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12 / 4,5,6, 2000 

Bring Pizza to the Party or ... How to Hook Investors

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2000 - ( -- Want to be noticed by investors? Consider an offering of pizza!

Samples of your wares are terrific bait to hook investors, experts advised at Monday morning's insightful eVenture Forum, "Presenting Your Business Plan: The Keys to a Successful Pitch."

Attendees gobbled up tips from moderator by Roy Beller, the president of eMarketWorld Capital, Inc., based in New York, NY. The panelists were Michael Drapkin, of Drapkin Technology, New York; Alan Swerdloff, vice-president of corporate development of, New York, NY; and Jonathan Steuer, vice-president, eMarkets East, of Scient, NY.

With their backgrounds in management consulting, speech coaching, and investment, the panelists provided valuable assistance to presenters who volunteered to make their pitch at the Forum and attendees alike.

One new company is looking for investors to provide capital to start a new eVenture business. After the company's representative made her presentation, the panelists pointed out how critical the first few minutes are for capturing her audience. Heeding their constructive criticism, the next pitch she makes will undoubtedly open with a grabber!

The next presenter is with an established company that needs more capital to continue and expand its business. His pitch was more polished. The company has created food items for people with special dietary needs. His description of non-gluten pepperoni pizza had the panelist drooling and asking for samples. All of the panelists agreed that companies with "tangible" -- and especially edible! -- products should consider bringing samples or providing colorful promotional props to help hook potential investors.

Tips from the panelists and "rules of the road" when pitching a concept to potential investors include �

Give a brief and quick overview at the beginning of your pitch; �

Be quick to tell me as an investor what the opportunity is; �

I'm investing in YOU, so tell me about you and your team; �

Why is this investment good? How are you better than your competitors?

According to Beller, both new and established companies seeking investors for their e-venture need to stand out from the crowd. Investors may be "pitched" a hundred times a week, so the company that does not grab attention will not likely get past the first five-minute presentation, he warned. Important in this first pitch are hard facts, not soft-sell, he emphasized.

Beller suggested that presenters perfect the five-minute, 20-, and 60-minute presentation at home before attempting to give even a five-minute presentation to a potential investor. He said this helps the presenter be fully prepared and "crystal clear" on his company's objectives, goals, and potential. By perfecting the longer presentations first, the presenter actually produces a better short minute presentation.

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