Remember the scene Gladiator where Russell Crowe is standing in the Coliseum and shouts to the audience, “Are you not entertained?” It’s a moment of fierce competition, everlasting human strength and impressive mental fortitude. (Don’t remember? Refresh your mind with this YouTube clip.)
As depicted in this new-classic movie, Roman gladiators fought for spectacle and the energy conveyed through the scene reminds of us the passion exuded through sport. Since then, many sports of all types, though not as deadly, have entered the human repertoire. In fact, the World Sport Encyclopedia lists a whopping 8,000-plus indigenous sports and sporting games!
Lately, we’ve seen a rise of competitive entrepreneur pitch sessions, most notably ABC’s popular TV show Shark Tank. If you haven’t seen Shark Tank, an entrepreneur or a group pitches their idea for a business or service to a panel four esteemed venture capitalists. Successful entrepreneurs who impress one of the Sharks gain valuable funding and priceless mentorship.
Shark Tank isn’t just for TV, however. Popular tech site Technori and SXSW host similar pitches, while local pitch sessions are popping up throughout the country. Could this be a new sport?
I argue most definitely!
Sports come in all forms—from cerebral sports like Chess, to those requiring extreme strength and atheism like gymnastics, and those requiring patience and technique like fly fishing. Venture pitches blend a variety skills and aptitudes, as seen in many other sports, to create the ultimate mind game. To name a few, a successful pitch requires the ability to outsmart your competitors, showmanship, dedication and hard work.
Pitches aren’t as fight-to-the-death intense as gladiator combat and may not qualify for the Olympics for the Tokyo games in 2020, but you can’t win capital without a sport-like intensity and focus.
If this is your kind of sport, research local pitch sessions in your area or start your own Meetup.
For entrepreneurs in Chicago, SBAC Connects will be hosting a venture pitch session on September 18 with special keynote speaker Stephanie Neely, City of Chicago Treasurer. Learn more and RSVP here.
Posted By Adam Fridman