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How to pitch your Startup

Written by InnovX

In February, InnovX Business Acceleration Program will be officially launched through a series of events organized as workshops, fast track days, hackatons in collaboration with it’s main partners. “Pitch like a STAR(tup) – The Three Questions Investors Ask” is part of the preparatory events organised by Startup Grind & InnovX for the companies that intend to apply to the acceleration programm.

InnovX goes further then traditional accelerators and search for the projects that might be interesting for private investors, banks and European institutions alike. We call this concept “THE BANKABILITY OF EUROPEAN PROJECTS”. And yes, companies that are able to check the eligibility and evaluation criterias of all three types of funding: private investments, loans and EU grants are more likely to succeed and scale faster. It might sound overwhelming, but this is a process that can be taught and at InnovX this is what you’ll learn. So come at our event and have a preview of what will come!

What Investors want?

Three questions: 1. What do you do, 2. How do you make money doing it, and 3. What are you going to do with my money. Startups are typically quite clear about the first two questions. Almost no one gets out of an incubator alive without being knowledgeable and articulate about those first two questions. But that third question often goes unanswered in the startup world, and so investors often walk away wanting to invest in something, but not doing so. And so a lot of entrepreneurs, 5 years down the road, can be found working for the marketing or engineering department of a big multinational, when what they should be doing is bringing their idea to the world. And they’re not bringing their idea to the world not because the idea was bad, but simply because they didn’t finish answering the questions of the investors who could have unlocked a different future for them. A good pitch is a combination of three ingredients: Narrative, visual design, and presentation skills. When pitching, you need to be laser-focused on what the investors need to know. You know that already. After all, you wouldn’t have gotten to where you are if you didn’t.  

What the European Commission wants?

Horizon 2020 is the largest RDI (research – development – innovation) programm în the EU. Through the SME Instrument, SMEs can access up to 2.5 million EUR non-refundable grants to accelerate their growth and scale their innovation at EU an global level. But do you know that starting with 2018, the European Commission introduced pitching in front of a jury as a mandatory evaluation method for accessing European grants for innovation? Then there is no surprise that InnovX Business Accelerator will prepare its startups to pitch like Rock Stars. Dani Dumitrescu, former evaluator with the European Commission on the SME Instrument grants, will give you some additional tips on how to adapt your pitch to overcome the notorious EU bureaucracy.

About our guest:

Matt is a Californian who now lives in Turkey. He began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their customers and investors better. He specializes in helping companies improve the narrative, design, and delivery of their pitches to investors. His clients range from small startups to larger household names like Microsoft, 3M, Citibank, Turkcell, and Reckitt Benckiser.

Matt studied Chinese history at the University of Chicago. He has traveled to 22 countries and lived on three different continents.

In 2013 he finished a 2,100 kilometer solo walk across Turkey, which he did primarily “because it needed to be done, and not a lot of people do it.” The walk took him 7-1/2 months. It was profiled on television stations and in magazines, and Matt wrote a book about it.

About our host:

With a Ph.D. in Cybernetics and Economic Statistics, over 18 years of experience in the financial field, Dani Dumitrescu worked in the last four years as Risk Finance Expert of the European Commission, evaluationg almost 200 of the most innovative driven startups in Europe. In September 2018, Daniel left the Romanian Commodities Exchange where he had an 18 month mandate as Chief Executive Officer, leading the organization through challenging and exciting times and achieving the best financial results from its incorporation. Currently, he is University Lecturer in Finance and co-founder alongside Diana of the European Center for Services Investments and Financing, based in Bucharest and with offices in Brussels and London, with the mission of helping innovative SMEs to develop through European and alternative funding by understanding all the requirements and benefits associated with each type of finance. Starting with September 2018, Dani is also Director of Startup Grind Bucharest. 

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