Business planning, Funding, Growth, Legal

TiECON Sydney to dole out $50,000 through start-up pitch contest

Michelle Hammond /

Start-ups have been given an ‘open door’ chance at the TiECON Sydney event to land $50,000 from angel investors, with organisers claiming that the initiative is an opportunity for new ventures to hone their pitches.

 

TiECON Sydney is an annual event hosted by TiE Sydney, a non-profit organisation aiming to support entrepreneurs in the greater Sydney area.

 

TiE Sydney, which is part of TiE Global, has confirmed TiECON Sydney 2012 will take place on October 10.

 

The one-day conference will feature keynote speakers including Commercialisation Australia chief executive Doron Ben-Meir and Google Australia engineering director Alan Noble.

 

As part of the event, TiE Sydney has partnered with Sydney Angels to host a pitching event, whereby six start-ups will pitch for up to $50,000 from angel investors on the day.

 

In order to be selected to pitch, start-ups must submit an online application to TiE Sydney. All applicants will be invited to participate in a pitching workshop.

 

During the workshop, every participant will be asked to do a three-minute pitch, says TiE Sydney president Dilip Rao, for which they will receive feedback from mentors.

 

“Then they go away to rework their pitch. We also give them a little bit of a generic presentation on what investors are looking for… Then they come back in and pitch all over again,” Rao says.

 

“Typically, there is a tenfold improvement in the before and after.”

 

A shortlist of six applicants will be selected to pitch at TiECON Sydney 2012, where they will do a five-minute pitch to an angel panel followed by a 10-minute Q&A session.

 

The angels will then select two or three companies for further questions over 30 minutes before they make a funding offer.

 

Entrants must clearly state the amount of funding being sought – there is a maximum of $50,000 – and the equity offered.

 

According to Rao, pre-money valuations above $500,000 will have a very small chance of success since the event is aimed at early stage companies.

 

Angels may invest at their discretion, which means no investments may be made, and these will be subject to a due diligence process after the event.

 

It’s also worth nothing applicants must be based in Sydney as a condition of funding by Sydney Angels.

 

“The underlying theme is the angel is trying to make up their mind about you, regardless of what the story is, because as soon as they give you money they know the story will change,” Rao says.

 

“The angels are figuring out, does this person know what they’re talking about? Do they have the ability to chop and change?”

 

Rao says while the pitching event is a good opportunity to secure funds, start-ups shouldn’t overlook the value of the pitching workshop, highlighting this as the real jewel in the crown.

 

“It’s a good learning experience… From our perspective, that is the bigger outcome,” he says.

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