Making The Pitch

November 13, 2006

Went along to a “Dragons’ Den” event tonight run by Software New Zealand.

Apparently these guys do this kind of thing in Auckland the first Tuesday each month, and I have to say, if they run this in Wellington once a month then count me in. It’s one of the few “outside business hours” events that actually had a bit of a buzz to it. It wasn’t just people going along to do it “for their job”, people were actually there because they were passionate about it. It was easy to network. Real easy. Rod gave a good presentation and laid into the big telcos. Controversy is good.

A real credit to NZSA for organising this.

The thing that really struck me was that there appears to plenty of investment moolah out there, but not many good ideas.

Nine companies pitched for dough this evening. Here’s my thoughts:

  • with all due respect, the pitches were mostly awful, unclear and not exciting
  • only one presentation made use of (reasonably OK powerpoint) presentation media
  • too many “erms”!
  • too many people running over their 5 minute timeslot (criminal)
  • just by appearance, I would have shyed away from investing from in one particular individual

So there’s some simple lessons to be learnt:

  • for God’s sake, practice your pitch
  • you have to sell yourself as someone people want to work with…
  • look smart and engage your audience
  • you need to tell a compelling story and grab their attention
  • it’s not about features, it’s all about “what’s in it for me?”

It’s all common sense, and I guess I shouldn’t bitch and moan until I ever get up there myself. But some of the presentations tonight simply did not spin my wheels. Didn’t turn one single degree.
The Segway demo out in the foyer did however.

Links to the “better” presentations on things that span my wheels: