May’s Pitching for Management was held on at Nabarro, their regular London venue. Nabarro specialize in acting for firms during cash investment.
Now, without further ado – onto the pitches!
Graham Chick from GemaTech was looking for help building clients for his telco, which focussed on larger firms, and blue chip clients. From the firm’s website, it seems that they offer a range of call centre and continuity services – but during the pitch the discussion was mainly of GemaTech’s secure VOIP service for financial services clients.
DataValidata is a firm which provides data cleaning services. This sounds obscure and tedious, which is exactly why it’s such a problem. Every firm that keeps data has the potential to have problems with data quality. For example, someone in the UK could be listed as living in United Kingdom, GBR, UK, England, etc. This makes searching and sorting data a nightmare. The end result is that contacts get lost, business doesn’t get done, and lots of time is wasted sorting through the mess. DataValidata.com aims to fix this with an iPhone app, and with more sophisticated services aimed at corporates. Christopher Young seemed to be a typical technical innovator, who needs help to bring his product to market in a form which clients will connect with.
Tedipay is another ‘techie’ firm, also with an engineering focus beyond its marketing clout. Alexander Peschkoff presented his challenger to the big-name technologies for taking payment by mobile : Square, iZettle, etc. Tedipay’s solution is very different, as it replaces the phone entirely, giving a standalone payment device. This even accepts contactless payments. This device is as small as an iPhone, but a demo version was not available during this pitch. The idea itself is pretty neat, but with some well-funded and heavy-hitting firms in the marketplace, it remains to be seen how quickly and successfully Tedipay will be able to enter the market.
Samuel Hu presented the YouJoin service, under the ‘Graduate Entrepreneur’ brand. I think this is a really exciting space. Facebook doesn’t work well for professional use –as by their early 20’s most people have far too many drunken nights and ill-advised liaisons recorded online to make the service practical for work use. Linked In doesn’t really replace the CV effectively (particularly for younger people), and so there’s a really attractive niche to occupy for someone who can come up with a service which modernises the CV, and makes it fully searchable. Obviously, the hyper-concentrated graduate recruitment market makes an ideal entry point for such a service. There are many firms vying for this space, but someone ultimately has to dominate. Could it be YouJoin?
Yakub Zolynski presented a curious pitch, looking for management for an unnamed client, who did not attend. The secret squirrel style turned me right off. However, I hear he found some good contacts – so in particular circumstances, maybe this can work well. In general, it’s a pet hate of mine to go to a pitch and have people, or ideas, hidden from me. I’d recommend in general not taking that approach, unless it’s absolutely essential.
Tim Oldman from Leesman Index was looking for help selling his office-worker satisfaction survey. I personally felt the pitch was confusing. Audience questions eventually clarified the limits of the service on offer. From comments during the networking, it seemed that Tim’s demeanour may have been perceived as domineering, and this seemed to have ruffled feathers.
Chris Eldridge-Himners from SoGo+ pitched again for people to help market his social media management solution. His background seems to be in marketing assistance for sports professionals, and I understand the current plan is to make the system much more widely available. I’ve seen this pitch at other PfM events, which is one of the risks of attending events at a number of their locations!
As you may have realised from the pitch descriptions, most firms were looking for help to take their product to market, either with a sales or marketing focus. This concentration of demand leaves the door open to a role-specific event from the PfM team in future, but I’ve not heard of any specific plans in this regard.
The event was supported by sponsor presentations from Smith & Williamson (HNW Accountants), Marks & Clerk (Patent & Trademarks), First Flight (non-Exec recruitment) and Russam Business Network (interims, etc.). I’ve engaged with most of the sponsors over my time attending PfM events – so they must be picking fairly good firms to tie up with. It would be nice to see more rotation, however, as the pitches do get somewhat repetitious!
Due to a venue clash, the event was held in a smaller room than usual. However, the facilities were still adequate, although ticket sales were slightly restricted. The event went just as smoothly as usual, with friendly, professional staff and good catering. The Pitching for Management event series remains unique, and a must-see for people looking for ideas, opportunities and team-building.