Earlier this year I attended the Conduit Accel Pitch Demo Day event hosted by the University of Adelaide.

I had met many of the entrepreneurs who pitched at this event and I was delighted to see how much they have progressed over the months that I had worked with them.

The pitches were tailored to target Angel Investors and were fabulous examples of what can be achieved in a five-minute pitch. These pictures were very strategic. They were designed to entice, explain and persuade investors to want to know more.

Every pitch is unique. You need to be very clear as to what your problem is, how your product solves that problem and this all needs to be tailored to the audience.

The pitches were five minutes in length and all had a really clear structure.

  1. Problem
    • Your pitch should always start with the problem that your product or service is solving. This establishes the market. It’s important to amplify the problem as if there is no problem, there is no market
  2. Solution
    • You then provide the audience with the solution. Your product or service is the solution for the need created by the problem
  3. Market
    • This is where you explore the opportunity further. You can go into detail and explain the size of the market and the segment you wish to target. Explaining your market is very important without a market you have no sales
  4. Team
    • Talking about the team gives you an opportunity to let people know why you are the people to provide the solution. You can explain your skill set and how you are the best people to bring this product to market
  5. Revenue stream
    • The revenue stream covered all areas of the financials from income, investor benefits predicted growth and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) Including EBITDA was a wise choice as it is recognised internationally and enabled the investors to compare different companies with different capital investment, debt and tax profiles.
  6. Exit strategy
    • Many Angel investors are interested in ROI. They want to know the exit strategy as their goal is to invest in a business and then make a profit when the company sold
  7. Ask
    • The ‘ask’ is what differentiates a pitch. Without a strong ‘ask’ you just have a presentation. What I liked about the conduit excel pitches was that they all had a strong ask with a dollar figure. And that dollar figure was in USD, as the Angel Investors were based in Denver in the United States.
    • The pitching participants also explained how they would use this investment, for example, seed funding, expansion of the current line or new software.

The reality is we will need to pitch. We may need to pitch our idea to a committee to get it signed off. We may need to pitch a new product range to clients, or it may be as simple as pitching an overseas holiday to our partners.

Ultimately our goal is to be persuasive, and the element of persuasion is to win others over, not to defeat them. Indeed life is a pitch.

Sharon Ferrier
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