Meet the Judges Ben Maher’s in elevator mode

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Tell us about yourself

Currently I am Executive Director of EMEA for Mashable, which is a business that is at the heart of emerging technology, social trends and cultural zeitgeist. Before joining Mashable I had more years than I’d like to admit working in the digital space for both start ups and established media organisations rolling out in Europe.

Throughout my career I have been lucky enough to sit on both sides of the table within the start up community, but the real honour is now being able to use my experience to help budding entrepreneurs within the burgeoning UK start up scene.

What will you be looking for in a winning pitch?

Simplicity, originality and an understanding of the addressable market are the three key areas I look for. The old adage of an elevator pitch is also important. If I can’t come away after a couple of minutes and convey the idea to someone else then you have probably over complicated or over thought your idea.

Give us three interesting links for any start-up

While we live in a digital age, one thing that I would say to any start up is not to ever underestimate the IRL experience. I’ve gone to TED Talks, both live and online for inspiration on a constant basis.

I’m also a big fan of sites like Audience Bloom who provide various marketing services such as SEO and social marketing. Starts ups work hard to get exposure and be heard but if you can’t harness the awareness or leads you generate then you aren’t in the game.

Finally, not to be a “company man,” but I truly think that Mashable, as entrepreneurs always tell us, is a great place to find inspiration and research what is trending in technology or popular culture. Our CEO Pete Cashmore is an inspiring British success story with a business that has continued to grow for over a decade.