A Behind-the-Scenes Look into Our Pitch Competition

4 min readApr 3, 2023
  • Winning a Startup Pitch Competition is Part of the Beginning of Greater Things to Come
Yari Carrizo, COO of TENNTS, during her pitch in the 24th edition of the Miami Herald Startup Pitch Competition.

Miami, Florida — April 3, 2023 — Winning a pitch competition can be a game-changer for any startup. It can mean securing funding, access to resources, and the validation of the business idea. However, what many people don’t see is the hard work and dedication that goes into preparing for a pitch competition. At TENNTS we foster transparency and we like to share with you a behind-the-scenes look at the work that no one sees when preparing for a pitch competition and ultimately winning the competition!

Our journey to developing the next-gen property management system started when AirBnB disrupted the real estate market with its sharing platform. Our co-founders, Yari Carrizo, and Daniel Detoni recognized the opportunity and saw a need to provide turnkey solutions to its users. The duo was among the first brokerages in Miami to support AirBnB when it was still considered a taboo concept in the industry. Since then, the team at TENNTS has worked consistently and pushed through a pandemic to develop a ready-to-launch minimum-viable product.

Believing that success is at the intersection of preparation and opportunity, TENNTS was prepared when the opportunity came along to participate in the Miami Herald Startup Pitch Competition. This competition is the oldest entrepreneurship challenge in South Florida. For the last 24 years, Miami Herald highlights startups leading the space in different sectors that enhance the city and elevate its innovation hub. The 2023 edition was presented by FIU Business and Blackstone LaunchPad with the goal “to ignite innovation and new business opportunities”. Realizing that being recognized with a distinguished prize requires more than grit, we share with you some of the processes we executed that ultimately landed us as winners of this year’s edition.

FIU Track and Community Track First Place trophies lined up at the 24th edition of the Miami Herald Startup Pitch Competition.

Research and Preparation

Before stepping on stage to deliver a pitch, the preparation process begins long before the event. A startup needs to research the competition, understand the judging criteria, and tailor their pitch to the audience. You will need to know your market, target audience, and competition. A comprehensive understanding of the industry and the problem you are solving is key!

Frontstage of the 2023 Miami Herald Startup Pitch Competition.

Practice and Rehearsal

Once the research is complete, as a startup, you will need to practice and rehearse your pitch until it is perfect. This means countless hours of practicing in front of a mirror, with a team, or in front of a panel of advisors. You must refine your messaging, delivery, and timing to ensure you are making the most of your time on stage.

Design and Visual Aids

Creating an impactful pitch deck is essential. You will need to create a compelling visual story that supports your message. This includes choosing the right fonts, color schemes, and images to showcase the product or service. Tip: A well-designed deck can make a difference!

Nerves and Confidence

Even the most experienced presenters get nervous before delivering a pitch. Managing nerves and maintaining confidence are critical. As a startup, you must be able to convey the message confidently and authentically. This requires a deep belief in your idea and the ability to articulate it effectively.

Networking and Follow-Up

Winning a pitch competition is just the beginning. You will need to follow up with judges, investors, and potential partners to build relationships and secure funding. Networking is an essential part of the process, and as a startup, you will need to leverage every opportunity to make connections and build relationships.

Keep in mind that being selected to participate is already a great win. Actually winning a pitch competition will be a testament to a lot of hard work and dedication. It requires research, practice, design, confidence, and networking. Startups must be willing to put in the work behind the scenes to make the most of their opportunity on stage. Ultimately, the rewards of winning a pitch competition can be life-changing for a startup, and the process is an essential part of the journey to success.




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