Three Entrepreneurs Eliminated After Contestants Presented their Reworked Pitches
The competition is really heating up!
On this week’s episode of “Break Through The Crowd,” airing exclusively on ZEE Americas, the judges revealed the top finalists to compete in the final challenge. After contestants presented their newly-reworked 60-second pitches, only two entrepreneurs proved their concepts had the juice to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, bringing them that much closer to their business dreams. In the end, only one hopeful will “break through the crowd” and walk away with a team of prestigious marketing and crowdfunding experts.
On episodes 3 of “Break Through The Crowd,” Vikram Chopra of Gift Jeenie, Sachin Narode of Emangoz, David and Jenni of JumpDrum, Kishore and Vanessa of Nomad Lane, and Om Kundu of Inspirave worked with judge Alan Brody, Founder of Blockchain Breakthroughs, to improve their pitches and make them more appealing to investors. After hearing Alan’s suggestions, the semi-finalists were asked to critique one another – a curveball the judges hoped would shed light on some of the issues with their original concepts. While most of the contestants were eager to hear pointers for strengthening their business models, Om had a difficult time coming to grips that Inspirave had room to improve.
On Sunday’s episode, the remaining five semi-finalists were given another chance to pitch the investors – this time, armed with new insight and a different perspective. Kishore and Vanessa of Nomad Lane were the first contestants to present their refined 60-second pitch to the judges. Unlike the first time around, they boasted their impressive 25,000 in sales over the course of just a few short months in their new pitch. Kishore and Vanessa also put a greater emphasis on the elements that distinguish their business from other travel accessories, referring to Nomad Lane “a brand of premium travel accessories without the premium price tag.” Previously, the investors were concerned Nomad Lane lacked originality.
Sachin, whose business Emangoz delivers imported mangos from family farms in India right to U.S. doorsteps, was faced with one of the most difficult challenges. Despite having half-a-million in sales last year, the judges worried his business was not investable because mangos are only in-season a few months of the year. Though he briefly touched on his intent to add four new fruits to his business model, Sachin had a hard time explaining how he plans to do this through a crowdfunding campaign.
When David and Jenni first pitched JumpDrum, the judges were not sure how it would be profitable for investors. This time around, they took the judges’ advice to heart, reworking their model to expand their market to children by offering a scaled down size poised to be the “next toy craze.” Their new pitch also added a fitness studio/retail outlet flagship, where they hoped to pre-sell classes through in the final crowdfunding phase.
Initially, Vikram, who had measurable success with other startups he helped to create, had a difficult time swaying the judges that Gift Jeenie was an actual product – and not a feature. A top contender from the get-go, Vikram proved he was in it to win it, addressing many of those concerns by highlighting the incentives for users and the various avenues of revenue for investors.
Audiences probably had a difficult time sympathizing with Om, who clearly struggled throughout the entire season. Even after hearing feedback from the judges and his peers, Om was the only contestant who failed to make any real changes to his business model. While he did seem to have a new air of confidence when he delivered his second pitch, there were not any other notable upgrades to Inspirave’s conceptual design. Om, who had one of the weakest first pitches, similarly continued to have issues with being concise – even being cut-off by the judges after spilling over his allotted 60 seconds.
As deliberations ensued, the judges were faced with the most difficult elimination decisions yet. It would come as no surprise to “Break Through The Crowd” viewers that Om was the first of three semi-finalists to be eliminated on episode 4. But the following eliminations of Sachin of Emangos, and David and Jenni of Jump Drum, were bound to devastate viewers, who had been following their journeys – and progress – over the first half of the season.
Ultimately, the judges felt that David and Jenni did not think through their hook for the final crowdfunding challenge. They pointed out that consumers in California would have no real reason to invest in a flagship studio based in New York. These geographical challenges, the judges added, would make it difficult to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. And viewers everywhere were rooting for Sachin – the businessman with a heart who never took a profit from Emangoz sales. Though he impressed the judges with his leadership skills and philanthropic efforts, sadly, he simply could not prove that the business could “scale up.”
Tune in next week, on Sunday, November 11, to see the top two finalists – Vikram of Gift Jennie; and Kishore and Vanessa of Nomad Lane, begin preparing for the final crowdfunding challenge on “Break Through The Crowd.”
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