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Application: TradeKing Financial Entrepreneur Pitch-Fest Competition


Complete and return to maureen@1mby1m.com

See Frequently Asked Questions for further details.


Your answers to the following 14 questions will be used to qualify you for consideration in the program. They also make a good grounding for developing your ideas into a marketable venture. A few notes before you get started answering the questions:

  • Make your responses brief but with enough detail to explain your business.   Submit your responses as a WORD or PDF document no more than two pages long.
  • TradeKing is a financial services firm and encourages innovation in that sector. Though there is a preference for Pitch-Fest ideas that relate specifically to that sector, we are open to responses that have an indirect impact.
  • Responses must be returned by email to maureen@1mby1m.com.
  • We will accept applications through Spring 2013 and will acknowledge receipt of your completed form.
  • Please read the selection criterion listed at the bottom before answering the questions.


Questions: Please give brief, concise answers to the following:

1.     Value Proposition:  What are you trying to create? How will it benefit an online investor?


2.     Describe the customer segment that you are servicing.


3.     Validation: Have you validated your business idea with any potential customers?  Why do you believe customers will want to use your idea/platform/service?


4.     Positioning: What is the positioning of your offering? Who are the competitors? How do you compete? Differentiate?


5.     Monetization: How do you monetize? What is the business model?


6.     TAM: How big is your market opportunity? This determines your financing and go-to-market strategy in a significant way. Please note that we look for bottom-up TAM analysis.


7.     Bootstrapping: Have you done enough bootstrapping before approaching investors? Is your company fundable, or is it one that needs to be bootstrapped all the way (which is okay with us, too)?


8.     Financing: Are you bootstrapping? Are you planning to raise money? Have you raised any money so far? From whom? How much? What are your capital requirements to build this business?


9.     Customer Acquisition: What is your customer acquisition strategy, cost, conversion rate, channels, channel costs? How many paying customers do you have right now? How much traffic? How many free users? Any other information on traction / validation metrics?


10.  Team: Who is on the team, and what functions do they cover? Don’t worry, we believe in lean, capital-efficient startups, and hence, small teams. Freelance resources are perfectly acceptable to get things done. 1M/1M’s partner, eLance, is specifically focused on helping you get things done efficiently.


11.  Stage: What stage are you at now? Concept? Minimum Viable Product? Free Users? Paying Users? Revenue? Profitability?


12.  Anything else that is interesting about your venture that you think we should know?


13.   Explain why you are best positioned to execute on this initiative.


14.   Please take a look at the short videos about the 1M/1M program below. They answer some frequently asked questions about 1M/1M and show how we work with entrepreneurs. Base on this information, please tell us what your objectives are and how you would use the program if you were to win a scholarship.



  • Innovative Idea and Business Model Being Proposed
  • Best and Most Creative use of the TradeKing API functions
  • Individual’s background
  • The Strategic Vision and the Market Viability of the idea
  • Ability of the participant to create and execute on the business idea
  • Best combined use of the TradeKing API with any other API provider




TradeKing Financial Entrepreneur Pitch-Fest Competition

Frequently Asked Questions: TradeKing Financial Entrepreneur Pitch-Fest Competition