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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

How to make an innovative 90-second business pitch

Remove technical jargon and slow the pace down – that’s the two key pieces of advice Canberra Innovation Network CEO Petr Adamek has for those nervous ahead of an important business pitch.

Ten local companies have been given the dream opportunity to present a 90-second elevator pitch in a high intensity session at the not-for-profit’s annual Innovation Showcase tomorrow, 2 December.

After a business pitch practice session earlier in the week, Mr Adamek said he coached entrants to keep things interesting and easy on the ear.  

“They have to realise there will be 10 pitches in a row, so it is cognitively demanding on the listeners,” he said.

“Relax, go slower, pose a question – maybe a hypothetical. Give breathing space to the audience.”

This year the event will be livestreamed, with audiences encouraged to tune in and participate in what’s set to be a memorable day – think Shark Tank meets the Melbourne Cup. 

Winners will be chosen by a judging panel of four: Nobel laureate and ANU Vice Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt, famous for his discovery of dark energy; journalist and arts professional Genevieve Jacobs, who chairs the ACT Creative Advisory Council; social enterprise business guru Cindy Mitchell, founding CEO of Mill House Ventures; and tech entrepreneur John De Margheriti, of BigWorld and the Academy of Interactive Entertainment.

All the entrants have interacted with the Canberra Innovation Network at some point, be it via grants, the coworking space, previous pitching events or accelerator programs.

“The community here is large, it’s connected and it’s growing,” Mr Adamek said.

The Innovation Showcase lineup features startups specialising in delicious non-alcoholic beer, a carbon reduction app, wastewater recycling solutions, robotics, compact quantum computers, socially conscious coffee beans, cyber security solutions, ethical supply chain tools and more.

The overall winner chosen by the judges will receive $1,000 to use however they like, and the people’s choice will win $500.

Mr Adamek said he loved to see variety, because no one wants to listen to a stream of pitches that sound the same.

“If you can have a prop, if you can have some shocking numbers, something that isn’t common knowledge that can surprise me as an audience member, then you will engage me.”

He also encouraged developing an emotional hook, maybe something personal to the business owner.

“Communicating innovation is a fundamental thing – it doesn’t matter if your innovation is great if you can’t convince people like investors, employees and customers that it’s valuable to them.”

“Demonstrate what your innovation is about.

“Often people go too deep into the solution – people don’t care exactly how you do things, they care about the change you can make in the world.”

Event details:

Canberra Innovation Network Innovation Showcase

Wednesday 2 December 2020

Broadcasting from 3pm

Viewers can register via: cbrin.com.au/innovationshowcase

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