Ami Davies of Brand Ami tells us about her experience of pitching to a panel of investors, at a special event in London earlier this month.
Can you describe your business?
A wearable child safety product that prevents you from losing your child.
How long has your company been in operation?
It has taken 3 years from ideation, through product development phases and now we are nearly ready to launch!
What level of funding are you seeking, and why?
We are seeking a small amount of investment to buy stock and spread the word about our impending launch. As you can imagine we are very excited about it!
It’s pivotal to our future growth. We can’t get our amazing product out to market and help millions of parents without it.
Have you had experience of raising finance in the past?
Yes we have and I am delighted to say that we have successfully raised two round of investment in the past - £30K and £60K. There was a lot of learning to do and challenges to overcome like: what is being investment ready and “how do we become credible and backable?”
How did you prepare for the event?
I prepared for the event using advice from pitch practice sessions that we received before going to VentureFest North East and templates from Entrepreneurial Spark. I actually like pitching, so look forward to it, and I felt excited, fortunate, prepared, focussed!
How did you find the experience of pitching to/talking to the investors?
I really enjoyed it! It’s always an enriching and educational experience. You meet some very interesting people and they ask you lots of questions. How well you answer these questions is always a good way of gauging if you are ready and know everything you need to know. It’s a great way to keep building your knowledge and experience.
I made promising connections, and have had contact with a few investors since the event.
Entrepreneurs of the North aimed to provide Northern companies with access to London investors who wouldn't usually venture North to seek new prospects. How important is this to your business?
Critical! and we were very grateful for the opportunity! There are great investment opportunities in the North East, but larger rounds are required and thus raising our brand profile is critical!
Did anything surprise you about the experience of pitching to a roomful of London investors?
All the investors were attentive and engaged in the presentations. We were visited (at our stand) by multiple investors, it was a great platform. They were all really positive and friendly. Fear no more - investors are friendly and approachable! If you’ve pitched to one you've pitched to them all. Remain calm and confident and know your product and market inside out!
Having gone through this experience, what words of advice would you give to anyone preparing to pitch for investment?
Preparation is KEY! Make sure you have all the right content in the pitch. Start with a hook to captivate the audience then hit them relevant stats. Never be ambiguous. Next.... Practice, practice, practice and trying and find a way to keep your self calm before getting on stage. Get up on the stage before everyone arrives and familiarise yourself with your surroundings. If you’ve never used a mic before have a go and try to enjoy it. Most importantly let your passion shine through, if you’re not enthusiastic about it, you can’t expect anyone else to be.
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