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Startup Week Detroit: Mob Pitches

  • Invest Detroit Ventures 4219 Woodward Avenue (#300) Detroit, MI, 48201 United States (map)

"Startup Week™ brings entrepreneurs, local leaders, and friends together over five days to build momentum and opportunity around your community’s unique entrepreneurial identity. Join in a celebration led by entrepreneurs and hosted in the entrepreneurial spaces you love." via Tech Stars

Over the course of five days, Detroit Startup Week takes over the entrepreneurial community. Between the dates of May 23rd and May 27th, 100+ events and 1500+ event attendees collide over verticals of foodpreneurship, tech, music, lifestyle business, art, startup basis ... you name it, it's probably a part of Startup Week. 

In collaboration with Detroit Startup Week, we are opening our doors and hosting an event called Mob Pitches. Mob Pitches is an audience interactive pitch event that offers thoughtful feedback to startups. Members of the audience or the "mob" engages with the startup as if they valued potential customers, partners, and financiers.

Mob Pitches spun out from the idea that every single pitch event offers a chance to win some money and make connections but non really offer thoughtful feedback from an engaged audience. 

Here's how the event really works:

Step 1:
The “Mob Bosses” will select 2 start-ups per event, looking for interesting companies at a crossroads in the lifecycle of their business.        

Step 2:
A week before the event a Boss will work with each startup, helping with the pitch and building custom questionnaires. This questionnaire will be tailored to each company and to the problems they face. What’s my go-to-market strategy? What are some ideas for monetization? Etc.      

Step 3:
On the day of the event each company will give a 7-minute pitch.                  

Step 4:
After the pitch the mob is given 5 silent minutes to think deeply about the questions and fill out the questionnaire.      

Step 5:
A brief period of Q&A to induce more critical thinking and quality feedback. 

Step 6:
A 15-minute group discussion session where groups are asked to fill out a group questionnaire. *Entrepreneurs are encouraged to work the room during this time to answer questions.

Step 7:
After all startups have gone through this entire cycle, The questionnaires will be collected and curated by the Bosses.

Step 8:
Finally, the Bosses will direct the Mob to a final online questionnaire to complete on their own time. This questionnaire will focus on the event as a whole.

Step 9:
The Mob Bosses will schedule a final meeting with the startup. The entire stack of questionnaires will be given to the founder, additionally the Bosses will curate the responses and discuss the analysis with the founder.

Step 10:
After they have had a chance to review the feedback, founders will report the three most impactful "mobsters" to the bosses, so a "Most Wanted" list can be made and distributed.