Pitching their business ideas is one of the vital tasks that startups and entrepreneurs have to master in order to launch or grow their companies. Their main challenge is how to make it convincingly and powerfully enough to persuade investors to finance their new products and services.
Addressing this need, the 2nd leg of the Shell LiveWIRE Virtual Homeroom taught startup founders, business owners, and entrepreneurs the vital principles that can make their business pitches to investors more successful. Sharing their experience and knowledge during the event were established mentors Ms. Tal De Guzman, owner and designer of Risqué Designs; and Mr. Matthew Cua of IGNITE and a member of the Shell LiveWIRE Philippines Team.
This 2nd leg of the Virtual Homeroom Session detailed the finer points of nailing the elevator pitch, using data-driven business proposals, and telling an engaging story with good storytelling skills. The first Shell Philippines LiveWIRE Virtual Homeroom Session, which launched on November 4, 2021, discussed operational efficiency that can boost company growth while reducing cost.
A global enterprise development program, Shell LiveWIRE is offered in 15 countries to selected new enterprises in order to help them strengthen their systems, sharpen their competencies, and give them a chance to become part of the Shell Value Chain. To date, about 500 startups and community and social enterprises have participated in LiveWIRE, which is now on its second year in the Philippines. Its Homeroom Sessions go beyond the Shell LiveWIRE program’s focus on energy and the environment.
Serge Bernal, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation Vice President of Corporate Relations, gave an overview of the company’s role and goals in fostering the next wave of innovative entrepreneurs, as they serve as the lifeline of the economy: “The pandemic has given us an opportunity to reevaluate our models, process, and methods, and to adopt progressive practices as well as technology solutions to allow them to continue to be viable. This is the kind of forward-thinking that we aim to cultivate and nurture with Shell LiveWIRE.”
“Being a good storyteller helps me translate business ideas. It drives authenticity and a good balance of knowing what you are doing,” Ms. De Guzman described the advantages of storytelling skills during pitching. “You really should have that filter on what would work and what would not work on business.” Risqué Designs, which she founded, manufactures shoe brands placing its designs, materials, and craftsmanship in the greater storytelling context of culture.
Meanwhile Mr. Cua explained the importance of Shell LiveWIRE’s mentorship for those who are just beginning their journey in business pitching. “A lot of investors are looking into social enterprises and usually the problem is the skill gap. So that’s why we’re doing the Virtual Homeroom Sessions,” he said. “In Shell LiveWIRE, we spend a lot of time teaching business practices, and how to talk in the modern language of the internet.”
Mr. Nir Ten Bosch, CEO of Connected Freight Pte, a B2B logistics platform for the SMEs operating in Southeast Asia, also gave a presentation showing how to craft a winning investment pitch. He advised, “The starting point of each pitch is to say very clearly and very succinctly who you are, what you do, and what your vision is.” Then he gave in detail the proper structure of a pitch that can capture the attention of investors: the introduction of a highly qualified, winning team; the pain points of the market that the company is trying to solve; the implementation strategy; the business model; and the product’s unique differentiation.
Shell LiveWIRE’s vision is to strengthen local economies by promoting entrepreneurship and meaningful employment. Today it supports businesses that are on the cutting-edge of innovation, focusing on energy solutions, value chain integration, and economic diversification.