I visited BBC Labs this week to help entrepreneurs pitch to internal departments. I have reason to believe a great time was had by all.
First, it's wonderful model with which to adapt technology within a large business. Rather than offering the companies debt (most often known as "investment"), BBC Labs offers the companies office space and the chance to win a client in one of its departments looking for new tech strategies. Revenue is hard to come by. Debt they can get anywhere.
See some of BBC Labs entrepreneurs' results, even at this early stage in its development.
Second, the companies were all innovative, smart, and enough along in their product to offer something of value to the markets. That's a hard thing to say about the choices made by an incubator, let alone an office space provider.
I had only an hour and a half with the group, most of whom hadn't had the kind of pitch training for clients that I offer. I'm not sure why that is exactly -- to me it's rather common sense. Everyone watched as teams got practice with feedback, one by one. I focused on different issues for each, depending on the need.
The speed with which we worked created an intense room, but there was also a lot of laughter.
I felt quite honored when Jenny Fielding, Head of Digital Ventures at BBC Worldwide, wrote:
thank you for yesterday - it was great. I caught up with everyone later
in the day and they were all super impressed / appreciative. Let's see
how they do today on round two...
This is the kind note I received from Hannah Blake, the organiser:
Annette - THANK YOU!
You were absolutely fantastic and we all feel so inspired.
To both of you, I'd like to say the feeling is absolutely mutual. I'd come back anytime.