January 11, 2008 in Business

‘Pitch clinic’ offers entrepreneurs help selling the deal

By The Spokesman-Review

To go

Register online at www.alliance ofangels.com

Spokane-area entrepreneurs looking to develop a knockout 10-minute investor pitch can sharpen their chops with a presentation offered in downtown Spokane next week.

The session, a “pitch clinic,” will be presented by the Seattle-based Alliance of Angels. It runs Thursdayfrom 2:30 to 5 p.m. at the K&L Gates law office, 618 W. Riverside.

Advance registration is required; only 25 people can attend, said Rebecca Lovell, a program manager with the alliance and session presenter. The session costs $50.

The Alliance of Angels is an association of more than 100 Puget Sound private investors and high-worth business leaders looking to help tech companies grow. The alliance serves as a matchmaker between regional investors and young companies and promising entrepreneurs.

This session is the first pitch clinic the alliance is presenting in Spokane, Lovell said.

The session gives entrepreneurs a detailed plan for developing an effective 10-minute pitch that summarizes the business plan of the startup company plus covers the basic topics every potential investor will need to know.

It will also have a question-answer section so local business people can ask for detailed help, Lovell said.

“It’s meant to get you to the point where you can do an effective, 10-minute presentation, and it’s designed mostly for people starting a new company and those who’ve written a business plan,” she added.

Angel investors are those willing to spend between $100,000 and about $2 million to help a young business get off the drawing boards or push forward to the next level of growth. In exchange for the money, angels usually get a large share of a company’s ownership to offset the high risk.

Typically angel investors are experienced business people who take an active role in working with company managers and overseeing its business strategies.

Lovell said those entrepreneurs actively starting a new company will get the largest benefit from the session. But it is also open to those just thinking about launching a business, she said.

“The people will get the most value if they have some idea or business they’ve already formulated,” she said. “By the end, each participant should have developed a good one-sentence business explanation or elevator pitch.”

If a Spokane company is interested in making a formal presentation to alliance investors, the group will help the startup go through a four-step review and schedule a formal pitch in Seattle, Lovell said.

If space permits, participants can register at 2 p.m. the day of the event.

Co-hosting the pitch session along with K&L Gates is Sirti, the state-funded economic development agency.

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