Pitching to the investor

admin | Monday, March 21st, 2011

Presently at  MEST, 5 teams are preparing to pitch their software business ideas to the MEST Incubator. Each team is working on unique ideas that are in one way or the other seeking to solve problems for businesses and individuals.

It’s pretty intense right now and you know, pitching an idea to a group of friends is really never the same as pitching to an angel investor or a venture capitalist. In both cases, the entrepreneur tries their best to communicate for example, how their idea works, how they will get their first customers etc and even more importantly, how they will make money…  I can promise you a lot of work, time and resources are invested by both parties to make the best of the moment. The entrepreneur (in this case the entrepreneur-in-training, EIT) at MEST typically wants to be able to have answers to all possible questions they are likely to be asked by the MEST Incubator management team.

Here’s the scoop into how the teams at MEST are preparing…

EITs have carefully selected teams members from their class here at MEST based on complimentary skills sets (tech vs. business), industry interest levels etc, and currently these teams are in the final stages of determining which of their ideas to pitch to the MEST Incubator for seed funding by June 2011. Here are some questions each team is trying to address:

From a technology point of view, each team is considering the following:

  • Are we (team members) excited about the idea?
  • Do we see an opportunity to create a solution to solve a problem that will also earn revenue?
  • Is it technically feasible, do we see a technological limitation that could prevent implementation of the idea?
  • Are we as a team able to execute?

And from a business point of view:

  • What is the pain for the prospective customer, and how is our idea going to address that pain?
  • Is there a market for the idea, and if yes, what is the size of the market?
  • Are there players already in that space, and if yes, how is our idea different?
  • Is the team able to communicate the idea well enough to convince someone to invest in the idea?
  • With regards to business sustainability, what are the middle to long term strategies?

Each team is working hard to address all these questions and more. Best of luck to all the teams! And by the way this is not a complete list, what do you think? And how will you prepare to pitch your idea to an investor? Share your thoughts…

  • Ben

    Nice to see the MEST entrepreneurs gearing up for the pitch. You can find some of the tools I have been using to support a mobile business incubator here in the Netherlands at http://bit.ly/hf33Pv.

    On VC4Africa.biz you can visit the ventures section and summarize your business idea with plan cruncher. It askes a number of questions that are quite helpful to the entrepreneur and to make sure they have thought about all the key points. This summary is a good basis fo a pitch.

    VC4Africa.biz is also a good place to post your ventures and to see if you cannot connect your ideas with possible partners and investors.

    One question to ask yourself before going into the pitch itself…what are the three points I want people to remember? What are the three most important ideas someone should look back on.

    Another tip is to film the pitches and to review them as a group.

    Will these be published?


    • Thanks Ben for your comments and suggestions. I particularly like the point you raised about ‘the three points you want people to remember’.

      One of the best ways to evaluate this is to first of all pitch your idea to your friends, and then after the presentation, ask them for the three things they took away from your presentation. Now compare their takeaway points with yours and then evaluate for yourself how well you communicated your idea.

      And back to your question about the publishing of the pitches, currently, no the pitches are not published, but could be something worth considering in the near future 🙂