Being able to craft and deliver a convincing pitch is no simple matter. Early stage companies seeking investment put considerable time and effort trying to get this right. It would be fair to say some do, but many don’t. Common mistakes we see made include

  • Pitching the product, rather than the solution they developed to deal with a pressing problem or pain that customers really want to have sorted.
  • Not focusing enough on the company’s ability to execute – this includes not just those working in the business but also advisors and board members who can bring a wealth of experience to the table.
  • Companies assuming because their target market is huge they will be able to get 1% of it, rather than demonstrating how they are going to penetrate the slice of the market where they think they can win.
  • Founders not showing enough passion or delivering an engaging sense of purpose. Pitches can be well rehearsed with slick delivery, but if they lack passion they are often not convincing.
  • Being reluctant to surface the challenges ahead and how these will be mitigated. We all understand growing a start-up is a tough gig. Investors want to know how key challenges and obstacles will be dealt with and how they may be able to help.

Other things founders should be mindful of when pitching are

  • Messaging needs to be clear, concise and convincing – the pitch deck should be able to stand alone without the need for detailed explanations, complex diagrams and notes.
  • Facts tell, stories sell. We remember and engage with stories but often forget the facts and figures. Developing storytelling capability can be very powerful when pitching (see the article below on storytelling techniques).

Preparation for investment pitches is an area where Angels have an important role to play to help founders develop and deliver convincing pitches. The onus on us, as part of supporting founders, is to make sure we do this prior to pitch night.


Paul Claridge
CA Chair

Interesting Stuff

CA Investment ActivityRecent Investments 

CA members have recently invested in

  • Fileinvite  – an automated document collection solution
  • Mevo – a flexible car sharing service.
Pitch & Pizza Evening 

It was great to work alongside Lightning Lab Tourism and see four of their teams present at our Pitch & Pizza evening last week. A special thanks to Dave Ward and the team from BDO for hosting us. Also, thank you to Geoff Brash, Derek Ensor and Michael Philpott for giving valuable feedback to the companies presenting.

What’s coming up?

September Investor Evening

Lock Thursday 19th September at 5:30pm into your calendar to come along to our next investor evening. Canterbury Angels event sponsor PwC have kindly offered to host us. Register here

Watch this space for our full lineup.

Australian VCs in Christchurch

Want to meet and hear from Australian venture capitalists who have backed incredible Kiwi and Australian startups, as they demystify their investment and speak on how they identify, invest and work with startups?
Join in for a special panel event – Australian VCs in New Zealand, on 3rd September in Christchurch.
Spaces are limited, register now for your ticket.

Techstars Startup Weekend

We are calling all developers, designers, and business/non-technical participants to come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, launch startups and have absolute fun with strangers in a 54-hour weekend.
Startup weekend is a global movement about breaking tech barriers for everyone in the community, thereby the world no matter gender, ethnicity, background or technical ability.
Don’t miss your chance to meet your future co-founders or the opportunity to get one-on-one mentorship sessions from VCs, Angels and some of the most recognised startup leaders in the Christchurch community.
Early-bird tickets at special prices are available NOW! — only until 25 August! Get yours here.

Innovation Expo

The Smart Christchurch team is hosting the third annual Innovation Expo at the newly restored Christchurch Town Hall.  We are inviting exhibitors to showcase their innovative solutions to the Christchurch public, civic leaders, and other key people invited to attend.

The outcomes for the Smart Christchurch Innovation Expo include:

  • Demonstrate new approaches to solving persistent problems.
  • Showcase Smart Christchurch initiatives, partnerships & collaborations.
  • Showcase innovation happening within the city and beyond.
  • An opportunity to connect with other innovators and spark ideas.

Please apply to exhibit here or to sponsor here

Angel Association NZ 2019 Summit – In Christchurch 

Delivering Exponential Value …how growing a venture from New Zealand makes it uniquely possible.

The Angel Association NZ are holding this year’s Summit in Christchurch at Pemberton which is 15 minutes’ drive from town in a beautiful country setting on November 7th & 8th.

Recent summits have been inspiring for the growing confidence and awareness about the unique and powerful approach New Zealanders take to scaling businesses. We have a capacity for empathy which gives our ventures a competitive advantage and a foundation that sets them apart from others striving for traction in global markets.

At this summit we will explore how amplifying and leveraging empathy and our New Zealandness puts us ahead of the curve. We are at a tipping point where New Zealand and our businesses can set the standard for how to deliver exponential impact and value while taking care of each other and the planet.

See more information and register here 

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