Rocket Pitch

Some call us crazy for giving $100 to students every week, but we think you’d be crazy not to try and win it. Come check it out every Friday at 2 PM in the Hub.

Ferguson Ventures Logo

Sponsored by Ferguson Ventures

Wait! I don’t know what I’m doing…

All good. Most people come watch a few Rocket Pitches or meet with a coach before they pitch themselves. That said, Rocket Pitch is meant to be low pressure. If you come up with an idea half way through the event, we encourage you to pitch it anyways.

What is a Rocket Pitch?

A 120-second, fast-paced pitch that have 4 key tenants:

1. The Problem

All great products solve problems. Your problem can be something you’ve personally faced, something your Aunt Susan has been complaining about, or something much, much bigger.

2. The Addressable Market

The best Rocket Pitches aim at solving a problem that a large market can identify with. This is a great time to mention market statistics, like how many people are affected, how much money is in the market, and where the market is headed.

3. The Current Solutions

More often than not, someone else will also be trying to solve the problem you’re addressing. Tell us what their solution leaves out and why that’s a problem.

4. Your Solution

You’ve laid a great foundation for us, so now tell us what you’re going to build. If you’re further along in the process, tell us how it has evolved and what’s coming next. And though it is by no means a requirement, a clever name never hurts.

1. The Problem

All great products solve problems. Your problem can be something you’ve personally faced, something your Aunt Susan has been complaining about, or something much, much bigger.

2. The Addressable Market

So while you are encouraged to bring us all of your problems, the best rocket pitches aim at solving a problem that a large market can identify with. This is a great time to mention market statistics like how many people are affected, how much money is in the market, and where the market is headed.

3. The Current Solutions

More often than not, someone else will also be trying to solve the problem you are addressing. Tell us what their solution leaves out and why that is a problem.

4. Your Solution

You’ve laid a great foundation for us, so now tell us what you’re going to build. If you’re further along in the process, tell us how it has evolved and what’s coming next. And though it is by no means a requirement, a clever name never hurts.

Williamsburg Rides: An Example Rocket Pitch

This is a very simple, entry-level pitch. Depending on the competition, it might pull out a victory, but it would most likely receive advice in regard to the market size and competition. If you’re lacking an idea, come pitch this one—it’s a great way to test the waters and see how it works.

1

Find a Problem

William & Mary's public transportation is not reliable and is not available when students need it.
2

How Big is the Market?

William & Mary is home to about 8,740 students. While some are commuters, most students live on campus. Furthermore, transportation has exploded in the startup world over the past 10 years. Uber and Lyft have a combined value of about $135 billion.
3

The Current Solutions

W&M and the city of Williamsburg work together to provide students with the Green Line, but a large portion of students cannot use it. It's unreliable, only runs every 45 minutes, and is not available for students after 9 PM, stopping much earlier than what those going out to bars need.
4

The Solution

Williamsburg should rid itself of the Green Line entirely. Using the money saved, W&M and the city itself would be able to partner with local businesses to offer highly discounted Uber & Lyft rides. Students would be alloted a small sum of money for the ride sharing apps each semester, the government would receive data on which parts of Williamsburg are most appealing to students, and everyone would get home safely. Join me in telling Williamsburg to green light my idea and cut the Green Line out entirely.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Can I come if I don’t have an idea?

Of course! Most people watch as an audience member for a few weeks before they pitch. You are always welcome to come hang out, see what people are working on, and offer any advice you have.

How am I supposed to do this in 120 seconds?

It’s tough, but that’s the point. The 2 minute limit is in place to force you to think through the entire problem and solution. It’s easy to ramble, but to fit everything in that time frame, pitchers usually know their stuff.

That said, don’t let the time limit be the thing keeping you from pitching! The best way to beat the clock is by practicing. After every pitch, we’ll give you feedback as to what went well, what you can cut out, and what needs to stay.

What happens if my pitch is bad?

Your pitch won’t be bad! And we love seeing students come back week after week. You are always welcome to pitch the same idea twice (or 3 times!) — improving is the whole point.

What do I do with my winnings?

You’re allowed to do whatever you’d like with your winnings. If you want to celebrate with pizza, go for it. The most dedicated Rocket Pitchers use their winnings to continue their venture. Following a win, our Community Director will reach out, and if you’re interested, they’ll pair you with a mentor. You’ll be able to watch your idea grow into something tangible — it’s quite exciting.

Rocket Pitch is Open to Everyone,

but Members get Points for Attending & Pitching.

Become a Member