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მთავარი > მოძრაობა kar.ge > How GITA’s 5 day training helped “Love-In Loyalty” team to craft better investor pitch?

How GITA’s 5 day training helped “Love-In Loyalty” team to craft better investor pitch?

Hello,

I am Tariel Zivzivadze and I am writing this piece just to share how GITA’s 5 day training at TechPark helped my “Love-In Loyalty” startup team to craft a better investor pitch. I am publishing this on KAR.GE Movement website because “Love-In Loyalty” is the startup that will eventually help me to do my job better: to better raise the awareness, sales and exports of Georgian products with the help of innovative instrument.

NOTE: If you continue reading, please note that you need to properly understand the concept of startup and the related stuff.

Preface

Matching Grants Program is implemented by the Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia in frames of the World Bank GENIE program. Program aims to stimulate innovations and foundation of innovative enterprises through implementation and commercialization of innovative products and services on the local market.

Our Love-In Loyalty startup team (Tariel Zivzivadze, Boris Barabadze, and Badri Gigolashvili) submitted an application in December 2018 just like other teams (135 total) through online registration process on grants.gov.ge website (the business plan, budget, financials). We passed two evaluation stages and made it in the best 40 teams that were invited to the special training at TechPark Georgia during 11-15 Feb, 2019.

From 11 through 15 February 2019, each day from 9 AM to 6 PM, we had the opportunity to work with the International coaches and get prepared for the pitch. The final step is pitching in front of the International Investment Committee composed of Venture Investors on 21-22 Feb. If we are successful, we get 100,000 GEL grant and the adventure will start.

Day 1: Feb 11, 2019

The day started with 3-minute pitches from every team [40]. Although speaking is one of my professions, I honestly confess that I really suspect anyone understood what I was talking about (even though I was training hard for that pitch. I even had it written in the form of 333 words). I had the same feeling when I was listening to the pitches of the other finalists.

Fortunately, the master class of Mr. Frank Hannigan followed – “Pitch me”. We had group discussions and individual 15 minute coaching sessions with the coaches to go deeply into each project and furnish the pitches.

The impression of the day:

That was intense … And I found out that there is a lot to integrate into my pitch to make it clear what the project is all about. The additional challenge for us was that we have a blockchain startup and explaining everything on an easy and understandable language is tough, tough objective.

Day 2: Feb 12, 2019

We had 3 master classes from Mr. Antonio Collado (Business Models), Mr. David Chechelashvili (Customer Development & MVP) and Mr. Ian Macpherson (Value proposition) followed by two group discussions and one 15 minutes individual coaching session. The topic of value proposition was really the toughest one for us – we could not formulate RIGHT value proposition statement no matter how hard we tried. Moreover, we were already convinced that our initial pitch deck and story were just useless. We needed completely different story and slide presentation.

The impression of the day:

Imagine a flying plane that cannot find a lane to land. We could not find the right words to “land” our value proposition. Everything was hanging in the air. We had to do something and I had to do it URGENTLY (I am the business guy in the team)! I could not go to sleep that evening … And finally at around 01:00 am an idea struck me – to arrange a small research. Therefore, I designed a one-page questionnaire for the coaches [5] with five different statements of the value propositions in the columns and six criteria in the rows. My idea was to get feedback which statement was better along six criteria. It took me around 2 hours to prepare.

Day 3: Feb 13, 2019

Morning was TOUGH! It appeared that we were not the only ones overloaded previous days. Just four of us were on time on the training at 09:00 (4 people from 3 startups). However, the coaches were there so I asked them to fill in the questionnaires.

IT WORKED! I not only got the precious feedback but our coach Mr. Frank Hannigan just NAILED the best value proposition for our startup. THANKS A LOT FRANK! In addition, Mr. Ian Macpherson, another coach immediately “validated” the value proposition statement! THANKS A LOT IAN! We were happy!

That day we had 2 master classes from Mr. David Vidal (Investor Questions) and Mr. David Chechelashvili (Investors and Pitches, Global VS Local), work group sessions and two individual 15-minute sessions with the coaches. The goal of the day was to prepare us for 5-minute pitch sessions that were planned next morning. The objective was tough, as we had to redo all the slides and align all of them around the new value proposition.

Therefore, Boris and I did this: we took A4 papers and wrote all the content keywords on papers (12 slides = 12 papers). We did this all in 1.5 hours before our individual coaching session. After that, we went to our 15-minute coaching session and pitched the content of the 12 A4 slides to Mr. David Vidal, our session coach. He said that it was very good, so we only had to do the rest … finish it!

The impression of the day:

The plane landed and we were confident now! I spent a lot of time to prepare completely new slide presentation till late night … no… early morning …

Day 4: Feb 14, 2019

Morning started with 5-minute pitches. I was presenting 12 slide pitch. Moreover, I was pitching much more understandably (other finalists too). IN ADDITION, I used some presentation tricks to make my topic clearer for the audience. It worked. However, I had no time to work on the questions from the investors, so now that became my point of attack that day. Later we had 15-minute sessions with individual coaches to furnish the presentations.

The impression of the day:

We knew what we had to do but that was a lot, really a lot to do to prepare the story and the power point slide presentation for the last 7-minute sessions for the next morning. Therefore, it took me until 05:00 am to prepare everything and I got only 2-hour sleep until I went back to TechPark.

Day 5: Feb 15, 2019

I NAILED the 7-minute pitch that contained 15 slides! I felt like a fish in the water during this last training pitch. Yes, there were some remarks / notes, but that is OK. I still had to work on the questions part for which I had very few time. Boris was noting times (seconds) of every slide, while I was pitching and that helped us analyze every slide later (I managed it all into 6 minutes). I also listened to all the teams’ presentations. Only 27 out of 40 presented their final 7-minute pitch (That was somewhat strange). The funny thing was that Boris and me sat down relaxed later that day and dared to state our predictions which of the startups had a chance of wining the competition. We have written our predictions on the paper and let us see if we will be right.

The impression of the day:

We felt overloaded but satisfied. Later that day I added 16-th slide and furnished the final version of the pitch deck.

FINAL CONCLUSIONS

Overall results of the training:

  1. On Feb 11-th we came to the training with 16 slides in out pitch deck and our narrative. On Feb 15-th we left with 16 completely different slides and completely changed narrative;
  2. My 3-minute pitch was not understood at all on Monday, Feb 11-th. However, my 7-minute pitch was perfectly understandable on Friday, Feb 15-th. I was talking about the right topics in a right way;
  3. There is still a lot to improve, so I continue to furnish it until the pitching days approach;

Several helpful  “tools” my team used effectively:

  1. We were making notes of every master class, group session and individual sessions despite the fact that we were given the presentation files;
  2. We were talking to the right people (coaches, other startups) and they were all eager to share their ideas as well as we were doing the same. That truly helped us;
  3. We were asking right questions. That was exactly what helped us very much;
  4. We were using different tactics to get answers, like the research we did regarding the value proposition statements;

Love-In Loyalty team is very much thankful to the coaches / trainers!

Their guidance really helped us to reshape our ideas, pitch deck and story. The fact that the coaches were so different from each other did a good service to me personally. When you ask a question and get completely different answers from 5 different people, it is very valuable. You have a chance to analyze and make your own conclusions. The advices were very practical.

In addition, thank you GITA for all the efforts!

PS

Special thanks to the catering team. The food on coffee breaks and lunches were so YAMMY, that I hardly remember any similar occasion when I was so satisfied!

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