Sylvie Russell, Head of Operations at Cambridge Cleantech, on what makes a good investment pitch
Securing investment for your cleantech business may feel daunting. But the team behind Cambridge Cleantech Venture Day is keen to show just how much support is available for businesses ready to pitch to investors.
“We’re here; we are friendly faces, so don’t be intimidated,” says Sylvie Russell, Head of Operations at Cambridge Cleantech.
The deadline for this year’s applications is 10 March.
“The application is easy to fill in; there are just six questions,” explains Sylvie.
“So, it’s not an application that’s going to take you lots of time to apply. And then, if you’re selected, we’ll do pitch training sessions with you.”
The Cambridge Cleantech team is proud of the work that it’s done to increase the number of female founders who apply.
“We want to showcase diversity and encourage applications from people whatever their background or gender,” explains Sylvie.
So, what makes a good pitch?
“It’s a combination of being able to present your product and solution with words that are accessible for everyone,” says Sylvie.
“Remember that investors and the people listening are not all from engineering backgrounds. It’s easy to go down the trap of very technical solutions, but what we want to hear is solutions to problems.”
“People’s passion” is what’s most memorable about previous pitches, says Sylvie. “At the end of the day, we are people relating to people,” she adds.
The Cambridge Cleantech Venture Day team expect at least 200 people from around the globe to attend the two-day event on 18 and 19 May. The event will bring together innovative cleantech companies with experienced fund managers, business angels and corporate investors.
Innovation to solve some of the biggest challenges facing our planet is at the heart of the day.
So what themes are likely to emerge?
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more hydrogen solutions,” says Sylvie. “Since COP26 and the energy crisis, the government has realised it needs to look for new clean energy solutions, which has raised the profile of hydrogen.”
COVID has also increased interest in companies that improve indoor air quality.
“These companies were there before, but nobody was thinking about it. Now when you have a new building or are retrofitting an existing one, businesses are also thinking more about what they can put in place to keep everybody safe,” says Sylvie.
She also hopes to see more waste management and circular economy solutions.
Sylvie Russell, Head of Operations at Cambridge Cleantech, encourages people from all backgrounds to apply
“We talked a lot about reducing plastic before COVID, but then we stopped because we just had to make sure everybody was safe. But I think people are more focused again on doing something about it,” says Sylvie.
“People are asking how we manage waste properly. How do you use the waste and transform it?”
Investors can be confident they’ll listen to high-quality pitches because everyone presenting has already been scored by a panel of experts, with the 24 highest-ranking companies chosen.
To apply to pitch at the next Cambridge Cleantech Venture Day or secure your early bird ticket, click here.
Sustainable Results Lab is proud to be a marketing partner for the event.
For support with your business development strategy or pitch deck, book a call with Sustainable Results Lab founder Ruth Smith.