Barclays Accelerator Demo Day: Perfect Your Pitch/ Key Lessons

by | Aug 4, 2017

“What the programme aims to prove is that openness to change is critical and that change which is sustainable and done at a macro level in a bank or anywhere is not just a one man or one woman’s job… it takes a large circle of smart, dedicated, hardworking and collaborative minds to make it work and to make it last for a long time…”
-Yasaman Hadjibashi, Group Chief Creation Officer of Barclays Rise

Collaboration, innovation and adapting to change were key elements evident in the pitches of the Barclays Accelerator Demo Day powered by Techstars and hosted by Rise Cape Town. The 2nd of August saw the culmination of thirteen weeks of workshopping, strategising and testing as ten entrepreneurs from around the world showcased their start-ups. The diversity of startups ranged from financial digital platforms for the agricultural industry and lay-bys,  to funeral insurance, solar power and event organising. In a room full of mentors, media, investors and general public, the entrepreneurs had the stage to pitch their business idea and convince the audience why their business was worth investing in and supporting. This is vital- if an entrepreneur cannot confidently, informatively and concisely present their passion, their business idea, something needs fixing.

The pitches were consistent in length, approximately six minutes each, and the quality of the speaker. The pitches also followed a similar formula which kept the audience engaged and inspired. See below for tips on structure and content.

-Showcase your company’s personality. Think about what colours or images people will associate with your brand.
-First impressions count. Tell a good story and set the foundation of the pitch.
“The specific quality that a message needs to be successful is the quality of ‘stickiness.’
Is the message… or the product-memorable?
Is it so memorable, in fact, that it can create change, that it can spur someone to action?” (Malcolm Gladwell)

Outline the gap in the market
-Create context. This is especially relevant as people will probably not be familiar with your country and industry.

The solution
-This is where you can really ‘show-off’ your business by describing the benefits and showcasing how it works.
-Images/icons, videos and interactive user journeys are great for helping people retain information and understanding the concept.
-Proof of concept- explain the success of a pilot project or share current statistics. This builds credibility.

The team
-People like people. They like to know and see who is behind the great idea. Focus on your team’s collective experience.
-Having a strong team further solidifies your credibility as a business.

Revenue model and scaling opportunity
-You are talking to potential investors. Clearly describe how your business will make money.
-Share what deals/developments are already in the pipeline, outlining how you see your business growing and what your aspirations are.

Proof point
-Show your ability to take market share and to disrupt the industry. How are you creating change?
-Validity- who already believes in your business and is partnering or affiliating with your brand?

And last but not least:

Call to action
-What do you want the audience to do post watching your pitch?

Read more about the Barclays Cape Town Programme.



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