Free Library helps aspiring entrepreneurs hit just the right pitch

     Librarians Caitlin Seifritz (left) and Gillian Robbins tend the Pitch Corner at Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, where budding entrepreneurs can learn how to sell their ideas. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Librarians Caitlin Seifritz (left) and Gillian Robbins tend the Pitch Corner at Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, where budding entrepreneurs can learn how to sell their ideas. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Today’s economy banks on the energy and creativity of business startups. But bringing a great idea to fruition takes a lot of work — and a lot of talk.

    “As a business or nonprofit, you’re constantly telling people your story,” said Caitlin Seifritz, a librarian in the Business Resource and Innovation Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia. “We wanted people to have the opportunity to practice telling their story, letting people know what their service or business is.”

    People are often uncomfortable touting themselves and, ultimately, seeking money from investors and funders. That gave birth to the Pitch Corner, where budding entrepreneurs can videotape their funding pitches.

    “We thought, what a great idea it would be if there was a safe place, a place where you could look at a camera, look at yourself, have a nice background behind you and have an educated pitch,” said Gillian Robbins, Seifritz’s partner in the BRIC. Participants can then use the videos to review what they’re doing well — and to see things they need to work on.

    The BRIC Pitch Corner is at the Central Parkway branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. It’s open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.