Recently, Intraix got shortlisted for Techventure 2012 for a pitch. The event known as “Pitching To The Stars” is a 3mins elevator pitch to renowned investors like Eduardo Saverin, George Kellerman (500 StartUps) and several others.
I pitched for the event and like to share my thoughts on the pitch and how I prepared for it. (my first pitching experience)
tl;dr: During your preparation, pitch to your friends/girlfriend/wife anyone that does NOT know what you are doing. Keep your pitch simple and concise. Your objective is to have them understand what you are doing and you are done. My pitch went well but it was not exactly according to what I rehearsed. And amazingly Intraix also won the Most Eco-Friendly Start-Up Award. We were totally surprised with the winning because we see some very exciting ideas from DSTA & a-star too.
No time?, watch the video at the bottom
Preparation For The Pitch:
Three minutes might seem pretty short, but if you prepare well you can communicate lots of ideas over 3mins. This is how the pitch was broken down
a) A funny opening/closing line – I did not have a funny opening line but I had a closing one. I heard this opening line from a fellow participant and I think it’s pretty funny.
Today I am going to try and share with you xxx <your idea> in 3mins that took me 4 years to explain to my wife.
- How it used to be like?
- What is happening now?
- How are the users affected?
- Who do we help?
- What are the features?
- How do the users benefit?
- How are we different?
- How do we make money?
- Where are we now?
- Our next business goal?
- How much are you raising?
- Why is our team the best?
The answers to some of the questions can be a simple one liner, and there is no problem with that. Why? Because imagine yourself in a 2 hours meeting, you attention span would shorten and you would want the presenter to go straight to the point.
The same goes for the investors, they are hearing 20 pitches that very same day and Intraix was number 16. We had to go straight to the point and the questions above address what a typically investor would love to know.
I shared my pitching script at the end of the post.
Murphy’s law is an epigram that is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.
Despite spending hours and hours rehearsing for pitch, when I was standing up on the stage, I felt nervous. Looking at such a big audience the stress level was literally quite high. I had a few pauses, made a few mistakes. One mistake was so funny, that even I laughed. Instead of saying, “We are better than our competitions” I said, “We are better than our CUSTOMERS”
Everyone laughed, me too. And laughing it off makes the atmosphere less tense and I was feeling much more comfortable. I think my pitch worked at least on the part about my joke on “we are cheap to keep alive” because an angel investor came up to me after the event and gave me feedback on my pitch. He said, I do not know exactly what you do but I think your idea is interesting and I remember you saying your team are cheap to keep alive, so I’m here. Can you explained what you do again?
Here is the script I used.
Traditionally, Data center leased out their racks and charged their customers on a per rack per month basis. Nowadays, with the increasing data usage, users add more servers to each rack thus increasing the cost to data center and even lead to power outage. These situations increase operating cost and affect the reliability of Data Center.
Intraix has developed a system that helps Data Center operators to detect abnormal energy consumptions at each rack level, this prevent users from adding additional loads without informing the operators…these features helps cut down cost for unexpected energy consumption and power outages
We are better than our competitions because our software is able to work with off the shelf power meters and retro fits easily to existing system…
We make money by charging Data Centers operators per rack per month.
We been developing the software for the past one year and have build a successful prototype. We have received commitment from XXX to pilot test their Data Center in XXX by the end of this year. We will be partnering with a local Rack manufacturer on this project. Our next business goal is to bring the prototype to a fully feature product … we are looking at a XXX dollar investment. We are the best team to do this because hungry, driven and we are cheap to keep alive. Our booth is located at XXX and we love to talk.
- How to Perfect Your Elevator Pitch For Your Business – 5 Tips (amsterdamprinting.com)
- Myojo Waraku: Startups Converge on Fukuoka for Japan’s Rendition of South By Southwest (techinasia.com)
- Lessons learned pitching my startup idea to a gamut of customers (bizdharma.com)