Chris Reed from Proxismart tells us about his experience of pitching to a panel of investors, at Entrepreneurs of the North - a special event organised by the Innovation SuperNetwork.
Tell us about your business?
We are award winning Smart Beacon specialists, and home of the innovative ParkingPerx and TravelPerx solutions.
Smart Beacons are a technology that allows Mobile Apps (running on both iOS and Android devices) to listen for signals from beacons in the physical world and react accordingly.
What stage of development are you at?
We've been established for 2 years, and are in the early stages of revenue.
What level of funding are you seeking and what would this enable you to achieve?
£250,000 would enable continued development of our flagship product, and recruitment of HR resources to convert the opportunities we have created. It's vital; it will accelerate plans to establish market lead and deliver on growth.
How did you prepare for the event?
VentureFest North East, and workshops organised by FinanceCamp and run by expert presenter Dan Bond. Dan was particularly good as he got me thinking about elements of pitching previously not considered.
How did you feel before meeting the investors, and about the pitch?
I was confident in my business and the opportunity it provides; a little nervous, but energy that I think I used well in the pitch.
Did you make promising connections?
I have made a number of good connections as a result of the event – and each are very promising so YES!
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?
I think if a stronger network of investors was available in the North then this would be less important but it could prove vital. The work that Innovation SuperNetwork are doing is to be commended to address a known shortfall
Did anything surprise you about the experience of pitching to a roomful of London investors?
That I was able to deliver within 60 seconds enough to generate interest in my business!
Were there any similarities/differences between pitching to London and local investors?
The difference in this event was the quality / number of investors. There was a greater chance to make the right match to the type of investor suitable for my business. I have been to events in the North where the room was full of accountants, lawyers and other professional services who are looking for potential clients rather than investors looking to put money in.
Having gone through this experience, what words of advice would you give to anyone preparing to pitch for investment?
Remember that investors are there because they are interested in what you can offer and they are actively looking for good companies to invest in. They are looking to make deals and make money – so believe in your business and products and importantly ask for the right amount of money that you need – not what you think they are prepared to invest!