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tricky part. But never think there’s not enough time to demonstrate to the jury you are the best person to be successful in this business. Focus on what you have already achieved and what you have in the pipeline. This is how we recognise an

entrepreneur: he or she has to be a doer, first. So, show your determination, show your knowledge with well-selected figures, examples, and company name drops. Show you already have committed potential customers and partners, show you have a better competitive position, and most importantly show you have already engaged the best team to work with you, as well as a strong advisory board.

‘Why’ is important Figures are always nice, but first things first, explaining ‘why’ should be a major part of your presentation. If you can convince the jury why your value proposition answers a real market need and represents a solid societal trend, then you’re halfway there. The other half will consist of demonstrating you and your team – it’s a collective game – have a specific alignment in terms of values with the challenge you are addressing. This is what will make you unique. Be specific: why are you ready to give all your energy and time to address this challenge? Spell out why your solution is distinct from existing ones, and show that you are customer-centric and focusing on market demand. Adaptability is key.

Know your figures You have to be convincing on your figures: the size of the market, pricing, awareness of competition, various business model options (combining a product with a service), generating repeat business, general market trends, potential evolution, and always try to show an attractive revenue stream. Also, be specific on the amount of investment you want, and link it to a tangible action plan. Bear in mind investors are looking for scalability, not a high fixed-cost level. Your pitch should sound to the jury like an obvious and demonstrated investment opportunity.

Show you have got the ball rolling You have limited time to convince, effectively only a few minutes. This is the | @electrooptics

Don’t forget appearances What you are wearing was not only a joke to introduce this article, it is also part of the game. The way you are behaving, moving or showing a product on video is also key. Adapt your presentation to the jury’s expertise and expectation; provide them with what they are looking for. Technical experts will evaluate the value of your technology, market experts will assess your market knowledge, financial experts will assess your growth and value potential. Also, do not miss the opportunity to highlight the pertinence of the jury’s points, especially when you don’t have an immediate or definitive answer to them. Use it as a peg to continue the exchange and

“First things first, explaining ‘why’ should be a major part of your presentation”

build up a relationship. Remember that it is not what happens during your pitch, but how you react to what happens during your pitch – you will also be judged on that. Finally, images are always nicer than

text. Images illustrate your pitch and keep your audience focused on you and what you are saying. Text tends to distract attention. The same for financial tables, which are less attractive than graphs illustrating the potential of growth. But again, what is most important is the energy you are transmitting, as well as your expertise. Give before you get! To conclude, here is a suggested pitch structure, to be adapted to the requirements set by the jury: one third of the presentation on the opportunity and market (Why: values); one third on your solution and competitive positioning, who your customers are (What: differentiation); and a third on your team, partners and growth strategy (How: action plan) as a unique investment opportunity. Last tip: practice, practice, and practice

again! EO



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