On Sunday 14th May, just prior to the Innovate!Europe conference/showcase, a group of start-ups met a group of mentors, me included, at a “Pitch Camp”. None of us had worked together before, yet under the skilled guidance of Robert Norum, we immediately started working as a team.
Each mentor had been chosen by Chris Shipley and the Innovate!Europe team, so I guess they had a pretty good idea that the chemistry would work, but I was astonished at exactly how well it worked. We even sought each others’ company outside of the official Innovate!Europe sessions.
Between us, we shepherded six companies through a rigorous self-examination and preparation for their pitches to a mix of entrepreneurs, influencers, early adopters, venture capitalists and fellow start-ups. One of ‘my’ startups wanted publicity and ended up in TechCrunch. Another wanted an angel investor and was approached by one at the final rehearsal. I’m certain the other mentors can report similar successes.
It’s been a while since the event (I have been madly busy teaching media skills, writing and even helping another startup) but I really want to introduce you to my fellow mentors just in case you are looking for a source of decent advice. Broadly, we split into PR/Media, Business and Investment advisors. A lot of overlap, clearly. The tasks at hand were elevator and company pitches. The aim of each was to secure the interest of the target audience and get them to drill deeper.
We each have a wealth of international experience which we apply to helping organisations of all sizes make their way in the world. Here we are:
Paul Doran is a media and marketing communications specialist
who helps companies understand who they are and how they should go to
market. Company: Switch
Marc Goldberg is managing partner of an investment firm which supports the local European innovation community. Company: Occam Capital
Susan Lucas-Conwell specialises in international business
development, market assessments and strategic partnerships in the
TransAtlantic arena. Company: Clear Day (Update: From July 1, she will be executive director of SDforum – “the oldest and largest organization of professionals in emerging technologies related to software in the valley.” With international ambitions…)
Robert Norum offers independent marketing optimisation to hi-tech companies, helping them position themselves and their brands. Company: Opportunitas
Lucie-Anne Radimsky represents a PR firm that provides International public relations for technology companies. Company: Ballou PR
David Tebbutt specialises in message development and communication skills. Company: Press Here
Susan A. Thomas specialises in positioning and messaging and developing thought leadership programs. Company: Ajasat
With the exception of me, of course, I can personally vouch for each person on this list.