I have done pitching on three continents and raised funding usually for Life Science technology companies. Some times there is an immediate click and the discussion becomes a humble solid two way dialogue.
The number of different type of startup pitching competitions around the world is tremendous and still growing. Some of them have been 100% theater type of actions, where the organizers simply collect their lucrative fees and do not even seriously aim for anything else than a reasonable show. The ones organized usually by the investors them self serve the purpose well. For the young companies it is important not to waste time in places where the audience is not hungry for the information and some sleep before the opening line of the speaker.
I found the article below well written. Pitching indeed should be a symmetrical discovery activity and must be approached as such. Please have a look: