Pitch competitions are fast becoming very popular for those wishing to get cash for their start-up ventures. Dawn Dickson is one of those entrepreneurs. A recognized ?Pitch Queen,? she was invited to pitch at FashInvest in December 2013 in New York and May 2014 in Miami. And the list goes on from there.
She pitched at the NMAN Formation to Funding event in Silicon Valley in May 2014; she won the Tech Cocktail Pitch Competition in Miami in June 2014; and in July 2014, she won the Miller Lite ?Tap the Future? two-minute pitch competition in Miami. Add to that the ?Shark Attack? pitch competition in Atlanta, GA in October 2014. She also won second place in the REVOLT Music Conference pitch competition.
Recently, Dickson competed against three companies and took home the $25,000 cash prize at the Essence Festival 2015 for the PowerMovesNOLA ?Big Break? pitch competition.
Here, she spoke briefly to TNJ.com.
TNJ.com: Tell us about your company.
Dawn Dickson: Flat Out of Heels, LLC is the creator of the Flat Out rollable flat and the Flat Out shoe vending machine. Our rollable flats can be discretely carried for emergencies or worn all stay for stylish, durable comfort. Placed in venues like airports, nightclubs, malls and hotels, where many women are wearing heels, the vending machines make it convenient to get emergency shoes when needed. Step out of the high heels, slip into Flat Outs and go.
TNJ.com: How did you hear about the PowerMovesNOLA competition and what did you have to do to enter?
D. D.: The PowerMovesNOLA team traveled around the country to select the top minority entrepreneurs to participate in a pitch competition at the national conference and I was selected. It is by invitation only.
TNJ.com: Is this your first competition?
D. D.: No, I have participated in and won numerous competitions.
TNJ.com: How will the money help Flat Out of Heels?
D. D.: The $25,000 cash prize will help us in the areas of marketing, inventory and new distribution strategies.
TNJ.com: What are your immediate and future goals for the company?
D. D.: Our immediate goals are to increase our marketing efforts, build a new more robust e-commerce platform and drive more sales to the website, expand our distribution through vending and mobile retail and launch a new marketing campaign to include celebrities and influencers. ?
TNJ.com: What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
D. D.: My advice is to know your customer, your competition and your market inside and out. Never be discouraged by competition; find out what your competitors do right, what they do wrong and use it to make your product/service the best. And use Google Alerts to stay current on your industry and competitors.
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