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Proman Consulting | NASCAR style: Pitch Competition

NASCAR style: Pitch Competition

If we consider the time spent only in Charlotte, the second half of the game has begun. Time passes at an extraordinary speed, which, combined with the rapid growth of knowledge, information, contacts, ideas, culture, and all things new, makes the situation comparable to one of the fastest and craziest car races in the world—NASCAR. Coincidentally (or not), NASCAR's headquarters are located in Charlotte. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is the holy grail of motorsport, and the museum I'm visiting is a temple dedicated to the tradition of this sport. The museum is an interactive entertainment attraction that honors 75 years of NASCAR history and legacy. This high-tech place, designed to educate and entertain racing fans and non-racing fans alike, includes artifacts, hands-on exhibits, incredible driving simulators, a Hall of Fame, and a store.

As I enter, I'm greeted by a massive screen, reminiscent of a football stadium. I explore the surroundings, reading everything and taking photos of the cars on the "track" at the beginning. Suddenly, a guy and a girl shout, 'Hey, that's you on the screen!' I look up, and there I am, full screen, with the message 'Welcome Strahi to the Hall of Fame, thank you to our sponsors,' accompanied by my picture. I quickly snap a photo, and within half a second, it disappears. It was an exhilarating moment that almost slipped away! Another unforgettable experience is the race simulator. I have a mini-training session on a separate console, simulate against another team, and even perform a pit stop. In a two-on-two game, we change tires and refuel. I drive the main race from a static car, one of the nine on the mini track inside the museum. The feeling is incredible—the steering wheel is challenging to turn, the car shakes vigorously, and the noise is deafening. I perform well until the final third race, where a crash sends me to the bottom of the scoreboard. What an experience! The museum showcases numerous sports cars, details, engines, trophies, and suits, representing the 75-year history of NASCAR. Moreover, I have an additional motivation to take top-quality photos. I aim to create abundant content for Auto Center Đorđević's Instagram page, which is our client. Follow the page and enjoy the content and stories we have in store for you.


Due to rain on Saturday, which coincided with World Earth Day, we rescheduled the volunteer cleaning activity around the railway for a sunny Sunday. In the morning, we gathered at the designated location, borrowed the necessary equipment, and joined approximately a hundred other people in this initiative. Meanwhile, the team at home tended to the greenery in our yard in Kragujevac on Friday. The positive atmosphere and the rewarding feeling of being part of this environmental endeavor were palpable. Fortunately, Charlotte is a remarkably clean city, with little litter. I had the opportunity to meet many interesting people during the activity—a family of five, with children aged 6, 8, and 12, cleaning alongside their parents, a married couple ranging from 5 to 84 years old, and even a women's walking group consisting of about 50 girls and women, briskly walking together along the railway. We concluded the event with great excitement, social responsibility, and an ecological touch by gathering at a brewery. Each participant from our group received a numbered ticket for a prize draw. Around two o'clock in the afternoon, approximately a hundred happy individuals indulged in beer and eagerly awaited their prizes. As hunger set in, the beer seemed to intensify it, and at one point, I found myself chanting, 'We want food!' Around 10 of us were sitting at our bar table, and it started off very well with several prizes on the table. And then they announced my number too! I won a $50 voucher for lunch at a top restaurant! Ahhahahaha, when you really want something, you call for it and you get it! The day continued in that direction, as we went to a restaurant to eat, enjoyed some ice cream, and ended up at another brewery, the oldest one in Charlotte called The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. It had a huge courtyard with tables and benches, modeled after Oktoberfest in Berlin. It was a great experience, and we even received an invitation for a production tour. Throughout the week, we visited multiple craft breweries, both for business and recreational purposes. We also had a fantastic time at Pins Mechanical, which was one of our destinations, with draft beers, bowling, and other games.


This week, I have been working diligently on receiving advice and feedback, conducting research, and improving myself and the agency. Over the course of three days, I had one-on-one meetings with three serial entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors.


The first person I met was Louis Foreman, the CEO of Enventys Partners. In the past 12 years, he has successfully created twelve startups and developed another 20. He is an expert in innovation, product development, patents, and inventions. Not only does he own 12 patents himself, but he has also helped over 700 others. He is an author, speaker, and even a reformist of the patent system and legislation. During my time with him, I focused my questions mainly on leadership and management. I inquired about the universal formula for success in different startups, his biggest mistakes, when founders make deciding to exit, where investors and buyers can be found, and the openness to the European market. Although I prepared the questions as if it were a two-hour interview, Louis also had questions for me. Therefore, I couldn't ask them all, but I will certainly have the opportunity to send him the remaining questions afterward. This conversation was one of the most remarkable ones I've had with an entrepreneur and innovator. It left me feeling great, as I learned so many valuable things and recognized aspects of myself. I felt that I grew even more. One piece of advice I would like to share with you is not to chase shiny things. The goal is the final destination, and the journey itself is the most important part. Along the way, decisions have to be made regarding the path we take, who accompanies us on the journey, what means of transportation we use, and ultimately, what our final station and destination are. Follow the signs along the way and enjoy the journey. Louis is truly a great leader.

The second person I met was Joachim Joe Woerner, who, in the past 16 years, has founded, invested in, and sold several businesses. He held various positions such as President, Vice President, and General Manager in numerous German companies in the US for 12 years. He has collaborated with companies like Bayer, Siemens, and Continental, and helps German companies and individuals develop their businesses in the US. He visited me at Enventys. One of the referees was present during the preparation. He spent over two hours getting acquainted with the complete operation of the agency, including its structure, partners, processes, procedures, toolbox, and people. His analysis and feedback exceeded my expectations in terms of positivity and detail. First and foremost, he confirmed that our system is very well-built and that we are on an excellent path with tremendous potential for further growth. He also helped me understand who would be the most suitable investor for different situations. His insights allowed me to gain clarity on the main questions I needed to answer before moving forward. Moreover, the conversation provided me with the opportunity to see things from his point of view as a potential investor. It was incredibly valuable to have such a conversation with someone like Joe. I am immensely grateful for his time and tremendous help. He guided me for more than two hours along the path of entrepreneurship.

Katya Gorlatova, a tech project manager, business and marketing coach, consultant, and another judge from the pitch preparation, was also an influential presence. Despite her focus on tech, we spent a significant amount of time discussing health and well-being when she saw my calendar. I embraced her advice to incorporate daily resets, whether it's a walk, moments of silence, or listening to music. I even promised her a selfie with horses, a small assignment that adds to my list. During the pitch preparation, she was the most critical but immensely helpful. She played a crucial role in shaping my concept for the pitch presentation. This meeting was another source of great motivation for me. It was a lengthy conversation, and I practically spent most of the day with both Joe and Katya. Their presence and feedback reaffirmed my capabilities, my business approach, and the strength of the system I've built. This confirmation is pivotal for making strategic decisions, attracting people and clients, and boosting my motivation and self-confidence.

Parallel to everything I've shared with you thus far, I've been simultaneously preparing for the Pitch Competition, reaching out to contacts in Charlotte via LinkedIn, addressing client emergencies, writing this blog, sharing event content on social networks, communicating and meeting with my team, tending to family, friends, and my girlfriend. And amidst all these "little things," there's the added factor of being on a different continent, in a new building with someone I'm getting to know, navigating a different language and time zone, and encountering new faces daily. It feels as though I'm traveling in a space shuttle. Time seems to have warped, and I believe I'm experiencing the most progressive career growth ever. And it's not without its bright moments, like this one. 


Under the influence of the vibrant atmosphere, the influx of new people, remarkable events, and countless obligations, the significance of the Pitch Competition somewhat faded into the background for me. It's ironic when the competitive spirit takes a backseat during a competition. I managed to prepare everything in about two hours, but now it was time to incorporate the valuable feedback and advice I had received. The advice I received was truly valuable, making the 8,000-kilometer journey and hard work well worth it.

I made corrections and significant improvements to my presentation. Since it was already late, I didn't have much energy or time to meticulously fine-tune the story. However, as I mentioned earlier, I rely on spontaneity. I decided to give it a try twice, working through the story and timing, and then take a rest and revisit it in the morning. The Pitch was scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. In the morning, I went through the story only once, and that was it. I had four minutes for the Pitch and five minutes for feedback. I left feeling relaxed, not overly excited, but with a slight sense of pressure.

The Pitch Competition took place in the conference room of Enventys, the company where I'm doing my exchange, so I was essentially playing on my home turf. Furthermore, one of the judges was the CEO, Louis. Alongside the high expectations, I felt a gentle tailwind, but also a slight unease due to the perceived privilege of my position. I tend not to perform at my best when too much is expected of me. Strangely enough, I relax too much. I excel when the least is expected from me, especially for significant endeavors. Feeling tired, even somewhat exhausted, not fully prepared, with just enough energy to convey my passion but without any lofty expectations, I pitched an investment for my business.

To cut a long story short, I ran out of time when I reached the investment slide. I managed to finish what I had to say, albeit faster and shorter, but with a 30-second delay. The victory went to Kaisa Hansen from Estonia, whose business focused on sustainable development. Her presentation was concise, with short phrases, and she flawlessly applied and completed all the rules we had learned, staying within the four-minute timeframe. It was textbook perfect. Here are some tips on how you too can craft your own compelling Pitch.


  1. Introduction: Start with a compelling introduction that captures attention and showcases your identity, purpose, and why you're here. Make sure to include a hook that grabs the audience's interest.
  2. Problem and Competition: Clearly articulate the problem you aim to solve and discuss existing solutions in the market (competition).
  3. Target Market and Customers: Define your target market and highlight who your customers are.
  4. Solution: Present your solution and emphasize its impact, uniqueness, and the value it brings to your customers.
  5. Achievements: Share your notable achievements, such as clients, partners, and revenue, to demonstrate traction and credibility.
  6. Team: Introduce your team members, emphasizing their expertise and how their skills contribute to the success of your venture.
  7. Business Model: Explain your business model and how your product or service generates revenue.
  8. Next Steps: Outline your next steps and highlight your strategic roadmap for the future.
  9. Funding Needs: Clearly state what you are looking for in terms of funding or support to achieve your goals.


Remember that for a 4-minute pitch, it's recommended to have around 8 slides, allocating about 30-40 seconds per slide. Additionally, consider adding extra slides for potential Q&A sessions to ensure you can answer judges' questions effectively and efficiently.

Working with professionals in America, attending workshops, participating in preparations, and engaging in competitions have significantly contributed to your performance and overall ability to pitch ideas. Hopefully, these tips will prove useful for your own entrepreneurial endeavors.

Best of luck with your entrepreneurial adventure, and may you secure strong deals along the way!

For me, the next stop – Miami! See ya

Pitch Competition
World Planet Day
Brewery-we won some prizes
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery


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