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How to pitch like a pro

September 3, 2019

Applications for the evokeAG. 2020 Startup Program are open. This is an incredible opportunity for startups who are solving a solution in our agriculture sector to showcase their products, solutions and technologies at the Asia Pacific’s largest agrifood tech event – evokeAG.. To capitalise on this unique opportunity, the team behind the evokeAG. event have called on three of our nation’s leading innovators and champions for entrepreneurship to discuss what makes a stellar pitch – whether it’s for an application, for new customers or new investment.

What’s the best pitch you have ever seen and why did it work?

“If you are looking for pitch inspiration, watch the ultimate pro – Steve Jobs,” says Natasha Ayers, the Managing Director for AgriStart. However, the innovation specialist concedes that not everyone has the confidence nor the persuasiveness of the Apple magnate.

“The most important thing is to be true to your natural style. The best pitches I have seen are conversational and use relevant examples.”

George Peppou, Founder and CEO of VOW and Growlab Startup mentor couldn’t agree more.

“Firstly, don’t fake it. It’s easy to spot someone who is not authentic. Find your personal passion for what you are working on and tell it to the audience the way you would explain it to a friend or family member. Practice it over and over and get comfortable with it and do that on stage.”

The evokeAG. 2020 Startup Program requires applicants to submit a video pitch. What are your tips for this?

“Stand up and project your voice, rather than filming yourself sitting down,” says George. “Watch your video back and see where you made mistakes and immediately re-film it. This will be painful but very helpful,” he adds.

What are your three tips for pitching for investment?

Di Somerville, community manager at The Bridge Hub says it pays off to do your valuations and equity homework.

“Focus on the following: problem, solution, how you make money and how big your addressable market is. Remember to keep short and sharp and entice them to want to chase you down and find out more. Be prepared for the number questions – know your numbers!”

What are your tips for pitching to build your customer base?

“Demonstrate that you are solving a problem for the customer, show your credibility and prove value for money,” says Natasha.

“Have a clear understanding of what problem you are solving and who it is a problem for. Don’t oversell what you have (this is especially important for the agriculture industry),” adds George.

What are your tips for pitching your startup concept in a short timeframe?

“Don’t tell me your life story. Remember – problem, solution and how you make money. Give me enough that I am interested and want more. Throw out the bait and reel them in,” says Di.

George explains a tactic he finds useful.

“Go through your long pitch with friends and family and ask them to repeat it back to you. The messages they repeat back are likely to be your most important and will help you understand what your minimal pitch could be.

Final advice?

The innovative trio insist that at the end of the day, it’s the person behind the startup, not the startup itself, that attracts new customers and investment.

“It’s the people that the customers and investors are buying into and your ability to sell or paint a compelling vision along the way,” says George.

More information about the evokeAG. 2020 Startup Program

There are four unique opportunities for both local and international startups to get involved at evokeAG. 2020:

  1. 1.The Startup Showcase – Local Ecosystem: this stream will provide a platform for local (Australia, New Zealand and/or the Pacific Islands) startups to showcase their ideas in front of an international audience.
  2. 2.The Startup Showcase – International Scale-ups: this stream will provide a platform for international startups who are interested in solving global problems facing the Australian agricultural sector and/or expanding their business into Australia.
  3. 3.Startup Alley: up to 40 agrifood tech startups will have a space to exhibit their products in a high-traffic area at evokeAG. 2020.
  4. 4.Investor Pitch: This pitch is a standalone event on the eve of evokeAG. 2020 aiming to facilitate curated conversations and connections between international and local investors, and Australian and New Zealand companies. Startups will pitch directly to an invitation-only investor audience over dinner.

Applications open on Monday, 26 August 2019 and close Friday, 13 September 2019.

For more information about the evokeAG. 2020 Startup Program, and to apply, visit:

evokeAG. 2020 will take place in Melbourne at the iconic Royal Exhibition Building on 18-19 February 2020.

*This post is sponsored by evokeAG as part of the AgFunder Network Partner program.*

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