Pitch to the Panel

For growing businesses with the ambition to expand and scale-up internationally, OxLEP Business’ Pitch to the Panel programme was a series of events (and friendly competition!) that gave organisations the opportunity to meet and pitch to a group of Oxfordshire based investors.

Check out some of the success stories from businesses who benefited from the Pitch to the Panel programme.

Hallidays Hydropower

“I’ll be honest, we’ve previously avoided pitch panels because pitch decks are always evolving and I guess we’ve never quite felt ready for it. But when this event came up where a panel is already selected and put in front of you, we didn’t want to turn down the opportunity. It really focused us to pull together a new pitch.”

“The feedback we received was extremely valuable, there’s plenty of nuggets of advice in there for us. I’ve shared it with my whole team and financial manager. It’s allowed us to see what we could do better and what we need to incorporate next time. It’s put us in a much stronger position for our next pitch. It will focus our mind about what we need to do to be investment ready. The Pitch to the Panel was an all-round good experience and if you’re a scale up business thinking of getting involved in the next one, I would say definitely do it.”

Henry Reilly-Collins, Founder, Hallidays Hydropower

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“Our advisor at OxLEP started talking to us about formulating the Pitch to the Panel event and the possibility for us to be part of it. To be honest, initially we were slightly hesitant, although we had a pitch investment deck which is pretty good and we know our numbers and believe in what are doing. But we were encouraged to take part and agreed to join the event.”

“Going through the event was a good experience. We’ve taken a lot away from it, not just validation of what we’re doing, but it’s really reassuring when you pitch and the feedback you get is positive and they can see an opportunity and want to continue conversations with you. It’s allowed us to refine our messaging, the pitch we give and the story we tell. It’s also given us positive reassurance that the last two and a half years of building the product and the team has been worth it, and we are really onto something that can make a difference.”

Andrew Eatherington, Founder & CEO, Hallidays Hydropower

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After Cloud

“I was keen to continue my relationship with OxLEP and stay in the process. This is when I was offered the brilliant opportunity to take part in their ‘Pitch to the Panel’ event.”

“As we’re entering this exciting new phase in the business, we’re always on the lookout for additional investment to help us develop our new apps further and allow us to grow our team. Pitch to the Panel sounded like a great concept. It gave us a focus to prepare a refined investment pitch and sell our concept to a panel of investors.”

“It was a really well organised event, which must have been challenging in a virtual environment. And overall, the process of pitching for was very beneficial. I think for any growing business it would be beneficial to do that time and time again and learn from each experience.”

Darren Evans, Founder & CEO, After Cloud

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“I was on the look out for local business support. Being an Oxfordshire based business, I discovered OxLEP and visited their website. I went through their online business tool triage system to see what support was on offer for a business like ours, and what we could benefit from. This is when we were signposted to the eScalate programme which was supporting businesses for social good and scale up businesses – the perfect programme for our business at the time.”

Steve Clarke, Director, re-universe

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“This event came at just the right time for us,we’ve been going out doing some  fundraising and a few pitches recently, but we were particularly impressed with this particular concept for pitching. It gave us the opportunity to sit down and
focus on preparing a longer pitch, a much more involved pitch which meant filing in all the details of our business.

You have to be really succinct in the first round with a ten minute pitch by addressing key areas of your business, you need to hook in the investors. The second round is a longer pitch and this really played to our strengths because Tor and I really like the detail and like to understand what we’re doing in terms of the market positioning.

Having the opportunity to pull that together, then pitch to the investors and get asked lots of questions was a great experience, we loved it.”

Flic and Tor, Founders, Trove

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“I had done many investment pitches before, but nothing quite like this where the investors were put in front of you without you having to do any of the leg work to reach them. We were really pleased when we were asked to be involved, as any opportunity to pitch and practise is welcome.”

The feedback from the investors was really helpful. They scored us very highly on team, IP and technology, and also provided suggestions to improve the deck which helped us explain things in a more relatable way. Overall, it’s been a great experience and I would say a great opportunity for any business to get involved in.”

Dr Jack Nicholas, Co-founder & CEO, Qdot

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“We were so pleased to get invited back after all the hard work we’d put in. I think the whole passion behind the brand really resonated with the investors. Hearing their feedback that we were one of the most passionate pitches was great to hear. That was what was so great about this particular pitch, the detailed feedback, you don’t normally get that from investors. So next time we go in front of a panel we’ll take on board what we’ve learnt from this and put it into actual practise. I think that was the greatest thing that we learnt from this opportunity, as well as making those connections.”

Matthew Pygott, Co-founder, Cannasa

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“Our contact at OxLEP mentioned the Pitch to the Panel event. We’ve not reached out to VCs in the past as we are still at an early stage, but this looked like a good opportunity to expand the base of investors we are talking to. The OxLEP team were, as always, super supportive, they helped us prepare our pitch slides and also did a few dummy runs with us to help us prepare.”

We didn’t end up getting our investment through this pitch event, but the feedback we received from the investors was super helpful. We’ve been talking to angel investors, but getting exposure through the event to VC’s at this stage has helped us up our game and think about how in future we will need to pitch for support in the next stage of our growth.”

Tim Helweg-Larsen, Co-founder, Expodo

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