NEF Pitch Pit Winner: Anthony Azzi of Deelio

At the Oct NEF Pitch Pit Competition, three entrepreneurs faced off and presented their business ideas to the panel of judges. Anthony Azzi of Deelio was declared the winner. Here is what he had to say about his experience.

Interviewer: What was the Pitch Pit experience like for you?

Anthony: My favorite part of Pitch Pit was meeting everyone there! There were so many interesting entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, and engineers to meet. I got so caught up in conversation with all of them beforehand, that I almost forgot I was there to pitch! It was a great experience, and a unique opportunity to network with people of diverse professional backgrounds.

Interviewer: How did the Tech Town Detroit DTX Launch prepare you for this presentation? 

Anthony: Our pitch would not be what it is today, without DTX Launch. They taught us how to identify our customer segment, and understand their problems. This all goes into crafting a pitch. You need a deep understanding of your customer, and their problems, so that you can convince a panel of judges, or investors, that your business is viable.

Interviewer: How has customer discovery helped you?

Anthony: Customer discovery has been such an important process for us. You learn so much by getting out of the building, and having a face-to-face conversation with a potential customer, in her own place of business. You gain insights that you cannot find on Google, or anywhere else, other than by actually talking to people. By doing so, you are building a set of proprietary data that no one else in the world has.

Interviewer: What was it like to win the $205 Pitch Pit prize? 

Anthony: We were very happy to win Pitch Pit. Knowing that over half of the prize actually came from small audience donations, makes it even better. We are very thankful to NEF, and to everyone in the audience who contributed. The money will be put towards our server costs, which allows us to host our website and support our mobile app.

Interviewer: What are your next steps in growing Deelio? 

Anthony: Our next step is to launch our beta in 2018. This is where we can put everything we have learned from customer discovery to the test. We have some businesses that we are very excited to work with, to test out Deelio in the real world. We hope that the businesses included in our beta act as the seed to the Deelio Network, and that we can continue to grow and expand to various cities in Michigan and the United States!