You may be among the millions who have watched the TV programme Dragons’ Den and cringed for the would-be entrepreneurs who are ill prepared to beard the dragons in their den. You might also have admired their courage in putting themselves into such a stressful situation. And you may have envied those who were successful and walked away with thousands of pounds of investment in their businesses by the dragons, as well as gaining the benefit of their experience and expertise.
The TV series, of course, can only work for a few businesses and with a few investors, while most small business entrepreneurs are having a really hard time getting any funding for start-ups or growth. Peter Hart and his wife did succeed on Dragons’ Den, winning £100,000 in investment from Duncan Bannatyne. They know just how nerve wracking that was, and they decided to set up a facility for anyone to pitch to potential investors without having to go through that stressful experience.
Pitching for Everyone
Their brainchild is the website www.pitchforit.co.uk, where it is free to upload a video pitch to investors. It has a panel of high profile investors who see it as both a way to find worthwhile investments, and to help and advise would-be entrepreneurs. Currently you can go onto the site, watch the pitch videos and read the comments and advice they have given. They include Mark Pearson, of MyVoucherCodes, Sara Murray of Confused.com, Brad Burton of 4Networking and original Dragon Rachel Elnaugh.
The way the website owners make money is that, If you’d like to upload a pitch but don’t feel confident about making a video, they will organise a professional one for you, at a price that won’t break the bank. They’ll even create an animation for it, if you’d rather not be just a talking head.
Proof That it Works
Even before it was successfully launched, pitchforit won £10,000 in digital media and mentoring for Laura Thomas to develop her website business Happy Sugar Habits. The investment came from someone who was not on the panel of business gurus, so it seems that other investors can be reached as well.
If both you and your outsourced bookkeepers agree that your business development is being held back by lack of funds, you might want to give this a try. If you are worried that someone else might see your video and copy your idea, the site owners have this covered. They intend to add a facility to make pitches private and viewable only by investors, so you just have to wait for that to happen.