THE sky is quite literally the limit for daring entrepreneurs following the launch of Pitch Up in The Sky, the first elevator pitch event to require contestants to jump out of a plane for a chance to net more than R160 000 in seed funding.
A partnership between short-form video platform TikTok in partnership the Gritti Fund, a “happiness-focused” investment fund, the event is described as “the ultimate elevator pitch for daring entrepreneurs who can overcome their fears and stay cool under pressure”.
Boniswa Sidwaba, TikTok Content Operations Manager, Africa said the funding initiative will provide African entrepreneurs with the opportunity to compete for a $10,000 (R164 000) investment and one-year mentorship from the Gritti Fund. In addition, three finalists will be awarded “the once in a lifetime chance” to skydive in Dubai, while simultaneously completing their winning elevator pitches.
An expert panel will judge entries and give exclusive personal interviews throughout the event about the challenges that lead to their success. It will feature leading entrepreneurs and venture capitalists including Founding Executive of Netflix, Mitch Lowe; first investor in Zoom, Bill Tai; and inventor of Google Maps, Lars Rasmussen.
According to Sidwaba, the finale on 17 October aims to be the most live-streamed start-up pitch event in history.
Now open to all founders of early-stage start-ups in Africa and the Middle East until 24 September 2020, entrepreneurs can apply to pitchupinthesky.com by submitting a one-minute TikTok video pitch using the platform’s video editing tools and tagging #PitchUpInTheSky.
“Through this event, we aim to support our local community of budding entrepreneurs by providing them with the opportunity to creatively express their ideas with the possibility that those ideas may materialise,” Sidwaba said.
Marcel Muenster, Founder of The Gritti Fund, said the partnership with TikTok not only provides locals with access to a network of experienced entrepreneurs but also a global platform on which they can share their ideas.
“Growing your network is one thing, but TikTok does something more valuable – it gives entrepreneurs an unprecedented amount of visibility which is crucial at an early stage of the company building process,” Muenster said.
As part of the initiative, local TikTok users will be able to view the pitches tagged #PitchUpInTheSky as well as interviews with the judging panel of world-famous entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, giving entrants and TikTok users insight on their personal challenges and successes.