In the end, the 18th of May finally arrived: the MIP Pitching Day. It was an important evening for the 22 people from our Full Time MBA class who decided to attend the course, “Business Plan & Lean Launch Pad”, which took place during the last two weeks of April. We were all looking forward to this evening for many reasons: the “real” end of our courses at MIP, the result of all the efforts and commitment we had put into this course, a real committee who had to evaluate us on our ideas, a real speech… therefore, emotions were running high and we were all excited about it!
But let’s take a step back in order to understand why this evening meant so much to us.
We started the course on the 18th of April. We were all very tired and also committed to other things, like searching for projects, focusing on the interviews we had to do, and so on. The course was unexpectedly an addictive and very interesting experience. All the professors that worked with us were very professional, prepared, kind and helpful to all of us. The objective of the course was to provide real world, hands-on learning on what it’s like to start a scalable company, giving us practical tools and approaches to launch a new venture from scratch. Therefore, the objective was really challenging! The presentation of the 18th was the final step of our journey.
The meeting was scheduled at Date Food, the bar close to MIP – our Business School – from 18.00 to 21.00. Some of us arrived late (in typical Italian style!), but it was mainly because most of us had already started the Project Work and therefore it was not so easy to be there on time! When I arrived at 18.30 there was a welcome surprise: a light aperitif! It was an amazing idea in order to relax a little bit after work, chat and get ready for our presentations.
The evening was quite hot and sunny: a perfect time to appreciate the bar’s courtyard, where four tables had been laid out – one for each team – with the name of the teams written above them: Gradeo, Marvels of Italy, Momento Perfetto and The Splitted Pan.
Three other tables had been prepared: one for the committee, composed of our previous accounting teacher, Davide Chiaroni, together with Domenico Pannofino, who works at Polihub and handles – inter alia – the start-up entry committee, and the other two for the teams which had supported us during the course, that is, Federico Della Bella and his colleagues, Luca Nardone and Fulvio Catalano, co-founders of Wardroba – a start-up with the purpose of making emerging brand collections easily available with an integrated B2C/B2B and online/offline ecosystem – and Artem Karida’s team.
The atmosphere was very relaxing. After most of us had arrived, at 19.00 Professor Chiaroni asked the first group to start. The first group was The Splitted Pan. Their idea was a shared kitchen that enables people who need affordable, homemade meals to obtain access to a subscription lunch service cooked by chefs who need professional kitchens.
After this, it was the turn of Marvels of Italy, with their idea of opening an authentic Italian pizzeria in India that serves pizza, bread, desserts and drinks to bring the essence of Italy to the Indian population.
Then the stage was set for Momento Perfetto, who explained their idea of a unique online marketplace where wealthy individuals can seek professional cooks. More specifically, the idea was about fresh and organic food being delivered directly to people’s doors, where the chefs can cook for them whatever they want!
And finally it was the turn of my team, Gradeo, to give a presentation, pitching our idea for a career platform for employers either to hire students for temporary and casual work or recent graduates for internships.
Each team’s presentation lasted ten minutes and five minutes of Q&A were allowed for, during which all the teams had the opportunity to explain how to overcome any weaknesses in their ideas.
All the presentations were very enjoyable, well-reasoned and detailed. The valuable indications given by Federico Della Bella’s team made us really believe in our ideas and also motivated us when we faced some issues during the preparation of our presentations and giving up felt like the easier choice.
After the presentations, the committee assembled to decide who was the evening’s winner. In the meantime, we enjoyed our second “aperitivo” in a very Milanese style, composed of one drink of our choice and lots of pizza, cheese, vegetables, omelettes, rice and more.
After about 15 minutes, the committee announced the winning team…The Splitted Pan! Well done, guys!
But what was the winner’s prize? Not a first financing in order to realise their start-up or a holiday, but… a second free drink – the chance to enjoy another famous Italian spritzer or glass of Prosecco, or whatever they wanted, which was really appreciated by all the members of the winning team!
The organization of the evening was impeccable and also very relaxed. We were really able to enjoy our time together and spent a lovely evening!
So – thanks to the organizers (in particular Eglè Urbonaite), to MIP, to all the course professors and in particular, to Federico Della Bella, Luca Nardone and Fulvio Catalano for having made the last course of our MBA one of the most interesting in terms of practical results, added value, commitment and also… fun! Thanks to all!