for the first workshop, and Pitchfest here, and reach out to Jen at jd1159@nyu.edu with any questions or for consultation. This workshop is open to anyone who is enrolled or has recently been graduated from NYU, and is designed for NYU ITP graduates specifically.


Workshop Schedule Overview:

Idea Submission: Friday May 22, 2015

Workshop 1: Monday June 1, 2015

Workshop 2: Monday June 8, 2015

Workshop 3: Monday June 15, 2015

Pitchfest 4: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Idea Submission: Friday, May 22, 2015


Students will submit a 100 word description of their idea. Links to team member bios, early prototypes, presentations, blog posts, or video demos is welcome and encouraged. Professors van der Meer, Igoe and Hechinger will select top student ideas for the initial workshop.


Workshop 1: Monday June 1, 2015. 6:00 – 8:00 PM Room 50

Concept review and finalist selection.

Location NYU Elab

This 2 hour workshop will provide a background of the criteria and parameters for early stage seed capital investment, social enterprise investment, and other forms of investment. Topics covered: venture criteria, basic dynamics of early stage business formation, diagnostic for students to self-evaluate their ideas for VC or alternative forms of funding. Students will describe and define their idea. Every year we curate the teams based on how much exposure you’ve already received, and how much your team wants to learn from the Pitchfest experience.

Workshop 2: Monday, June 8, 2015 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Pitch Prep: Purpose Exercise


Location NYU Elab

During this 2 hour workshop 6-8 teams will be selected for pitch preparation coaching. Students will present their idea, with accompanying visuals, demos, or videos, and given constructive feedback. The workshop will employ design thinking methods to help connect the underlying concept to the student’s core intentions, how to improve the presentation style and effectiveness to tell this story, and how to organize a persuasive pitch.


Workshop 3: Monday, June 15, 2015 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Pitch Prep: Business Model Exercise

Location NYU Elab

During this 2 hour workshop 6-8 students/teams will receive Pitchfest preparation coaching. While these early stage concepts may not yet be companies, we will understand the basics of business modeling and pathway to revenues and profits will be covered and applied to individual ideas. Whether you are an artist, a not for profit, or a high growth company, you will need to figure out how to attract flows of money to sustain your idea. The workshop will employ the Business Model Canvas to help students articulate their business model hypothesis. Feedback will be focused on how to improve the underlying concept to make the idea more attractive to the founders themselves, and to growth funders, while also fulfilling the student’s original purpose.

Workshop 4: Wednesday, June 18, 2015 6:00 – 8:00 PM NYU ITP Pitchfest

Location NYU Elab

The Pitchfest will give each presenting team 5 minutes to pitch their ideas to a select judging panel of angels, VCs, social enterprise funders, project funders, people who write checks, and people who like to cheer on those people. and venture funders, and receive 10 minutes of constructive feedback for what makes their idea interesting to early stage venture investors, and what can be improved.


About Jen van der Meer:


Jen van der Meer is the Founder and CEO of Reason Street, where she creates business models for impact.

A former Wall Street analyst and economist, Jen is a business modeler who masters the emerging edge of technological change. At Reason Street, Jen provides business model consulting and data services in the health and social impact sectors. Throughout her career, Jen has practiced an approach that is equal parts data-driven and creative to understand and apply the opportunities for technology to transform the economy, society, and culture. Jen is an adjunct at NYU ITP, where she teaches systems thinking and Lean LaunchPad, runs the ITP Pitchfest and serves as a Judge and Mentor for multiple NYU Entrepreneurship programs and competitions. Previously to Reason Street Jen has held executive management roles at Organic, Frog Design, Luminary Labs, and Dachis Group, a social data consulting and software company, which acquired her social data + community company Drillteam. Jen has a BA from Trinity College, and an MBA from HEC in France. @jenvandermeer