Category Archives: Uncategorized

What’s the Best Way to Nail Your Pitch? Tell a Great Story


What’s the Best Way to Nail Your Pitch? Tell a Great Story

Every day, worthy business ideas don’t get funded because startups fail to inspire investors with their pitches. Bogged down with details or lacking a clear explanations of critical concepts, presentations often don’t communicate an overarching vision. Without hearing that passion, investors struggle to understand why they should care.

To avoid giving a lackluster pitch, it’s important to learn how to tell a really great story. Analogies, metaphors, and examples all serve to illustrate how your solution meets customer needs and fills a gap in the market without inundating listeners with facts and figures. Here are some pointers for telling your brand’s story so that you can stand out from the crowd, engage investors, and win them over.

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Top 3 Hurdles Female Entrepreneurs Face When Looking for Funding



In 2015 female entrepreneurs in the United States ran upwards of 30 percent of the small businesses. Despite their impressive role in the economy, women-owned firms received a disproportionate percentage of venture capital investment money. According to a recent report from Female Founders Fund, of the 200+ Bay Area startups that received series A funding in 2015 of between $3 – $5 million, a mere 8 percent were lead by women. This percentage wasn’t much better in other states nationwide. Women-led firms in New York received a paltry 13 percent.

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.CO Icons & Innovators: Thomas Debass


CO Icons & Innovators_Debass

The .CO Icons & Innovators Series showcases interviews with the big thinkers, crazy dreamers, rule breakers and risk takers who spend their days breaking through boundaries, creating new possibilities, and transforming current realities to build the future online – on .CO, of course!

Who is Thomas Debass?

I’m the Managing Director of the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships in the U.S. Department of State. The office is essentially a public private partnership incubator/accelerator that fosters collaborations aiming to address wicked global problems or enhance U.S. diplomatic and development efforts around the world. I am powered by 4G (loving wife and three daughters). Outside of my day job, I run CoderDojo Northern Virginia, a volunteer-driven community coding club for kids, and serve as the Founding Dean of the Northern Virginia Chapter of The Awesome Foundation.

What are you trying to do in your work?

Global challenges are no longer the sole burden or responsibility of governments. These challenges require unprecedented collaborations across borders and sectors to create effective solutions.

We’re seeing corporations, foundations, civil society groups, and even startups playing an increasing role in diplomacy and development efforts around the world. With that context, my job is to promote the possibility that 1+1>2. We connect dots to make bold lines between unlikely partners and thereby find unexpected solutions (check out P3.CO). We initiate new partnerships as well as incubate ideas from outside. Our “startups” are designed to address major global challenges as well as bridge understanding and friendships among countries.

What does innovation mean to you? 

To put it simply: Innovation is a lethal weapon against poverty of imagination.

Why .CO? 

.CO is a quintessential public private partnership with domain roots in Colombia.  Our entire diplomacy model is promoting .COllaboration and .COoperation; and our partnerships have benefited from memorable .COol names:,,,, and now

What’s next for you?

Global challenges, such as climate change and oceans (check out, offer unique opportunities to the startup community, as they are ripe for disruption.  We’re making increased efforts to work with American startups/entrepreneurs; and connect them with their counterparts (check out and around the world. Startups have great potential to be engine of growth and they can help bridge understanding across borders. Founders and innovators are the new breed of diplomats and dealmakers who are representing the best and brightest of America.

In Startups We Trust.


SXSW 2016: The Wrap Up


Another SXSW has come and gone! Our heads are still spinning from the excitement and we’re still catching up on our sleep, but we couldn’t wait to tell you about our time in Austin during SXSW 2016.

To kick off our time in Austin, Friday night we hosted 100 of our COmmunity members at our Happy Hour event on at The Backspace, where our .COers were treated to delicious pizza, beer and lots of .CO swag. We loved meeting so many of our COmmunity members and hearing all about their #startuplife journeys!

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Saturday we were able to attend several conference sessions and hear industry experts share their insights on a host of different topics. We walked away feeling inspired and energized.

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Steve Case and Frank Gruber

We also awarded a few lucky .COers with their very own conference badges–, and all got hooked up with gold badges.

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 4.35.01 PM showing off their SXSW badges 


The IADB team

On Saturday night, our wonderful partner, Springboard ( hosted a lovely dinner that we were lucky enough to attend. Springboard is a highly-vetted expert network of innovators, investors and influencers who are dedicated to building high-growth technology-oriented companies led by women.

It was inspiring to be in a room with so many brilliant minds including Springboard Chairman Kay Koplovitz, author of Been There, Run That – a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs.


Yummy .CO cupcakes at the Springboard dinner

Sunday afternoon we were thrilled to be a part of Springboard & New York Fashion Tech Lab’s exciting Dolphin Tank event, where selected startups pitched and received feedback from industry thought leaders and judges.

Two fashion-focused .COers—EverApp and TrendAnalytics—both gave remarkable pitches to a packed crowd. is an exciting new service that allows consumers to discover and purchase anything they discover in videos they view. We were also impressed by merchandise intelligence startup—whose Dolphin Tank pitch left a strong impression on everyone in attendance. We look forward to following the success of both of these fashion-tech rising stars.

everapp pitching

EverApp pitching at Dolphin Tank


Trendanalytics pitching at Dolphin Tank

We closed out the weekend at the Startup Celebration where 28 of the most talked about startups from across the globe showcased. .COers Trago, IADB and InstaVR all gave stellar pitches. It was definitely one of the hottest parties at SXSW (the massive line down 6th Street says it all). It was an awesome night—and the perfect way to close out another amazing SXSW!

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Massive line outside the Startup Celebration

There’s nothing we love more than promoting and supporting all of the brilliant ideas that are coming to life on .CO. Through the Happy Hour, the badges we gave .CO-ers and the pitch opportunities we provided, we hope our COmmunity members felt the .CO love!