The Perfect First Date

Seduce our panel by doing your homework

There’s a lot to consider when pitching for up to $5 million. What will you wear? Will you power dress or go in startup casual – jeans and a hoodie? What will you say? Should you tell your best joke? Or entice them with promises? Our judges hear pitches daily, so what’s going to make yours stand out?

The Big Pitch brings together an esteemed panel of experts who bring much more than dollars to the table. They’ve done all the hard yards you have, and more. Unlike securing a loan from the bank, a successful pitch is the start of a more complex relationship. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, working out strategies and solutions, and you’ll share the emotional lows and highs as your business experiences failure and success. With this in mind, you need to get them interested in the idea and be an attractive prospect in yourself as the one at the helm.

Preparation is the key and the first step is to start googling. Read interviews the judges have given, study articles about them and get a sense of their business style. There is a sentence in the introduction of Oxygen Ventures’ pitching guidelines that says it all; “Here’s a run-down of what your pitch needs. If this isn’t what you’ve heard before – forget what you heard.” So you should probably study the pitching guidelines inside out too.

Here are some choice quotes to get you thinking:

Larry Kestelman: Managing Director of Oxygen Ventures.

”I love startups. I love doing things a little differently. I like to get involved in the business and expose them to the powers we have as a group”

Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin: CEO of BlueChilli

“A pitch should have just enough information to get the curiosity kicking in. There’s no need for a detailed financial plan – give me the big numbers and let me want more.”

Ilya Frolov: Investment Director at Oxygen Ventures

“We want to make a bit of a splash in the startup ecosystem to say ‘hey, we’re out here, we’ve got some funds, and we’re looking for innovative and disruptive companies to invest in.”

You need to get to know the judges’ personalities. What drives them and motivates them to succeed? What are their main interests in business? 

All of this information comes together to inform your pitch. If the judges can see you’ve done your homework and are serious about being in business with them, your pitch is likely to be more successful. After all, it’s not a one-night stand you’re looking for, but a long-lasting faithful relationship.