How do pitching panels work?

Great question, because a distinctive feature of Innovate Suffolk is that pitching to panels of mentors is the heartbeat of our events.

(If you haven’t looked at the Mentors post recently, now is a great moment, because that will tell you the values our mentors commit to, and what they should and shouldn’t do to help you!)

For a typical 48 hour Friday evening to Sunday evening event:

  • Friday evening you’re pitching to each other
  • Saturday during the day you’ll pitch twice to mentor panels, and once in an “open panel” with everyone invited
  • Sunday during the day you’ll pitch twice to mentor panels, and then you’re pitching to the judges
Here’s what we’re looking to help you achieve over the weekend:

Saturday Morning

Idea, Roles, Endpoint

Do you have an idea you can express clearly, in just a few words?
Are you working as a team?
Do you have an idea of where you'd like to get by judging (and beyond)?
Get help with ideas

Saturday Afternoon

Plan, Test, Refine

Do you have a workable plan for the weekend?
Have you identified your assumptions and ways to test them out?
Are you building connections to the outside world?

Saturday Evening

Open to all

Tell Your Story

Is your story clear & engaging?
Can you quickly show WHO it's for, WHAT problem you are targeting, HOW you will solve it, WHERE you will find your target audience and WHY your product will be valuable?

Sunday Morning

Pace & Focus

Do you have evidence that you've found a real problem?
Can you demonstrate that your project will solve that problem?
How will you make use of the remaining time to become compelling?

Sunday Afternoon

Finishing Touches

Do you have an outline for your final 5 minute pitch to the judges?
Can you tell your story well and show evidence of traction?
How can you leverage Suffolk Mind's "Emotional Needs" resource?

Sunday Evening


Good Luck!

You have 5 minutes to pitch
then 10 minutes of Q&A
and then it's over to the judges!