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Techstars Show How to Pitch with Passion Prt 1

So, the question was ‘would the presentations from this years Techstars start-ups companies really make investors want to take the plunge?’ The event was held in a small theatre in Boulder Colorado on Thursday and my only wish was that I had the kind of money they were looking for. I would have invested in a bunch of them to be honest!

Techstars Start-ups Event in Boulder

So what made the event so good? Well here are a few pointers:

– It’s Powerpoint Jim, but not as we know it: I don’t mind Powerpoint, but the presentations I have seen in the past tend to use static slides which can get a bit monotonous. The Techstar companies presentations were sharp, interesting, funny, used animation, video and were timed to a tee. Irish start-ups thinking of pitching should look at how these are done and take the best from them. The presentations were taped and once I get a link for them I will put them up. Practice, practice, practice is the order of the day.

– Excitement is Contagious: There is obviously a strong feeling of solidarity and community in Boulder, particularly among the start-ups companies. Yes, it was a bit American, as my travel companion a wealthy Irish investor said, it was a bit ‘punch the air’, but Irish entrepreneurs could probably do with a bit of that. As each team went up, the crowd went, well, wild to be honest. Family members were in the gallery. And everyone connected with the start-ups had t-shirts with the company name and logo on it. It also made it easy to spot them after the event, where the investors (who were seated on the floor area of the theatre) could spot them afterwards

– Having some of the money in advance: Interesting that most of the companies were looking for between $350K and $1 million, and most of them seemed to have raised half to three-quarters of this money already. Investor success breeds investor success, and I suspect a few of them closed their funding targets last Thursday.

– Competition what Competition? It was interesting to note that there was almost no comment about competition. What they did focus on instead was that there solution was a better way of working. A case of ‘here is how people do it now. Here is how we save you time/money if you do it our way.’ Rather than focus on competitors, they focused on how it was a process improvement doing it their new way. My investor companion thought this was strange, his own industry tends to focus on competitors very closely and a sales pitch for a company in his sector wouldn’t get away with not mentioning the state of the market.

What I think in hindsight is that most of these are about a completely different way of doing business, and it could be argued in their own unique space they don’t have direct competitors. Just old ways of doing things. As most of the companies were Web 2.0 companies, this way is probably valid.

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  1. January 8, 2011 at 17:19

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