Christal Hector, Co-Founder of TuneHatch and second-year MBA candidate at Owen, placed third at the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization’s thirty-ninth annual Global Conference & Pitch Competition on October 28-30, 2022. TuneHatch was selected as one of the top 20 colligate startups globally to pitch in the competition.
TuneHatch is an online marketplace for fans, artists, and venues to come together. The platform matches venues with independent artists to create concerts for fans to purchase tickets to, all in the same ecosystem. Christal mentioned the biggest piece of feedback they have gotten along the way is to narrow their focus in order to provide solid proof of concept before executing their grand vision of an end-to-end platform. Christal and her co-founder, Nathan Youssef, have delved into the first side of the TuneHatch equation – matching venues with independent artists.
Currently, they are working with multiple venues throughout Nashville and have concentrated on independent and unconventional venue spaces – something the Music City market is very familiar with. Recently, TuneHatch worked with the world-renowned Banksy street art exhibition to book a secret concert in their art gallery. Christal said the concert was a hit, and she’s excited to pursue more unconventional venues in the future.
Pitching TuneHatch at the CEO Global Pitch Competition
At the end of October Christal traveled to Chicago for the three-day conference and pitch competition. The weekend was packed with speaker series, workshops, networking, and, of course, pitching. The conference was brimming with a diverse array of student startups in industries across the board. Her third-place rank in the competition secured TuneHatch enough funding to hire a data science intern to develop machine learning for TuneHatch, a core aspect of the business.
Christal’s superlative workshop of the weekend came on the last day of the conference. The discussion focused on the logical fallacies and failures entrepreneurs succumb to at the different stages of a startup. Her biggest takeaway from the workshop is, “perseverance is key,” Christal said. She was reassured in her dedication to TuneHatch after a discussion on Mark Zuckerberg’s multi-year process of growing Facebook.
“Even the best entrepreneurs were not overnight successes as much as we talk about them as if they were,” Christal said. “There will always be difficulties, and there will likely be some amount of failure. However, It’s unlikely that the failure is a fatal one to your startup.”
Pitching Advice from Christal
Christal has had the opportunity to refine her pitching skills at several Vanderbilt, regional, and national pitch competitions. Her two pieces of advice for anyone preparing to pitch their startup are:
“Think through at least 20 questions the judges or investors would ask. Imagine yourself on the other side of the table. How would you poke holes into your own business?”
Focus on your delivery
“Work on your presence in your delivery. Focus on coming across as confident and knowledgeable. You could be very smart, but if that doesn’t come across in your delivering, your judges are not always going to take you seriously. Learn how to put your shoulders back, stand up straight, dress to impress, and put your best foot forward every time.”