I’m not a nervous person, but standing in front of entrepreneur Mark Bouris, my palms are legitimately sweating.
I am surely going to leave handprints on the shiny, new bench he’s casually leaning on when I pitch my idea.
That’s right, like the young entrepreneurs about to share an Uber taxi ride with Bouris for UberPITCH, I’m being given a few minutes to pitch my business idea to one of Australia’s leading business owners.
I'm standing nervously in the plush surrounds of The X Studio by the Coke sign in Kings Cross.
There's a lot of velvet, a knight's armour and more mirrors than I'm used to. I should have worn make up.
In the recording studio for The Mark Bouris Show is the man himself, his son Nick (and yes, swoon-worthy charm runs in the family), along with Sass & Bide co-creator Sarah Jane-Clarke and Sweaty Betty PR creator Roxy Jacenko.
There are also two talented, young entrepreneurs waiting in the wings.
And me. I didn’t even do economics in high school!
Roxy hollers about the lack of air conditioning. Amen to that.
The first pitch comes from Brea Millen of Brea's Raw Mixes with a DIY healthy snack kit. She’s got a polished approach, and everyone is on board.
Sarah Jane suggests the product be organic. Roxy offers to help get it into the hands of influential Instagrammers.
Bouris suggests she find a snack food company that has grown too big to be nimble and to work with them.
It’s good advice.
I’m totally underprepared.
Next is James Jordan of Danny Burrito. They guy’s crowdfunding for a service to send a healthy, slow-cooked burrito to your door (or a street corner) in 15 minutes.
The concept utilises kitchens after-hours in cafes and one of the funding rewards is a year of free burritos.
A year of free freaking burritos!
Dude is a genius.
Mark tells him to think about the use of after-hours kitchens as a disruptive business, much like Uber. He decides to chip in some of his own money, even though the doesn’t like burritos.
I’m so underprepared.
But it’s my turn. Everyone’s looking at me.
I go for it. I pitch my heart out.
I barely remember what I said but when I snap back, I realise they like the idea.
Bouris casually drops that he could send a note to J&J -- one of the world’s largest medical devices and pharmaceutical company also known as Johnson & Johnson.
And right away, Bouris’ power becomes apparent.
He’s not just the Australian reality host who gets to say ‘you’re fired’ on The Apprentice; he’s a legitimate businessman, with a host of successful companies and genuine contacts he can call on.
Bouris with HuffPost Australia's Cayla Dengate.
So when he comes across a good idea, he has the ability to casually contact the Johnson & Johnsons of the world, and make it happen.
If you want to pitch your idea to Bouris and his team of entrepreneurs (and I highly recommend you do), get ready to enter UberPITCH here.
To get a feel for his style, check out his podcasts and be ready for him to swing by in an Uber taxi to take you for a spin and a pitch.