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SETsquared, the global number one university business incubator and enterprise partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, is confirming its world-class status by training its member start-ups in theincreasingly vital skill of pitching online for investment.

Karen Brooks

Karen Brooks

Pitching for SETsquared’s investment programme previously involved running panel selection days in front of a live audience of investors and experts, which proved time-consuming for both the panel and pitching companies.

In a move that’s an industry first, through the new online pitching process each company is able to deliver a five-minute pitch followed by panel questions and feedback for 10 minutes, to a panel of four to six investors and experts.

The new online pitching process was undertaken for the first time this month as SETsquared prepares for its annual Accelerating Growth investor showcase next month (24 November).

Karen Brooks, programme director at SETsquared, said: “The whole process ran very smoothly and we were able to conduct 43 pitches online over three days, whereas previously our maximum was 33. It proves the technology and internet connections are now at a level to make such a process work, and this way of pitching is now an essential skill for start-ups to learn.

“Pitching online to just a screen is very different to doing a live presentation, but is so important to companies who will be doing business globally from day one. The training will develop pitching skills, allowing the entrepreneurs to present to even more investors, potential customers and partners.”

Mike Austin, CEO and co-founder of start-up Fresh Relevance, said: “The process was very quick and efficient for us. Having the selection panel run entirely online means huge savings on travelling time for everyone – including the panellists. Meetings and presentations in our business are increasingly being held online, so being able to pitch effectively through a video conference or screenshare is an essential skill for everybody in the modern business world.”

Dr Matt Butcher, CEO at Inductosense, agreed: “Pitching online saved us time and the process was very efficient. We are operating nationally and being able to pitch well online to both customers and investors is crucial for us.”

Karen has written a guide to online pitching, which helps entrepreneurs overcome obstacles such as speaking into a screen and avoiding pitfalls like having attention stolen by tech problems. The guide is available here:

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