"Pitch U is great local accelerator program focused on putting together the right materials for investors and more importantly, how to present your pitch effectively. It was a unique networking opportunity to establish relationships with potential advisors and receive constructive feedback from accredited individuals. Being able to share ideas and stories with other entrepreneurs was also very fun and motivating experience!" Will Price, Serve Your City.
"When I started the 8 week course with Dianne, I had created an idea when driving one day. Spent a few hours on the concept. One of the people in the group wondered why I was even there. With all of the education, feedback from amazing speakers, a supportive group and Dianne making sure we stayed on track. I now have a product, website,
pitched to 5 investors and they like my concept. 8 weeks ago it was an idea. Today it is a business. Everything you learn in this course, will be yours for any other project, business you create in the future."
Heather Szasz My Puppy Box
'I quickly realized that there are so many entrepreneur programs and entrepreneur mentors in the Charleston area. I found Dr. Jim Wasson thru the SBA who is advising me and informed me of Pitch-U. As an entrepreneur, the skills of a good pitch are vital to your existence. So I met with Dianne, still unsure about this. She assured and encouraged me that this was the right thing for me to do. Now, I have always had a tremendous fear of public speaking. I signed up and was accepted into the 8 week intensive program at Pitch-U. When I got to the first class I was pleased that I was surrounded by 5 other intelligent, ambitious entrepreneurs and an extremely knowledgeable instructor, Dianne. Every week brought us more insight, as Dianne recruited the brightest successful entrepreneurs in the area to share their successes with us and put us on the right path to success. I keep in touch with many of them. For the first time in my life I couldn’t wait to get to a class! We became a strong group who encouraged each other every week. When it came time for us to finally pitch in front of real investors, I was never more confident in my life that I could not only do it, but do it well. Signing up for Pitch-U was by far the best decision that I have made since founding SmartStuff, Inc. I encourage everyone who has a dream of business success to contact Dianne and enroll in this class. The support is invaluable. Rick Day, SmartStuff
"Through the weeks of Pitch U, I progressed from having little idea that I really had a “product” to pitch to the reality that, yes, I do! Having Dianne Shaver as my business coach was invaluable through the process. Each week we learned from a terrific series of people who gave us awesome information and a different slant on how to formulate and deliver a pitch to investors. In between, Dianne spent her time with me pushing, well sometimes dragging me forward. It really wasn’t until about 5 weeks in that I began to believe I really did have a Big Idea and engaged in a new way. The turning point for all of us was the Trial Pitch before a real panel with feedback about the good things and not so good things about our pitch and questions typical of investors. I think all of us changed our pitch deck and our pitch around 70% overnight for a second run through, then more changes and practice for “What’s the Big Idea.”
Through the process, the 6 of us developed a bond that I believe is a long lasting one. Ann Beauchamp, DataMash
"Being part of Pitch U provides the opportunity to enter, understand and master the world of business capital acquisition. It's also a rewarding way to learn about that process with other new entrepreneurs who are going through the same doubts, fears and time pressures as you. Public speaking is unpleasant and difficult. Pitch U prepares you to meet these challenges. while getting to know other business leaders in a special, intimate way." Bob Rice, Modal BioTech
PITCH U CURRICULUM
Week 1 What investors look for: problem solved, business model, the team, the ask, the exit
Week 2 Your pitch deck - What should be included, what to leave out
Week 3 Your business model - revenue, growth potential, market, competition
Week 4 Working on business strengths, areas of improvement
Week 5 Presentation skills - how to do it like a pro
Week 6 Tightening up your deck and presentation
Week 7 Trial Pitch with expert panel
Week 8 Last run through (night before)
Week 8 What’s The Big Idea? pitch event
Pitch U Preps Entrepreneurs for Big Dance With Investors At What's the Big Idea?
By: Jennifer Johnston. reporter, The Daniel Island News
Dianne Shaver is a Destiny Coach. Though that might sound as improbable or elusive as a Fairy Godmother, her entrepreneurial chops, project portfolio, and street cred suggest it is, in fact, no make-believe moniker. And those attending the June 29 “What’s the Big Idea?” event at the Daniel Island Club will bear witness to the results of her multi-disciplinary wand-waving over seven local Cinderella stories.
To be sure, her business brawn yields more than ballroom attire and a snazzy ride to the soiree. As creator and CEO of Entrepreneur Mind World, Shaver publishes an online magazine with the same name, hosts the “It’s Your Business” radio show featuring guests from the Charleston business community, runs the “Pitch U” five-week intensive training program for start-ups, and creates a forum for entrepreneurs to pitch business plans to investors at several “What’s the Big Idea?” events throughout the year. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling/Coaching, teaches college-level classes to the business owners of tomorrow, and has been a “serial entrepreneur” since her mid-twenties.
Today, she is focused on sharing her practical powers with those just starting out. If staging entrepreneurs before a live investor audience is the royal ball, Shaver’s training curriculum is where the gourd turns into a carriage and the rags into couture. In late May, seven “Big Idea” hopefuls began their Pitch U journey. Every Wednesday for five weeks, participants receive coaching from a successful representative of local enterprise. Curriculum topics range from business model assessments to creating the “pitch deck” presentation, and Pitch U presenters come from a broad cross-section of business spaces, including software designers, consultants, and retailers.
On Wednesday, June 15, we sat in on a Pitch U class at the invitation of Coach Shaver. The guest speaker was Good Done Great president Earl Bridges, who co-founded the philanthropic-facilitating organization out of his Daniel Island home in 2009. Through strategic consulting supported by integrated software solutions, Good Done Great helps 80 Fortune 500 and other companies maximize their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. Good Done Great remains headquartered in Charleston (with offices in Tacoma, Washington; and Stuart, Florida), and was certified as a groundbreaking B Corp (for-profit business with a purpose to generate material positive societal or environmental change) in 2012.