While many people have heard of an “elevator pitch,” one event is taking this concept to a different level by having skydiving pitches, which will provide investors with an opportunity to hear ideas while free falling through the skies.
The world’s first skydiving pitching competition will be held Monday, September 11 until Wednesday September 13, 2017. The skydiving pitching will occur at the annual event known as Slush.
Slush defines their event on their website by stating, “Slush has grown from a 300 person assembly to a world-renowned event to a world-renowned event, now spreading globally. The philosophy behind Slush has remained the same: to help the next generation of great, world-conquering companies forward.”
This will be the 10th annual year the event is held. The previous year, in 2016, Slush booked travelers for its founders from San Francisco, California in the United States to Helsinki, Finland. Travel was booked for the 300 founders of Slush. In addition, investors, teach influencers, investors and speakers traveled to Helsinki. The flight has been nicknamed “The Nerd Bird.”
For Slush in 2017, the plan remains the same—the same flight will be booked. Before this booking; however, the skydiving pitches will be held. Slush for 2017 will occur from November 31 until December 1.
The pitching follows three basic steps:
1.) People seeking to gain investors will skydive.
2.) Companies will be able to pitch their idea while in free fall at 120 miles per hour. Communication between the parties will occur by a radio link.
3.) The parachutes are deployed and everybody focuses on a safe landing.
Slush was met with resistance about hosting the first skydiving pitch. A total of 16 different skydiving professionals said the idea was impossible. Slush was not easily persuaded to give up the idea.
On September 15, 2017, the winner of the skydiving pitch will be decided. The pitches will be chosen by a jury composed of passengers that are going on the upcoming flight to Helsinki for Slush this year. This winner will receive a ticket on “The Nerd Bird” and a ticket to the conference.
Slush’s CMO, Alexander Pihlainen. talked about the novelty of the skydiving pitches. “There are so many different competitions arranged around the year, so we really wanted to do something that would stand out and bring attention to the oldest founders,” Pihlainen said. “After a bit of brainstorming somebody just said, ‘How about pitching during a free fall?’ After a short moment of silence and turning of heads, we concluded, ‘Well, that’s a weird idea. Let’s give it a go.’”
Pihlainen talked about the marketing efforts for this year’s event. “For the most part of the year, Finland is difficult to access from San Francisco. The direct flight has a major impact on how our attendees feel about traveling from San Francisco to Slush, and we have been receiving requests throughout the whole year,” Pihlainen said. “Thus, we are organizing the flight again to bring investors, speakers, and founders to Slush.”
The online form to fill out before doing a skydiving pitch asks for basic information, including the company name, the year they were founded, the company’s 2016 revenue and a description of the company. In addition, the online form asks that participants include a “pitch desk” on a cloud provider like Dropbox or Google Drive, that they make this file publicly visible and that they attach the URL to the application.