We are founders — Storytelling for entrepreneurs
How to pitch the story of your business
A programme for startups launched by BeCentral, Google, Bruxelles Formation and BeAngels
We are founders offers nine months of intensive, hands-on coaching for budding entrepreneurs. Communication and branding are key aspects of launching a successful start-up, of course.
For their BEyond Bootcamp in October 2022, Cartoonbase was invited as a guest speaker to share tips and insights for getting the communication for a new business off the ground. Our simple, yet powerful advice: tell your story – and the rest will follow.
When choosing a brand, we are no longer just selecting a product or service. Today, consumers expect businesses to deliver experiences that fit their world view. Brands need to show how their offering fits into the bigger picture to convince potential customers.
Developing a story around this offering is an efficient way of creating this missing link.
During the BEyond Bootcamp for start-up entrepreneurs, our experts provided participants with a very practical tool for creating and pitching the story of their brand: our Pixar storytelling canvas.
The Pixar Pitch is a formula devised by film writer Emma Coats to create a compelling narrative. We created our own version of the pitch to adapt it to corporate communication:
Context, challenge, solution and outcome are the basic ingredients of doing business. Storytelling for entrepreneurs is all about rolling these ingredients into a simple storyline.
This will not only create a narrative with an emotional touch that is easily understood and remembered. It also delivers the key elements of a communication framework: what the business proposes; why it’s needed; and what everyone will get out of it!
During the workshop, we presented the Pixar Pitch approach with concrete examples, including our work with ICRC to give a human face to their Humanitarian Impact Bond.
This financing tool was launched to attract funding to help people who lost mobility as a result of violent conflict. Getting the information on the technical aspects across was essential; but it took a story with a human touch to put this information in context, highlight why it is important, and make the audience feel and act.
The Pixar Pitch method enabled the ICRC to turn information that was at once technical and sensitive into a clear story with universal appeal.
After introducing the canvas, the Cartoonbase team helped workshop participants apply it to their own project with practical exercises.
Putting their project in perspective
By framing their message as a narrative, the budding entrepreneurs naturally took the step beyond a problem-solution approach to consider other crucial elements.
Every story has actors, an environment and historic context in which it unfolds, difficulties that must be overcome, a denouement at the end – and so does a project.
By prompting them to consider these aspects, the storytelling approach enabled participants to see the bigger picture and put their value proposition in context to get everyone on board.
Shaping the story to the channel
Once the start-uppers had found their ‘plot’, they could adapt it to the different communication channels at their disposal. From social media over video to website communication, we showed them how to pitch their narrative making the most of these different tools.
We helped them to start putting this in practice directly by asking them to imagine one LinkedIn post for every step of their canvas.
Workshop participants had great fun working out the cliffhangers and plot twists of their pet projects while getting some serious work done.
The Pixar Pitch canvas provided them with a very practical methodology for building a full communication framework covering content and branding aspects,
Participants were overwhelmingly enthusiastic: they came out of the workshop with a ready-to-use toolkit for pitching their future business in a clear, coherent and convincing manner.
The second excercise was mindblowing. It is a really great way to start posting on social media. We would love having a second workshop with them. We want more.
This workshop was very inspiring. The exercises and examples helped us to understand how to put the pixar pitch into practice. Very interesting workshop, I wish it was even longer.
I had a great time understanding the importance of storytelling. The exercises and Martin's feedback helped me put everything in practice. Thank you!