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by Jay Guiliano

March 18, 2014 at the Park at Fourteenth, Patdek was on the shortlist of finalists in the Techcrunch DC Pitchoff. The premise was simple: 15 new startups each have 60 seconds to pitch their product to a panel of judges, including local VCs and members of the Techcrunch team. The winner would receive bragging rights and a chance to participate at the Disrupt conference in NYC this spring.

So here's the outline of the pitch we intended to deliver:  

  • Do you know what the odds are that your startup will be involved in a patent dispute?

  • One in five - 20% of startups will receive a threat letter.

  • And It costs you a minimum of $30,000 to handle.

  • And just like a parking ticket, the threat doesn’t go away by being ignored.

  • To handle these threats, you need a patent war room.

  • One that integrates you into the patent dispute process.

  • One that weaves your technology insights into the legal strategy.  

  • One that levels the playing field between the patent assertion entities and targets like you.

  • So we built it. It cuts your cost by 30%.

  • Visit us at to learn more.

Simple, to the point and about as much as anyone could say in the allotted 60 seconds. No problem, right? Well, that’s not exactly how it came out…

There was a sizable crowd in attendance. In fact, the line to get in was literally around the block. I've attended some of these events before, but never to pitch. I didn't really know what to expect at the multi-floor venue. The pitches would be delivered to a lively, packed crowd on the 3rd floor, while others watched by television on the first and second floors. The whole atmosphere was, in retrospect, a bit overwhelming.  

We were slotted to go 5th and I kept going through the pitch in my head. 60 seconds from the word go - about 8 sentences total to deliver - seems simple.

It's been said that you should visualize success to achieve success. Something like that. Well, I started wondering what I would say if I forgot parts of the pitch. Not a good sign to be thinking that way. We wouldn't have to wonder much longer.

We got up on stage and TechCrunch writer Jordan Crook prepared to start the timer - "60 seconds - go." Most of this is a blur, but I recall introducing me and Robert. Then I blanked. Stage fright. A terrible start. So Jordan said something like "let's try that again." Alright - "60 seconds - go." I started again. Nope. Can't remember the pitch. Nothing. Now, a third time. From the top. "60 seconds - go." Wow. Just nothing. I think that's strike three. Jordan didn't flinch, the crowd was great and supportive, but I still couldn't remember a thing. All I could think about is why I didn't bring up some note cards. I was frantic. On the 4th try I still didn't get it. I just spoke. Not punchy and direct like we rehearsed.

So why explain this? There's no doubt now, in retrospect, that I could have used a public speaking coach for this type of event. Everyone in the audience that night would probably agree.  

Fortunately, Patdek is not a public speaking service. Just like a public speaking coach can help speaking with an audience, Patdek helps to share your patent insights with a lawyer, your colleagues, and helps lawyers speak to their clients. Patent-based discussions can be succinct and clear. Insights shared among multiple people are layered in the same patent document. All related documents are linked. Patdek integrates the patent-related insights to reduce redundancy. It conveniently guides the process by surfacing the information with insights you need for the group to evaluate.  

The system delivers the information you need to understand a patent, wraps it into a platform of tools, using a custom, yet simplified interface. Focus on insights while Patdek manages the documents.

And the outcome of the PitchOff? Patdek won. We were honored to be recognized for what Patdek represents. Despite fumbling the 60 second pitch, we got our point across. That people with the most knowledge about disputed technology can deliver their insights right into the conversation.  

In case you missed it, here's the link announcing Patdek's first place finish at the TechCrunch Meetup DC PitchOff. And If you're at TechCrunch Disrupt NY in May, stop by and talk with us. Bring your patent questions too.

For additional product information or to request a seat in our upcoming beta launch, please let us know here.