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The official Motribe blog, written by the founders

October 10

TWiST (This Week in Startups) is a live internet show that allows startups from around the world to pitch to Jason Calacanis. If you don’t know who Jason is (@jason) then you can check out his wikipedia page. In short, he’s an investor, blogger and entrepreneur in the US.

Straight from the This Week In website:

ThisWeekIn, Inc. is a web television network covering a wide variety of topics from tech to entertainment. Produced out of our Santa Monica studio, our web shows feature guest experts, founders, movie stars, comedians, technologists and CEO’s — all keeping you up to speed on what’s happening this week with a fast and funny style. Informative and entertaining, ThisWeekIn is the place for whatever your interests may be.

So basically the evening started with 10 startups who pitched to a crowd in attendance at the Bandwidth Barn. Each startup spoke for 3 minutes. This was my first point of pain. I spoke for three minutes, exactly, to the second yet some of the others were allowed to speak for way more. The environment of the event is a competition and in competitive arenas the rules need to be adhered to.

(Side note: I think this is some what of a larger issue in the local tech industry right now, things are all jovial, fun and not all that serious. People expect not to be taken to task for fucking up, startups expect to succeed ’cause they are branding themselves as startups. That’s not the way it works. This is a fundamental problem in my eyes. Startups are serious business for those involved, it’s my livelyhood and you’re messing with if you mess around. The TWiST event is a competition with a declared winner, stick to the rules.)

The selected startups, in order, were:

To Jason’s credit he pushed to get through all 6 of us and normally the show only has 3 startups.

At this point I should also commend Tyrone who organised the event. However, he mentions in his introduction with Jason that South Africa is “behind” and we’re trying hard to make it work. I was a bit offended by that statement and think that there are a million ways to represent us as a country, that wasn’t one of them.

To cut a long story short: each startup pitches to Jason and Tyler for 60 seconds (Again not very hard and fast) and then Jason and Tyler give each startup a score out of ten for Business and Presentation. I was given a relatively hard time about my presentation and Jason had some good comments. I was told to be more personal, include a personal anecdote or story of some kind to engage with the audience. That’s a really good point and one I will be including in my future presentations. A piece of personal advice to startup founders - if you are pitching your company over and over again, try to mix it up, keep it fresh and have 3 or 4 different presentations that you use otherwise you become bored with the content no matter how excited you are about your company.

In spite of my presentation not going as well as I had wanted, Jason and Tyler immediately understood what we do here at Motribe and the value of our services. My presentation was given a solid 7 from Jason and Tyler and the business we have built a good 8 out of 10 (Calacanis rates Facebook and Apple at a 10 out of 10).

All in all I was happy with the outcome and performance of Motribe.

I do need to make mention of the star of the show: Mobiflock. Vanessa did a brilliant job of pitching her amazing company and went on to win the event. Congrats!

The video of the entire show is below. If you’re looking to skip ahead to the Motribe pitch go to minute 24.