Pitch Pool – round one

As I watched the first round of pitches, I was struck by the different levels of aggressiveness shown by the interviewees.  The pitch that emerged as the leader to me was that of Ingenia.  They were the one entrepreneurial company to satisfy the conditions of CEO credibility, a stellar management team, a feasible and well-researched business model, competitive products, technical innovation and market readiness.  Even though I was watching this video as part of an assignment, I still felt sold by the thorough research and forward thinking exhibited.  If I were to invest, this would be the one!

Another significant characteristic that differentiated the four entities was the level and degree of forward thinking.  To me, the two that stood out on top were Ingenia and the intrapreneurial BC IT.  As I listened, I was impressed by the proactive nature with which they anticipated problems, designed safeguards and planned for future success.  

The entrepreneurial Recombo seemed to react well to change in their business using a solutions-based approach.  This approach, while successful for Recombo, does not instill confidence in me as an EVA as I do not see that they are anticipating future concerns.

BC OLT seemed quite reactionary in their actions, solving problems as they arose.  I realize that intrepreneurial ventures do not necessarily have the resources to implement their vision to its fullest; working with what the IT department could support, but it seemed to me that BC OLT was satisfied to do the best they could with what was easy.  While this may instill confidence in me as a user or consumer, I would not be motivated to invest as the aggression and planning for success are lacking.

A separate study could be done just on the improvements made in Recombo’s 2005 pitch as compared to their 2004 pitch; even the manner in which Mr. MacPhee dressed and spoke affected the confidence one would feel as an EVA.   There is a lot riding on the business’ spokesperson as it is the impression one gets of their abilities that sells confidence in the company.


1 David Vogt { 09.08.08 at 12:48 pm }

Regarding evolution of pitches – it is an amazing process to observe. When we first designed the course we wanted to showcase this with year-by-year-by-year pitch snapshots, but we realized we’d be overloading your attention with academic analysis rather than business evaluation.

The important thing to realize is that every start-up’s pitch evolves continuously as the proponents learn what works and respond to changes and opportunities in their environment. Hopefully each new version of a pitch is “better”, but I think the process is more about “hit and miss” – you change because something is missing the target, and you keep changing until you get a hit.

2 David Wees { 09.09.08 at 3:26 am }

And I guess your time limit is whenever your venture capital runs out. If you don’t figure it out by then, you’re out of business.

How do the investors feel about a company which seems to lack focus and keeps changing direction? Probably not too great, I’d be pretty worried about my money.

3 Mary Burgess { 09.09.08 at 12:50 pm }

The change thing is interesting and I was wondering the same kind of thing David – as an investor in technology firms, I think probably you’d have to expect a fair bit of change, and maybe be worried if there wasn’t an eye constantly on what’s happening in the market. That was one of the things about Recombo 2005 – the goal was to be a 100 million dollar company, and that isn’t a business focus per se. I notice on the current Recombo site http://www.recombo.com/ that Brad isn’t listed… David or David, do you have any idea what’s up with the company now?

4 davidp { 09.09.08 at 3:49 pm }

Good question, Mary.

Like many companies, it radically changed direction. In 2006-2007 it moved more squarely into corporate compliance management in the wake of the The Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US.

As it turned out, the company’s core technology became a good match for the kinds of disclosure requirements that were being enacted in legislation in the corporate governance domain.

It’s interesting how this “solution” has now found its ideal problem.


5 Jarrod Bell { 09.09.08 at 4:20 pm }

Mary I had noticed the same thing that Brad wasn’t listed. Sometime refocusing is a logical time for people to leave and find new ventures I guess.

As for the videos I believe the Ingenia was much more of a pitch than Recombo 2005. Recombo felt much more like an interview than a pitch.


6 davidp { 09.09.08 at 9:13 pm }

RE. “Sometimes refocusing is a logical time for people to leave and find new ventures I guess.”

…or for a Board of Directors and major investors to restructure a company and its management team.

7 Marc Kampschuur { 09.09.08 at 11:53 pm }

Interesting comment about the evolution of pitches – could equate it to trying to hit a moving target.

Am trying to envision a Pitch rubric.

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