After more than 30 entrepreneurial pitches and plenty of feedback from mentors in the Founder Institute accelerator program, the jury is in. The winner of the two-sentence startup pitch competition is … HotelPerHour.com.
It’s not easy making a pitch in a simple two sentences, but entrepreneurs gave it their best shot in hopes of winning free tuition for the Spring session of the Founder Institute in Seattle.
Here’s the winning pitch:
“My company, HotelPerHour.com, is creating an hourly-rate hotels booking service that allows people (e.g. travelers, businessmen) to book hotels to rest and unwind for few hours after long-haul flight, business or shopping trip, without paying the full cost for a hotel.” – Soji
Founder Institute’s Jonathan Greechan said that the pitch was by no means perfect. But it did hit the mark with mentors and judges for its clarity, including praise from Seattle angel investor Rudy Gadre.
“This does create liquidity that might be of interest to hotels, who have a wasting asset in unoccupied rooms,” he said. “The question is whether you can deliver sufficient increased business to hotels to make it worth their while, which is the typical marketplace chicken-and-egg problem.”
Other mentors who jumped into the comment threads were Seattle area entrepreneurs Matt Shobe, David Bluhm, David Aronchick, Dan Shapiro and Russell Benaroya. The feedback was compelling, watching entrepreneurs mentor and guide other entrepreneurs.
The predominant feedback was that entrepreneurs should focus on their “secret sauce,” and keep the pitch simple. “Imagine that you are telling this to an 11 year old and state it in a way they would understand it. Keep it simple,” said Benaroya, the co-founder and CEO of Seattle-based EveryMove.
The judges also picked a runner-up: The Helpful Husband. Here was that pitch, which didn’t resonate with Shapiro who said he was turned off by the “battle of the sexes” style of the pitch.
“The Helpful Husband is a mobile app to help overworked and under-appreciated soccer/
working moms get their domestic partners to do more chores by making it fun through the earning of user defined rewards and the tracking of points associated with completed tasks.” – David Lee
You can check out all of the pitches, and feedback here. Thanks to everyone who participated this year.