Branding & Storytelling For Startups (S5E5)


With the finale looming over contestants’ heads, some entrepreneurs are truly standing out while others are beginning to get left behind. The day’s lesson is all about telling stories, which these Bloxers certainly are not lacking! With a challenge that has them sticking to a particular branding and storytelling script, who will stand out, and how? It’s up to these contestants to score one last win before finale night.


As the episode opens, the previous night’s Blox Off winners discuss how the competition is truly weeding out the standouts. We are starting to see who is really in it, but the contestants are also keenly aware of other contestants doing well in their pods who could take the whole competition without ever having been in a Blox Off.

The fourth lesson of the season is based on branding and storytelling. Wes explains that there is often a disconnect between what is going on in our heads and how people are interpreting it. It is the entrepreneur’s responsibility if they don’t get it, so Wes addresses the importance of assessing the room and how to get people to the a-ha moment for their businesses.

The contestants are tasked with their challenge of the day: completing their idea introduction patterns. As the contestants get stronger in their storytelling abilities, judge Neman remarks on how the entrepreneurs are literally changing right before his eyes and growing stronger in their abilities.

The Blox Off winners for the day are chosen with many familiar faces gracing the stage, to the dismay of many competitors who felt they performed well that day. The six pod winners are each tasked with pitching for a different made-up scenario. A tie for first place causes a switch-up when Wes chooses the winning tiebreaker, and the contestants all gear up for the final day.


Pitching is commonly associated with fundraising and popular TV shows like Shark Tank. However, pitching is not limited to these scenarios. It occurs when dealing with banks, recruiting team members, negotiating lease rates, and collaborating with supply chain partners – essentially, you’re pitching yourself all the time. Despite the unpredictable nature of pitching, effective preparation involves understanding how people perceive new ideas and tailoring our stories to align with their perspectives. As founders, we possess deep knowledge and expertise in our business or solution, but this advantage can become a weakness if we fail to communicate effectively to non-experts. That’s where the Idea Introduction Pattern comes in, to help founders with effective branding and storytelling.


  1. The filtering system of the crocodile brain has a very shortsighted view of the world. Anything that is not a crisis it tries to mark as “spam.”
  2. Context matters. You DO NOT get to choose the context. The context chooses you. And if you’re not prepared, or capable, of handling the context – force-feeding your agenda will make you look stupid and hard to work with.
  3. Perception and reputation are where decisions are actually being made. Do I like or trust this business? Do I feel like they could actually solve my problem? Do they match my values and ethos? Is buying from them too risky? A good reputation assuages most questions like this.
  4. Branding is at the root of how we change our reputations. Branding + classical conditioning + patience = reputation management.
  5. We must have a consistent brand voice, personality, look, and overall vibe or else we’ll be diluting our brand and not influencing our reputation

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Meet The Judges

Darwin Liu
Darwin Liu
Founder, CEO of X Agency

Darwin Liu is the founder and CEO of X Agency. He believes in the power of strategic digital marketing and always finding the most efficient way to work with clients’ budgets and grow their revenue. He cut his teeth as an entry-level account manager at a large agency and quickly rose through the ranks to become the fastest promoted at the agency. He managed digital strategy for the largest accounts which totaled over $50M in annual spending. Throughout this time, Darwin established himself as a thought leader in the industry. In June 2017, he followed his entrepreneurial desires and founded X Agency. Darwin always has his eye focused on growing X Agency consistently hitting milestones since its founding.

John Rake
John Rake
CTO BetaBlox, CEO BuildingBlox

John’s passion lies in helping entrepreneurs and startup founders launch amazing software into the market that customers love. He partners with early-stage companies, to help them validate their ideas, to build software that matters and that customers actually want to buy. John has helped many bold entrepreneurs solve big problems that create a lasting impact.

Kaitlyn Lemus Portillo
Kaitlyn Lemus Portillo
Owner, Money Mindset & Magic Mastermind, Freedom Automations

Kaitlyn has been leveraging her expertise to help companies create structure around their ideas and scale their businesses for over a decade. In her signature program Money Mindset & Magic, she and her team coach entrepreneurs on how to create systems that support growth at their unique starting point. She is known for her raw, authentic coaching style and encouraging her clients to connect to their authentic selves so they can elevate at exponential rates. After signing her first major publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing, Kaitlyn’s work was featured on Disney’s “A Cinderella Story”, Rebecca Black (It’s Friday!), as well as HGTV shows.

Matt Shatto
Matt Shatto
Founder, CEO Shatto Milk

Matt Shatto, the innovative CEO of Shatto Milk, has achieved remarkable success in the dairy industry. Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, Matt’s entrepreneurial journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to quality and innovation. Through his leadership, Shatto Milk has become a beloved brand known for its farm-fresh, handcrafted milk. Matt’s ability to navigate the challenges of the industry and his dedication to local, sustainable farming have earned him a well-deserved reputation as a pioneering entrepreneur. With his Midwestern charm and genuine passion for his craft, Matt continues to delight customers and redefine the dairy experience.

Nemanja "Neman" Golubovic
Nemanja "Neman" Golubovic
Founder, CEO of Kale My Name

Nemanja Golubovic, an entrepreneur from Montenegro, is the CEO and Founder of Kale My Name, one of America’s most successful vegan restaurants. Upon its launch, his mission has been to transform how people eat by providing plant-based meals that contribute to human health and look after our planet. With few resources and opportunities available to him when he first arrived in the United States from Montenegro, Golubovic has worked hard to become a successful business owner and provide healthy options for those who want them.

Steven Khuong
Steven Khuong
Co-founder, CEO at Curacubby, Inc.

Steven is the co-founder and CEO of Curacubby, a Next-Gen Fintech platform for education, recreation, and family activity programs. As a thought leader in operations and process management, Steven has been featured in international media including CNN,, and Inc. Magazine. He currently serves as a mentor at the Envestnet | Yodlee Fintech Launchpad, as an advisor to the Arrowhead Center of Innovation at New Mexico State University, and previously a parent co-founder of an early education program for children with special needs.

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