Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dejan Andrevski on Pitching an Innovation

Greetings from Innovation ACT at the Australian National University in Canberra, where Dejan Andrevski is facilitating a workshop on Refining Your Pitch. This is to help teams of Canberra university students and staff who are competing for prizes based on their presentation of a business idea.

The six questions Dejan suggested you need to present are: what is the product, who is the market, where will revenue come from, who are you, who is the competition and what is you advantage. He suggested limiting the pitch to about 200 words. It seems to me that the pitch needs to be about as long as  Tweet, which is 140 characters (allowing for abbreviations used in text messages this is about the same as 200 words of spoken text). Dejan suggests including something visual, preferably a demonstration.

At question time the participants put Dejan on the spot by asking him to give the pitch for one of his start-ups. I did a quick search and found a video made about one of these "GiftaBall". It is not a video of the pitch, but instead an short video about the product.

Last week, at the 2012 Walter Burley Griffin Memorial Lecture, both Lucy Turnbull and and Professor Alastair Swayn (ACT Government Architect) mentioned the role of universities in promoting innovation and spinning off new industries. The ANU was mentioned in particular. The Innovation ACT events are held at ANU Commons, a new building on the edge of the campus, in the innovation zone between the formal campus and the Canberra CBD. This is becoming a zone for innovation industry.

As part of the learning experience I made up a product idea, so I had something to try pitching:
Team BooKs: Our product is online accredited courses for masters and PHD university students. Universities now have to compete globally for students. Those students want vocationally relevant and accredited qualifications, usable across the world. We offer universities packaged on-line courses branded with their logo, pre-approved by global and leading national professional standards setting body. This allows universities to avoid complex national approval processes and offer a global qualification as part of their program. We charge the university a fee to use the course. We are a team of award winning professional educators, with the contacts to navigate the complex approvals processes. Individual universities and some consortia offer accredited courses for some countries, but tend not to address global requirements. Some universities and non-profit bodies now offer free online courses, but these are not recognised by accreditation bodies and have a high drop-out rate.

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