Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Pitch perfect: IDEALondon’s start-ups take to the stage for Investor Day

October 17, 2014

Katherine Hannah

Last week the IDEALondon tech hub opened its doors for its bi-annual Investor Day, giving IDEAL’s brightest start-ups the opportunity to showcase their work to a packed audience of investors.

We hold these events in March and October, and our latest was the culmination of a month-long investment season where we ran a series of activities to help our start-ups become investment-ready.

This included a session where we turned the tables and asked the start-ups to quiz a panel of investors on what they look for when scoping out investment opportunities, which offered some real food for thought.

We also helped the start-ups to step back and look at their proposals objectively to cherry-pick their selling points. If you’re in a room full of investors, they won’t be interested in the finer details of your company’s history – they want to know when they will see a return on their investment. There is a very small window of opportunity to get their ears to prick up, and we showed the start-ups how to optimise that.

We did this by running a series of pitching masterclasses, covering everything from content to posture and even clothing, before asking the participants to present their business ideas to the other start-ups. It’s always more difficult to pitch in front of your peers, so this threw them straight in to the lion’s den!

On the day, Cisco BIG’s Tom Kneen kicked off proceedings before 11 IDEAL start-ups took to the stage to present a three-minute pitch. From gaming and fashion through to retail analytics, healthcare and publishing; our stellar line-up offered a diverse range of proposals, before fielding questions from the audience and a panel of experts from UCL, DC Thompson and Cisco.

Keynote speaker Niall Murphy from IoT-based company EVRYTHNG was also on hand to share his journey from founding The Cloud to becoming a celebrated tech entrepreneur. He also offered some sage advice to the start-ups, telling them: “It’s really important to articulate your vision, and then back it up with your business plan.”

Funding is always competitive for start-ups in any industry, and events like this not only help on this journey but also give our residents the opportunity to make connections, spark conversation and receive feedback from the people that really matter. The pitches all went brilliantly, testament to the power that the right coaching and support can have – a sentiment that sits at the core of our Cisco BIG initiative.



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