I. WHAT HAPPENS AT THE GAUNTLET?

  • Three companies are given 7 minutes to pitch their business to an audience of investors and entrepreneurs.
  • A panel of 4-5 relevant experts has15 minutes to provide feedback and post questions to the company.
  • The audience asks the company 2-3 questions.

II. WHO IS THE AUDIENCE?

  • Attendance is by invitation only.
  • The audience is made up of potential investors, partners and other entrepreneurs.
  • They can give advice, evangelize your business, make introductions and even provide funding.

III. WHAT DO THEY WANT?

  • A new business concept with a sizeable market and growth potential.
  • Businesses that create unique value for your customers.
  • Businesses with a sustainable competitive advantage.
  • An experienced management team worth betting on.
  • Inspiration, excitement, a connection with the entrepreneur, and of course, a tickling of the greed impulse that will make them want to get involved.

IV. PRESENTATION GUIDELINES

  • Focus on what the audience needs to know, not what you want to say.
    • Be selective in what you say V you have 7 minutes V what are the critical issues and points?
    • Demonstrate how your company will earn high returns.?
    • Why should an investor fund your business over others?
    • Slides illustrate and support your speaking points. They are not to be read.
  • Slides must be visually appealing; text should be easily read, graphics understood.
    • Prioritize where audience eyeballs will focus on screen.
    • Font must be visible to a room of 200 people.
    • No more than 3 key points per slide. Ensure your key points are identified upfront in your discussion.
    • Limit words per slide. Use phrases only.
  • Time presentation so it is no longer than 7 minutes. You will get cut off after that.
    • Generally, 7 minutes equates to 7-12 slides.
  • General content guidelines:(these are guidelines. Try to incorporate these slides, not necessarily in this order but it would be to your benefit if it was included)
    • Slide 1: Market for problem or need being addressed
      • Demonstrate a sizable market.
      • Outline growth potential.
    • Slide 2: Your value proposition (solving the problem)
      • Describe product or service offering with features and benefits.
      • Describe unique value you provide.
    • Slide 3: The business model
      • Define current business status (e.g. concept development, beta-testing, revenue generating, in expansion)
      • Define your business operations: what do you do/how?
      • Outline all revenue streams V [thats technically your revenue model]
    • Slide 4: Current customers
      • Define target customer group(s).
      • Who are your current customers?
      • Outline near-term segment vs. long-term segment opportunities.
    • Slide 5: Competition and competitive advantages
      • Describe your "secret sauce" and why it is sustainable.
      • Define your current competition, projected competition and your competitive advantage in relation to them.
      • What are barriers to entry for potential competitors? Do you own any intellectual property?)
      • What is your cost per customer relative to competition.
    • Slide 6: Growth strategies
      • Sales strategies.
      • Distribution channel strategies.
      • Marketing and communications strategies.
      • Strategic partnerships and alliances (with agreements in place.)
      • Keys to customer adoption and success.
    • Slide 7: Operations
      • How you will achieve scale.
      • The exit strategy.
    • Slide 8: Management Team
      • Team members and roles.
      • Highlight relevant experience only.
      • Summarize why team is qualified to bet on.
    • Slide 9: Milestones
      • Critical achievements.
      • Deadline for each achievement.
    • Slide 10: 5-Year Summary projections
      • Revenues.
      • Operating Expenses.
      • EBITDA.
      • Volume and/or users.
    • Slide 11: Resources you are seeking
      • Capital.
      • Advisors.
      • Partnerships and/or introductions.
    • Slide 12: Company contact name and information

V. PRESENTER GUIDELINES

  • Tell a cohesive story
  • Focus on what will make you successful
  • Focus on main point of each slide and move on
  • Keep attention of audience on speaker not slides
  • Acknowledge point of each question before answering
  • Use best speaker on management team to present
  • Rehearse audio with video
  • Practice with timer, do not exceed allotted time
  • Memorize presentation
  • Speak at conversational speed
  • Vary voice intonation and gestures
  • Practice standing
  • Make eye contact with audience members
  • Dress in professional attire
  • Be engaging, exciting and motivating
  • Acknowledge the point of each question before answering
  • Exude confidence!

 

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