Crossroads now has TWO tracks!
two tracks. two sets of finalists. two winners!
We’ve leveled the playing field by creating separate tracks for startups at the pre-seed and seed stage. The competition will be better than ever with two tracks, two sets of finalists, and two winners!
The pre-seed winner takes home a $10,000 investment from Flywheel Fund, and the seed winner takes home a $20,000 investment. Both winners get access to Flywheel’s extensive network of mentors and resources. In addition, Crossroads winners receive the opportunity to pitch at an upcoming Elevate Ventures event for potential investment. Crossroads puts your startup on the map!
Not sure which stage you’re at? No problem. The application is easy. If your startup already has a product or an MVP, select “seed.” If not, select “pre-seed.” Not sure where you fit, or have questions? Just email Bram Boyd, Program Manager.
Applications are now closed! RSVP to the finals, live at The Mill on October 4.
Tips & Tricks
Your slide deck should, at minimum, address the following:
- Title (Your startup’s name)
- Customers (Show a clear understanding of who your customers are)
- The Problem (What problem, need, or pain point have you discovered?)
- Solution (Your product or service)
- Revenue Model/Business Model (How you make money)
- Go to Market Strategy (How you will find first customers and gain market traction)
- Key Next Steps (Your plans and/or your needs)
Your pre-recorded pitch should be 3-5 minutes long. We recommend that you use the Zoom platform, so that your video shows you talking and your pitch deck simultaneously. The free version has the record feature. You may want to have someone assist you with pressing the buttons so that you can focus on your presentation.
Setting counts. Tidy up your background, or consider a realistic and professional Zoom virtual background.
Judges want to see you. Make sure your light source is in front of you and not behind you. Stack your computer on books if needed to get a camera angle that is at eye level.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
And remember, since this is a pre-recorded pitch, you can record yourself more than once until you get something you’re happy with!
An Executive Summary is optional. It should be no longer than 2 pages. An Executive Summary provides a brief overview of your startup. It includes:
- Market Size
- Business Model/Revenue Model
- Future Milestones
Learn more about writing an executive summary on The Mill’s blog.
Crossroads is judged by dozens of experts from across the state. Panels of judges are asked to rate each pitch on the following criteria, using this scale:
1 = Poor
2 = Fair
3 = Adequate
4 = Good
5 = Excellent
- Clearly defined markets/customers for the product/service are outlined
- Founders show a clear understanding of the dynamics of the market
- Founders demonstrate a strategic positioning within the competitive landscape
- Assumptions behind financials are sensible
- It is clear they have a business plan
- Founders mention any early traction
Risk and Risk Mitigation
- Potential problems are identified
- Plans to address the problems have been detailed with key next steps
- The founder(s) and operating team have a relevant background and expertise
- Any advisors they are working with are credible and complement the startups
- Products/services are clearly defined
- Uniqueness, differentiation, and defensibility of product are demonstrated
- A comparison to adjacent products is provided
- Benefits, costs, and potential for growth are included
- This company has a lucrative and innovative idea and has adopted a profitable and repeatable business model that can grow quickly in the market
- As an evaluator, I see a potential for investment in this company
- It is venture-backable (It has potential to grow rapidly and exponentially, creating significant financial returns for investors)
- The overall quality of the presentation is high