Please, make HUNDRED versions of your pitch!

We had a long discussion with Mircea, my Partner in SBT Venture Capital, after we both jumped out from a call with a start-up pitching for a series A investment.

Mircea was pitched on a SME micro lending US based start-up, and he told me the guy spent 10 of the 30 minutes available in explaining why alternative lending is a good business to be, market size and opportunity.

Now, if you are talking to a Fintech investor who lives on earth and has not been hibernated for the past 5 years, you could assume that he knows something about one of the biggest trends of this business, with two recents IPOs in US, right?
Also, 3 seconds on our website would immediately help you spot we already invested in Advanced Merchant Payments, in the alternative lending field.

This is one of the reasons why we are doing the Crash Course on start-ups at FinTechStage : one of the topics we want to share with the crowd (presumably early stage, not only Fintech and seed-funded companies at best) is the most effective way to get investor attention. 

There are several parameters to be taken into the account:
– how much time you have
– who are you pitching to
– in which context are you pitching
– how do you think the person in front of you can help best
– what has this person done in the past that can add most value to what you are doing
– …. And many more…

There is a fact: in Fintech, today, there are more start-ups than available funds, especially if you want to get funded by someone who – on paper at least – has the right connections and experience to help (even though many entrepreneurs would take any money, and it s fair enough, I made this mistake before as well).
What does it mean?

You have to stand out from the crowd, from the 3/4 daily pitches we all get, especially in a round where you are asking an investor to value your company three to ten times your current revenue and you cannot commit you will get there because there is not enough evidence to demonstrate it.

So the first thing you will get money for is how smart, empathic, resourceful, well prepared and mindful of your counterparts YOU will be.

Not your pitch, YOU… well, your fundamentals have to be sound as well, of course. But in most cases, unless you have invented something that NO ONE else has done, there are other parameters that might get you funded. And most of them you can learn how to prepare.

Stay tuned


Innotribe Start-up challenge, Osaka calling!

It has been a while since my last blog, and very soon you will get the reason for all that busy-ness (the beauty of blogging is that I can invent words).
As a short preview, I’m super busy in building the next blocks of the Innotribe Incubator, and I do hope to be able to announce it how soon.

Today I’d like to do a little celebration blog for the achievement of the last phase of the Innotribe Start-up challenge.
Like a triathlon, we have now the list of the final 15 (for the Battlestar Galactica followers, this sounded so much as the Final5 Cylons) that will showcase @Osaka during the 4 weeks away Sibos Conference.

Let’s start with the list of the companies, in the two categories, that made to the final pitch:

Growth Stage Start-ups

Gust –
Lenddo –
OpenGamma –
Pendo Systems –
The Currency Cloud –

Early Stage Start-ups

Claveo Software –
DemystData –
Digital Shadows –
Funding Options Ltd –
NestEgg –
P2P Cash Technology­ –
PhotoPay –
PlayMoolah –
Snappay –
XYverify Corp. –

An interesting note is that, in average, 30% of the Innotribe Start-ups who participated in our challenges (starting from Sibos in Toronto last year) have been either funded or – in one case – bought (see Truaxis story ).

So in one year from now, let’s see what happens to this wave.
Let me remind you one again that the Grand Finale of the start-up challenge @Sibos is on Thursday at 1215 PM, and attendance is open to the Sibos delegates.
All participants will be entitled to vote for the winners, and among the early stage pitchers we will issue a 50K USD prize.

Stay tuned!