Dragons’ Den’s ‘best pitcher ever’ shares how to secure investment
Dragons' Den: Sam Jones pitches Gener8
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Pitching to investors can be a daunting prospect for those seeking a capital injection into their business. A quality pitch is vital to securing a deal, and to help entrepreneurs master their pitch, Sam Jones has offered his advice.
Jones was recently on the BBC show Dragons’ Den, and his pitch was described as one of the best ever.
He was offered investment from four out of the five dragons, with Peter Jones and Touker Suleyman each agreeing to put up half of the funding requested.
On the back of Jones’ spectacular pitch, he has shared his wisdom and offered four pieces of advice for those pitching to investors.
The right mindset
“How you carry yourself and view the situation will impact everything that happens next.
“Understand that you’re not there singing for your supper. Never stand, hat in hand, asking for money. That’s the quickest way to turn someone off.
“Instead, you must believe that you’re sharing a secret with the investor. You’re telling them about an opportunity that they’re not aware of.
“You’re pulling away the curtain and unveiling a hidden truth that’s been in front of their eyes all along.
“And, if they’re lucky, you might be willing to invite them on the journey with you…”
The Pitch: shaping your story
“All good pitches communicate the same basic information:
“The Problem: Share a story about what the problem is, bonus points if you can make it personal to inject it with some life.
“The Solution: Why your idea, or business, solves the problem.
“The Model: How you’ll make money!
“The Market Size: How big can your business be?
“Traction: What have you done to date that will help the investor believe in you?
“The Question: What is it you’re asking for?
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“This is a tried and tested formula, so you should aim to cover all of these points in your pitch.
“To take your presentation to the next level you should include data to back up each point you make.
“Don’t just say: ‘we’re growing fast’, say: ‘we’re growing by 1,000 downloads per day and on track to reach 100,000 downloads next month.’”
Closing a deal: play it cool
“Unlike what you see on TV, it’s very rare to get an investment offer on the spot in your first meeting. So you should be prepared for this.
“That means you don’t need to aggressively try to close a deal in the meeting. It’s usually a much better strategy to take a softer approach.
“Wrap up by telling the investor a few reasons why you’d like them to come onboard; flatter them whilst explaining that you have other funding options and their space isn’t guaranteed.
“Set a deadline for their commitment of around two weeks. Then, after seven days, send them a positive update about what you’ve achieved that week.
“If they want in, they’ll usually come back with a yes before the two weeks is up. If they don’t then no sweat, move on to the next.”
Kiss a lot of frogs: it’s a numbers game
“The princess had to kiss many frogs to find her prince and it’s the same for entrepreneurs raising money.
“There’s no shortcut. You will get rejected. A lot. Emails will go unanswered, meetings will be postponed and people will say ‘no’. That’s fine, it’s all part of the game.
“If you can get feedback as to why they rejected you, then this may help you to better prepare for your next meeting. But if not, then don’t worry. Dust yourself off and get back in the ring.”
Jones’ website, Gener8 lets people choose to keep their data private or earn from it themselves whilst browsing online.
By selecting ‘Privacy Mode’ the user can stop companies from tracking them, or the ‘Rewards Mode’ means that a person can share their data with Gener8 to monetise it for them.
Jones described how his business has gone from strength to strength since his appearance on Dragons’ Den.
“Things have really taken off since I was in the Den! We’ve seen such an incredible response, with over 1.5 million people visiting our website and hundreds of thousands downloading Gener8,” he said.
“It feels like a movement is starting.
“It’s an issue that resonates with many of us: our online data is being exploited, but what can we do about it?”
He also just closed a £2.1 million funding round from a consortium of investors including Tinie Tempah, Harry Redknapp, and Dragons’ Den star, Tej Lalvani.
On the new investment, Jones said: “It’s brilliant to see so many people come together to join us on this journey.
“I’m so excited to welcome the talent, passion and drive for change that Tinie, Harry and Tej will bring to the team. It’s just the beginning of something special!”
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