Peak Pitch is a Ski-twist on the elevator pitch. Entrepreneurs pitch to VCs on the char lift ride to the peak of a Ski slope, and given that it takes a lot longer – about 3 minutes – than an elevator ride, a start-up guy has a good chance of making a compelling case for his idea. Of course you can get lucky and the ski-lift can stop working, and then you can yap for as long as you want.
Peak Pitch, was started by New Hampshire-based VC firm, Borealis Ventures in 2005, and since then has now expanded to five dates in New England areas. Don Dodge has a nice report on the recent event at Mr. Sunapee Ski Resort that attracted some of the top VCs from the New England area. Dodge urges Brad Feld to start something similar in Colorado-area. I second that – come on Brad! By the way if you know of any other creative pitching ideas, please let us know!
12 thoughts on “Ski, Pitch, get funded”
What this is, Om, is nauseating. The sense of privilege, the absurd arrogance derived from control of other people’s money, the lack of respect for others.
You nicely captured the worst of the VC in this, thank you.
Om – we’d love to have you come to next years’ Venture Capital in the Rockies conference (http://www.vcintherockies.com/). Rather than a 3 minute chairlift pitch, the VC and entrepreneur community spends a few days together which is capped off by a ski day. We’ve been doing it out here for 25 years and it’s been fantastic the past few years – http://www.feld.com/blog/archives/002200.html
What about speed pitching which plays along the same concept as speed dating.
I think it is a great idea, and would second the motion for Brad to spearhead something (in is copious spare time ; )
Greg – not sure where you are coming from – must have been a bad morning.
Hi, Andrew. I take it you do not see the issue with proposing that entrepreneurs accompany you on your ski vacation, asking them to stand in line with you at the ski lift, and then only offering them the idle time between the bottom of the mountain and the top to talk with you?
All very curious. And, I might add, a bit ironic given the name of your weblog.
Ignoring the ego issues for moment, to the extent that investors in these funds are paying attention, I am curious if you would argue that your investors would think that this screening criteria will provide them the best long-term return. Certainly this type of screening only will attract a particular category of startups.
I agree with Greg Linden. It’s hard enough getting FULL attention of VC’s in a conf call or F2F meeting so BOL in a setting of Continuous Partial Attention including the silly ski chair “1 on 1”.
My startup passed on Peak Pitch.
Okay Brad, you can count me in on the trip to Denver.
To be honest – I would much rather spend time getting to know a potential portfolio company during a day skiing, hiking or mountain biking than a stiff 15 minute Powerpoint pitch in my office …. but maybe that is just me.
Everyone: this will be forgotten soon, similar to how no one lately talks about the so-called $100M RSS Fund.
Peak Pitch actually worked out very well for both entrepreneurs and the VCs. Jesse Devitte played match maker at the base of the mountain matching start-ups with potentially interested VCs.
I don’t know of any other venue where an unknown startup could pitch 6 or 8 VCs (one on one) in a single day. In addition there was time at lunch and later in the day for follow on meetings.
I plan to be at next years ‘VC in the Rockies” event as well.
BTW, the actual chair lift ride took 6 minutes, plus 5 minutes waiting in line, and another 5 minutes at the top of the mountain closing the conversation, so each startup got a solid 15 minutes of one on one time.
…this is a great idea…just one more option for folks to get together in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere…no one’s twisting anyone’s arms here…anyone who doesn’t like the idea of it doesn’t have to participate.
Om, for another pitching idea, how about setting up “space meetings” on Branson’s upcoming Virgin Galactic sub-orbital space flights…available of course only for those rare ideas that are truly out-of-this-world…