[Re]Verse Pitch Mentoring: What to Expect

Thank you for volunteering your time to mentor competitors in the [Re]Verse Pitch Competition! Here’s what to expect in the competition and when to expect it:

Now- January 17: Learn About the Byproducts & Let Us Know Your Availability

Look at the byproduct materials videos and information available online at http://reversepitch.org.

Depending on the level of participation by competitors/entrepreneurs in this event, we may need mentors to mentor more than 1 competitor. Please let us know before January 17 how many competitors you are willing to mentor (assume 5-7 hours of mentoring time between January 23 and March 7 per competitor mentored).

Week of January 17: Prepare HeroX Account

Create your HeroX account, so you’ll be ready to review competitors’ repurposing ideas. To create an account, click the BECOME A HERO link at the top of the [Re]Verse Pitch 2018 page. Then click the ‘new user’ hyperlink. Create your account by entering your first name, last name, email and password. It’s totally free to create a HeroX account.

If you have any trouble creating an account, please contact Lance McNeill with the Small Business Program:


January 17: Opening Pitch

We hope you’ll attend the opening pitch event at Atlassian, 6:30-8:30 pm, to hear from material generators about the byproducts with which your mentees will be creating their new business concepts. Competitors will have the chance to ask questions of the material generators and network with you and the material suppliers at the event.

January 25: Upload Short Description & Mentor Request

By January 25, competitors will post short description of their idea and mentorship requests on HeroX. Competitors may request a specific mentor or request specific expertise areas (sales, manufacturing, marketing, etc.). 

At this stage, competitors may post more than one idea description and those can be concepts that deal with multiple materials. However, each entrepreneur will be matched with one mentor only, not with one mentor per idea submitted.

January 26: Mentee Match

You’ll be matched with your mentee by this date through an email introduction.

January 26-February 20: Refine Your Concept & Craft Your Pitch

You and your mentee will schedule mentoring sessions over these weeks to refine their business idea(s). We ask that you give at least 5 hours of mentoring time but feel free to meet more often or provide more feedback if your schedule allows.

During this time your mentees also have access to the expertise of our technical advisors. Advisors will be invited to weigh in independently with advice through HeroX, and competitors can also reach out to individuals to ask specific questions about the environmental impacts, address technical concerns, get creative/aesthetic advice, etc. Use the Judging Criteria and your Mentor Guidebook  to guide the refinement process.

February 12: Group Mentoring Session

The [Re]verse Pitch Group Mentoring Session will help [Re]verse Pitch competitors prepare for their in-person pitch presentations. Competitors will work with mentors in a facilitated group discussion. They should leave the session more confident in how they will articulate their value propositions, customer segments and social impact. We will need a handful of mentors to volunteer for this session. If you are interested, please contact Lance McNeill at lance.mcneill@austintexas.gov. View event details here with password "reverse2018."

February 20: Finalist Application Deadline

In order to be considered as a finalist and pitch on March 7th, your mentee’s must submit a finalist application on HeroX by this date. At this stage, your mentee will be asked to fill out specific questions relating to the Judging Criteria

Finalist application scores will be comprised of the following (40 points max):

  1. The average judge score, using the Judging Criteria
  2. The material difficulty bonus points. Because there are varying degrees of difficulty related to repurposing the materials in the competition, points will be awarded to those competitors who proposes to repurpose a more challenging item, as follows:
    1. Pressboard Furniture: 5 points
    2. Oyster Shells: 4 points
    3. Wet stillage: 3 points
    4. PVC records: 2 points
    5. Safety straps: 1 points

February 21-22: Finalist Selection

Judges will vote for the best ideas to become finalists, using the Judging Criteria. Judges will base their votes on the materials and information competitors upload to HeroX.

February 23- Finalists Announced

The selections of finalists will be announced.

February 23-March 6: Practice The Pitch

If your mentee(s) is/are selected as a finalist, you will work with them to refine & practice their 6-minute pitch. They'll utilize a Slide Deck Template to craft the presentation.

 March 1: Final Pitch Rehearsal

All finalists will gather for a rehearsal of the final pitch event where they will have a chance to practice their pitches and receive feedback.

March 7: Final Pitch Event

Finalists will pitch their business concepts to our judging panel and audience members at our final event. Please review the Judging Criteria which will be used to choose the winners of the Innovation Prizes. All pitches will be videoed and uploaded to http://reversepitch.org after the event.

Finalists will have 6 minutes to pitch, and should address each of the judging criteria areas. Judges will have 4 minutes for Q&A. The winners will be announced at the event.