What is Required to be an Organizer?

Local organizers who are hosting a pitch should understand and have ability to invest a reasonable amount of time in promotions, communications, and follow-up with a designated leader of the Road Pitch riders and the participating entrepreneurs as well as logistics, such as reserving appropriate parking space for the motorcycles (30-40).

Local hosts are required to plan and organize a pitch session where the Road Pitch riders will stop at a prearranged date and time and listen to a minimum of three pitches and a maximum of five pitches from local entrepreneurs and businesses. For 2017 the local planning includes running a screening and selection process to source the best local and regional opportunities to present to the riders.

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Details for 2017 Organizers

  1. We intend to award a “riders’ choice prize” at each of our stops which will consist of a $500 prize and a Vermont Teddy Bear “biker bear.”  We will write a check to the winner on the spot and present the teddy bear.  This is a great photo opportunity for the local press.  Note that local towns can award their own prizes on top of our prize or in addition to our prize.  We have had towns give a “peoples’ choice” award for instance which was voted on by the non-rider audience.
  2. We will need to set up our “event poster” at each event which lists our statewide sponsors.  We will bring a tripod to display the poster and ask that you give us space in  a prominent location to set up the tripod and display the poster
  3. We are again planning to invite each of the local riders’ choice prize winners to come to Burlington in October a statewide “pitch-off” and celebration to be held at and hosted by Champlain College. We intend to award a Grand Prize of at least $4,000 to the winner and we intend that the winner can call on the riders as needed for mentoring services until October of 2018. It will be important as part of your screening process to identify whether or not your pitch companies are willing and able to come to Burlington in October should they be chosen as the local rider’s choice winner.   Note that the statewide pitch off is open to the public and we also encourage local organizers and non-winning teams to join us as spectators for the event.
  4. We strongly suggest that you begin publicizing your event and encouraging teams and entrepreneurs and companies to apply.  In order to get five solid presenters for the final event you probably have to start with an applicant pool of 15 or 20 and winnow them down.  You should probably encourage applications through early June then make your final selections before July 1st so you have some time to coach your finalists during the month of July.  We also suggest if possible that you hold a dry run prior to the event to allow all teams to get the butterflies out of their system and have a chance for some final feedback.
  5. We strongly suggest that you open your pitch event venue to the general public on the day of the event and publicize the event to encourage the public to attend.  It gives the event an air of festivity and many public attendees can become great advocates for the finalists.
  6. On the days of the events note that all the riders will have rain gear and we plan to ride in the rain but there are a few things that will throw us off schedule and force a stop: lightning, hail and truly severe weather (which some of us had on our way to Bennington last year!).  A long term severe weather event (such as a hurricane) will force a more permanent change of plans.  Obviously we will have plenty of notice if a hurricane is coming along. For other severe events that pop up on the day of the event, and which put us more than 15 minutes behind schedule we will give you a call to let you know what is happening.
Picture of motorcyclists stopped at a traffic light

Additional Information

Interested in becoming a local host for future Road Pitch sites? You can download our requirements document for 2016. Please note that some details, dates, and specifications may change for 2018. However, this will give you a good sense of what’s involved for our Road Pitch organizers.

“Here in Grand Isle, Road Pitch offers us a superb opportunity to showcase innovative entrepreneurs to an eclectic group of investors, at a festive summer venue with an audience of friends. In this scenario, Everybody wins!”

– Jan Marinelli
Executive Director
Lake Champlain Islands Economic Development Corporation