Perth pitch night gives tech entrepreneurs chance to woo investors

IBM and technology commercialisation group LESANZ are hosting a pitch night for Perth tech entrepreneurs on July 31.


Entrepreneurs will pitch to a panel of venture capital and angel investors including Larry Lopez from Australian Venture Consultants, Ray Hart from WA Angel Investors and angel investor Marcus Tan.


The panel will be moderated and is coordinated by internet entrepreneur Graeme Speak.


Speak told StartupSmart the event is designed to bring the Perth start-up community together.


“There are lots of different networks around innovation that don’t connect with each other and overlap, even in a small place like Perth,” he says. “The whole point is to make these entrepreneurs shine and be visible to the community.”


Speak warns entrants the judges are going to be tough but fair.


“The judges are going to be hard, but behind that they want entrepreneurs to succeed. You’ve got to do this kind of pitch heaps to get harder, sharper and earn the right to shine,” he says.


Entrepreneurs keen to pitch can apply here. Ten entrepreneurs will be coached before the presentation, with the top seven presenting for five minutes on the night.


“Five minutes means it doesn’t matter if you’re a professional presenter or an amateur. It’s not enough time for extras, you’ve got to get it done and hit the high notes,” Speak says. “It’s a leveller. It becomes a game. Condense your message to five minutes of clear, compelling content.”


This is the second pitch night in the series, with the first event last year selling out.


While no winner will be announced, Speak says the previous event was well attended by investors beyond just the panel.


“You need a really clear market opportunity and problem. If you can understand the problem in a few sentences, you can see the opportunity,” Speak says.


“Investors then explore the idea, and then we look at the people themselves. So primarily, we’re checking to see you’ve got the backbone to carry through, regardless of the challenges that always come up. The true entrepreneur just never gives up.”


The event is not-for-profit and the tickets (between $25 and $50) are to cover catering costs.


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