About a month or so ago, Megan was contacted by folks over at Inc Magazine (you know, the terrific mag for business that sponsors the “Inc 500/5000” awards each year).  They were partnering with Cox Business on an event series called Get Started.  The first two events were held earlier in the year (Oklahoma City and Connecticut).  The next would be here in Southern California (in Orange County, as it happens), and they asked Megan if she would participate.

In times past, Megan has been a speaker at a variety of events for Inc Magazine and other organizations, but this gig had a twist.  “Get Started O.C.” would take the form of a “pitch” session, in which representatives from five local small businesses would “pitch” their product / company to four judges, with an audience composed of local business people. After all the pitches, the judges would vote, and the winner would receive a $10,000 prize package from Cox Business. Megan agreed to be a judge, and she suggested that I might want to attend the event as well.

The event was this past Tuesday Oct 22, and it was both fun and inspiring.  The venue for the event was the Marconi Automotive Museum.  What a cool venue, and how great that it was created to fund a charitable foundation to help at-risk kids!

Inc OC Poster

The four judges included Megan, Lindsay Blakely (Inc Magazine editor), Mari Smith (author and social media coach), and Dave Berkus (investment “angel”).   Each person pitching was giving about 2 minutes to tell the judges (and audience) about themselves, their company, and their product.  The judges then had 5 minutes to question that person for further clarification, before time was up and it was the next person’s turn.

Inc OC Stage

Photo Courtesy Justin DeFreece, Inc. Magazine

It was quite interesting to hear each person’s pitch, but it was also fascinating to hear the questions and comments from the judges.  Mari Smith focused on questions related to social media marketing, Dave Berkus asked the “hard hitting” financial questions, Megan’s questions tended to lead toward manufacturing logistics, and Lindsay asked more general business-related questions.  Quite fascinating to hear the different perspectives.

Inc OC  Judges

Photo Courtesy Justin DeFreece, Inc. Magazine

Once all five candidates had “pitched,” the judges votes were tallied, and the winner was announced –  Post Op Tops, a company that makes comfortable apparel for post-operative breast cancer survivors.

This really was a fun and informative event – a bit like television’s “Shark Tank,” but much more supportive in tone!  If you are interested in attending a Get Started event and live in the Providence Rhode Island area, there is an one coming up there next week – Get Started R.I.