DemoCamp Toronto 20

Leila at DemoCamp Toronto 19
It’s time again for another DemoCamp Toronto. It’s our fine china anniversary! Everyone bring Wedgewood. Or are we doing the modern equivalent, bring platinum.

This time it is happening on May 25, 2009. The location will be announced at a later date.

Who should attend?

DemoCamp Toronto is a show-and-tell for Toronto’s entrepreneurial developers, designers, and marketers. The goal is to see new technology, meet other interesting in emerging technology, early-stage companies, and making Toronto a better place.

Important Details

Format Changes

There will be 3 types of presentations.

  1. Demos – limited to 5 minutes and limited to 2 slides
  2. Pitches – 15-20 slides limited to 5 minutes must cover 15 slides in Pitch Coach
  3. Ignite – structured slide format, 20 slides by 15 seconds/slide = 5 minutes

We’re also open to 5 minute pitches from local startups looking to get feedback about their idea and company. The Pitches will be a structured format, i.e., you can guess that pitches will be 15-20 slides. Pitches will also be limited to 5 minutes. Feedback will be provided by a set of Toronto luminaries, followed by questions from the audience.

Sponsors

Why do we need sponsors? What are community sponsors? Where are the free tickets?

All very important questions. Sponsor tickets are available through EventBrite. I don’t know about you, but an event between 6pm-9pm is right during the dining hours for me. We like to provide pizza to help offset the beverages (aka social lubricant). Sponsorship dollars will be put towards the event costs.

There are free tickets. However, in an effort to continue to keep these tickets available, they will be announced a few days before the event. What we don’t want is a land grab, we’re trying to encourage a strong sense of community through participation. The best way to guarantee you spot is to apply to present.

Corporate sponsor tickets

  • Logo on event materials including DemoCamp.com web and presentation
  • 2 tickets to attend

Personal sponsor tickets

  • Logo or thumbnail on event materials including DemoCamp.com web and presentation
  • 2 tickets to attend

Community donation

  • Help pay for pizza

What: DemoCamp Toronto 20
DemoCamp is a show-and-tell for Toronto’s geeks, enterpreneurs and designers. It is an evening of cocktails and good technology.
When: Monday, May 25, 2009 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Where: TBD
Toronto, ON   Canada

23 thoughts on “DemoCamp Toronto 20

  1. Tim Smith

    “Pitches – 15-20 slides limited to 5 minutes – must cover 15 slides in Pitch Coach”

    Doesn’t requiring a _minimum_ number of slides fly in the face of presentation best practices? Sometimes it requires more than 15-20 seconds per slide to convey a meaningful and novel idea. Ignite may make it easier for nervous presenters by distracting from their nervousness with all that flicky-flicky, but anything less than a minute per slide will only get in the way of a good presenter and a meaningful presentation.

    Reply
  2. Tim Smith

    “Pitches – 15-20 slides limited to 5 minutes – must cover 15 slides in Pitch Coach”

    Doesn’t requiring a _minimum_ number of slides fly in the face of presentation best practices? Sometimes it requires more than 15-20 seconds per slide to convey a meaningful and novel idea. Ignite may make it easier for nervous presenters by distracting from their nervousness with all that flicky-flicky, but anything less than a minute per slide will only get in the way of a good presenter and a meaningful presentation.

    Reply
  3. Geoffrey Wiseman

    Oh, I very much diagree. Anything close to a minute per slide probably means you have way, way, way too much content on a slide.

    Now if you’re arguing that a presenter might want to talk without supporting slides much, I could accept that — but if you’re trying to cover the PitchCoatch material, slides aren’t a bad way to go.

    Reply
  4. Geoffrey Wiseman

    Oh, I very much diagree. Anything close to a minute per slide probably means you have way, way, way too much content on a slide.

    Now if you’re arguing that a presenter might want to talk without supporting slides much, I could accept that — but if you’re trying to cover the PitchCoatch material, slides aren’t a bad way to go.

    Reply
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  6. Tim Smith

    The Pitch Coach outline is obviously meant to be covered in the 25-30 minutes that are standard for an investment pitch meeting.

    It’s not about having “too much content on a slide”. It’s about telling a story. How am I supposed to tell my customer’s story in 15 seconds? If my solution is anything more complex than “ice cream eating gloves” it’s not going to happen.

    Trying to shoehorn an entire 15 slide investment pitch into 5 minutes is an effort Doomed To Fail. Cut down the format or prepare for meaningless (but perhaps entertaining) presentations.

    Reply
  7. Tim Smith

    The Pitch Coach outline is obviously meant to be covered in the 25-30 minutes that are standard for an investment pitch meeting.

    It’s not about having “too much content on a slide”. It’s about telling a story. How am I supposed to tell my customer’s story in 15 seconds? If my solution is anything more complex than “ice cream eating gloves” it’s not going to happen.

    Trying to shoehorn an entire 15 slide investment pitch into 5 minutes is an effort Doomed To Fail. Cut down the format or prepare for meaningless (but perhaps entertaining) presentations.

    Reply
  8. davidcrow

    @Tim Smith,

    1. There is nothing that says your talk track must follow the slides.
    2. You don’t like the rules, but I don’t see any creative attempts to use the rules to your advantage.
    3. You have not offer any suggestions beyond breaking the 5 minute rule to alter the presentation format.

    The 5 minute rule is in place for a very good reason. There are many entrepreneurs that can not succintly describe the problem they solve, the opportunity, their solution, why they are the horse to bet on, and what they are looking for by presenting. Five minutes is a limitations whereby if the presenter is horrible, and we’ve seen our share of horrible presenters, they are removed and the show goes on. No harm to most of the audience.

    Reply
    1. Tim Smith

      @David Crow,

      1. See the event posting: "must cover 15 slides in Pitch Coach" – that doesn't seem very ambiguous, unless you are suggesting that presenters should talk about one thing while their slide deck plays on, on divergent topics, in the background.
      2. That's because I think the rules are inherently counter-productive, despite any "creative attempts" to circumvent them.
      3. I think my first post pretty clearly made a suggestion: don't require a minimum number of slides. Quote from my second post: "Cut down the format". You'll notice that I never mention "breaking the 5 minute rule", despite your assertion to the contrary.

      I'm left with a feeling that your comment is a knee-jerk reply rather than an honest attempt at discussion.

      Reply
      1. davidcrow

        @Tim Smith

        1. Slides and talk tracks are independent. There is nothing in the rules that says your story must be told only using words or concepts on your slides. The slides are there to support the story you are telling.

        2. Your opinion is duly noted.

        3. You are correct, I inferred from your "anything less than a minute per slide" and the existing rule of 15-20 slides rule tyou were suggesting a 15-20 minute presentation. My apologies.

        Reply
      2. davidcrow

        So your recommendation is "don't require a minimum number of slides" and "Cut down the format". Thanks for the great insight. Which slides out of the proposed 15 would you recommend not get covered in a pitch?

        The great benefit of the format of the Ignite presentations is to allow for fun, engaging presentations. Slightly different than the end result of a pitch. But since there isn't anyone watching these pitches with a cheque book in hand. The goal must be value to the audience http://davidcrow.ca/article/1462/value-to-the-aud

        So in terms of a pitch you need to answer:

        * Vision
        * Market Opportunity
        * Product/Service
        * Customer
        * Value Proposition
        * Management Team
        * Revenue Model
        * Stage of Development
        * Fund Raising
        * Competition
        * Partnerships
        * Other key assumptions

        And low and behold a real suggestion for how go from 15 to 12.

        Reply
        1. Tim Smith

          "So your recommendation is "don't require a minimum number of slides" and "Cut down the format". Thanks for the great insight."

          My insight is that a deck format meant for a 25 minute presentation won't scale down to a 5 minute presentation – something I thought would be obvious when pointed out. I usually appreciate sarcasm, but not when it's unintentionally self-deprecating.

          "Which slides out of the proposed 15 would you recommend not get covered in a pitch?"

          I'd recommend against deck format requirements altogether, for the pitch component of DC20. If anything, I'd recommend that the organizers require content, not slide count. There are two recent examples of this in practice:

          1) The MaRS ENT101 Up-Start competition is a 10 minute presentation format, and requires presenters to satisfactorily answer the following questions before presenting:
          – Has the presentation clearly articulated the value proposition?
          – Has the presentation demonstrated competitive differentiation/intellectual capital?
          – Has the presentation demonstrated a business model that makes money?
          – Has the presentation demonstrated market awareness?
          See http://www.marsdd.com/Events/Event-Calendar/Ent10

          2) The Discovery09 elevator pitch competition is a five minute format, and requires presenters to address the following before presenting:
          – Describe the product or service and its underlying technology
          – What is the market need – what is the value proposition to your intended customers?
          – What is the sustainable competitive advantage of your product or service?
          – Describe the market and market size.
          – What is your market entry strategy?
          See _your own posting_ at http://www.startupnorth.ca/2009/03/27/oce-elevato

          Circumventing deck format requirements by talking about one thing while showing another thing on the projector is a sure-fire way to distract the audience from your message; that's negative "value to the audience". You say that "there isn't anyone watching these pitches with a cheque book in hand". Then what is the value of having a full pitch deck?

          I recognize that the pitch segment is new to DC, and thus the first iteration will be a learning experience; the organizers need to ask themselves what the intended outcome is from the perspectives of both the presenter and the audience. Is it a "teaser" meant to induce follow-ups from VCs? Is it a feedback mechanism for early-early-stage businesses? Is it to show off cool up-and-coming local start-ups? Each of these purposes requires a different presentation, and a one-size-fits-all approach won't work within a five minute timeframe.

          Reply
  9. David Crow

    @Tim Smith,

    1. There is nothing that says your talk track must follow the slides.
    2. You don’t like the rules, but I don’t see any creative attempts to use the rules to your advantage.
    3. You have not offer any suggestions beyond breaking the 5 minute rule to alter the presentation format.

    The 5 minute rule is in place for a very good reason. There are many entrepreneurs that can not succintly describe the problem they solve, the opportunity, their solution, why they are the horse to bet on, and what they are looking for by presenting. Five minutes is a limitations whereby if the presenter is horrible, and we’ve seen our share of horrible presenters, they are removed and the show goes on. No harm to most of the audience.

    Reply
    1. Tim Smith

      @David Crow,

      1. See the event posting: "must cover 15 slides in Pitch Coach" – that doesn't seem very ambiguous, unless you are suggesting that presenters should talk about one thing while their slide deck plays on, on divergent topics, in the background.
      2. That's because I think the rules are inherently counter-productive, despite any "creative attempts" to circumvent them.
      3. I think my first post pretty clearly made a suggestion: don't require a minimum number of slides. Quote from my second post: "Cut down the format". You'll notice that I never mention "breaking the 5 minute rule", despite your assertion to the contrary.

      I'm left with a feeling that your comment is a knee-jerk reply rather than an honest attempt at discussion.

      Reply
      1. davidcrow Post author

        @Tim Smith

        1. Slides and talk tracks are independent. There is nothing in the rules that says your story must be told only using words or concepts on your slides. The slides are there to support the story you are telling.

        2. Your opinion is duly noted.

        3. You are correct, I inferred from your "anything less than a minute per slide" and the existing rule of 15-20 slides rule tyou were suggesting a 15-20 minute presentation. My apologies.

        Reply
      2. davidcrow Post author

        So your recommendation is "don't require a minimum number of slides" and "Cut down the format". Thanks for the great insight. Which slides out of the proposed 15 would you recommend not get covered in a pitch?

        The great benefit of the format of the Ignite presentations is to allow for fun, engaging presentations. Slightly different than the end result of a pitch. But since there isn't anyone watching these pitches with a cheque book in hand. The goal must be value to the audience http://davidcrow.ca/article/1462/value-to-the-aud

        So in terms of a pitch you need to answer:

        * Vision
        * Market Opportunity
        * Product/Service
        * Customer
        * Value Proposition
        * Management Team
        * Revenue Model
        * Stage of Development
        * Fund Raising
        * Competition
        * Partnerships
        * Other key assumptions

        And low and behold a real suggestion for how go from 15 to 12.

        Reply
        1. Tim Smith

          "So your recommendation is "don't require a minimum number of slides" and "Cut down the format". Thanks for the great insight."

          My insight is that a deck format meant for a 25 minute presentation won't scale down to a 5 minute presentation – something I thought would be obvious when pointed out. I usually appreciate sarcasm, but not when it's unintentionally self-deprecating.

          "Which slides out of the proposed 15 would you recommend not get covered in a pitch?"

          I'd recommend against deck format requirements altogether, for the pitch component of DC20. If anything, I'd recommend that the organizers require content, not slide count. There are two recent examples of this in practice:

          1) The MaRS ENT101 Up-Start competition is a 10 minute presentation format, and requires presenters to satisfactorily answer the following questions before presenting:
          – Has the presentation clearly articulated the value proposition?
          – Has the presentation demonstrated competitive differentiation/intellectual capital?
          – Has the presentation demonstrated a business model that makes money?
          – Has the presentation demonstrated market awareness?
          See http://www.marsdd.com/Events/Event-Calendar/Ent10

          2) The Discovery09 elevator pitch competition is a five minute format, and requires presenters to address the following before presenting:
          – Describe the product or service and its underlying technology
          – What is the market need – what is the value proposition to your intended customers?
          – What is the sustainable competitive advantage of your product or service?
          – Describe the market and market size.
          – What is your market entry strategy?
          See _your own posting_ at http://www.startupnorth.ca/2009/03/27/oce-elevato

          Circumventing deck format requirements by talking about one thing while showing another thing on the projector is a sure-fire way to distract the audience from your message; that's negative "value to the audience". You say that "there isn't anyone watching these pitches with a cheque book in hand". Then what is the value of having a full pitch deck?

          I recognize that the pitch segment is new to DC, and thus the first iteration will be a learning experience; the organizers need to ask themselves what the intended outcome is from the perspectives of both the presenter and the audience. Is it a "teaser" meant to induce follow-ups from VCs? Is it a feedback mechanism for early-early-stage businesses? Is it to show off cool up-and-coming local start-ups? Each of these purposes requires a different presentation, and a one-size-fits-all approach won't work within a five minute timeframe.

          Reply
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  12. Wobbly Wobbly

    Silly rabbits, if you think 15 slides is too many, I see no rule here that says slides n, n+1 and n+2 can't all be identical…

    Reply
  13. Wobbly Wobbly

    Silly rabbits, if you think 15 slides is too many, I see no rule here that says slides n, n+1 and n+2 can't all be identical…

    Reply

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