Now that’s compelling!

Was this the first step on the creation of a successful business? You saw it here first!

Compelling pitchAlberto Frangini received a bottle of bubbly for the quality of his elevator pitch to the Visiting Professors of Innovation (Rick Mitchell, Sam Beale and Pieter Knook) by describing clearly and concisely how his approach to screening for drugs for Alzheimer’s might make millions for a pharmaceutical company. He quickly defined the size of the prize and the problem, how his approach could help and what the next step is. In less than two minutes he’d got the audience’s attention, hooking them in with some factoids – there are only five drugs available for Alzheimer’s and a success rate of <0.5% even from clinical trials. So if he could help – that’s got to be worth something.

Listening to pitches about better orthopaedic surgery, helping companies develop services, bringing the Dalai Lama to Cambridge, improving the sustainability of companies’ manufacturing and a radical idea for calendars in emerging markets, both pitchers and audience learned a lot.

Why should your listener be interested? You’ll have to explain the benefit – and your audience will not be as close to the subject as you, so don’t assume it’s obvious!

What, exactly, do you want? Be clear about what you need – it’s so easy to describe the idea, but forget to describe what you want.

Why should your audience believe – and why you? So what are you doing? Why is it clever? And why are you the best person to do it and your approach the best way?

After which, of course, the answer is “yes”. Or in this case “the bottle is yours”.

Oh, and by the way, one of the pitches from last year’s practice session went on to win CUTEC’s Start-up Competition (www.cutec.org/congratulations-winners-tvc-startup-competition/) and then funding from Herman Hauser. VocalIQ are now up and running (www.vocaliq.com/) – maybe Alberto and his team will be next.

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