Chris Kennelly of JimJam 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.

JimJam provides online physiotherapy and rehabilitation via live video call

How long has your company been in operation?
JimJam was created August 2016 and it was soft launched at the back end of November. To date the focus has mainly been on development of the platform, but, now fully operational, our attentions are turning to sales and marketing.

What level of funding are you seeking and what would this enable you to achieve?
We are looking for £250K and this is primarily to drive growth within the UK. The governance, technology and clinical evidence is all in place, it is now all about getting the message out there that remote physio is as effective, if not more so, than the traditional hands on model.

How essential is this funding to your future growth?
We’re in a lucky position that we are able to continue to grow the company organically, but we want to take advantage of being the first to market with this service and so additional funding becomes more important to realising this.

Have you had experience of raising finance in the past and if so, how was this?
I’ve previously spoken with a number of investors (VC and angel) about raising money for another company of mine. I eventually decided that, at that time and for that company, funding wasn’t the best course of action. So whilst I don’t have experience of raising finance, I have been through that decision making process, which is useful.

How did you prepare for the event?
I attended a number of pitch training events, arranged by the Innovation SuperNetwork, and spoke with a number of mentors and friends that have previously both raised finance and invested in start ups.

How did you feel before meeting the investors?
Excited but apprehensive at the same time! Investing in a company is the ultimate validation in what you’re doing and so speaking to anyone that may potentially want to invest in your company will inevitably elicit these emotions.

How did you find the experience of pitching to/talking to the investors?
I’m not sure anyone likes public speaking, but the pitch training provided the tools to do this and meant my nerves were controllable. As for talking to investors – we’re passionate about JimJam and what we do and so we’re happy to talk to anyone about this.

Did you make promising connections?
Yes. We made a number of contacts on the day and after the event, a couple of which look promising.
As a young company looking for investment, having access to the broadest spectrum of possible investors can only be a good thing.

Did anything surprise you about the experience of pitching to a roomful of London investors?
That I’m not as awful as I first thought and it wasn’t that scary! The pitch training had a big part to play in that.

What words of advice would you give to anyone preparing to pitch for investment?
Get some expert advice and practice, practice, practice.