Nearly every month for the last three years, Anges Quebec has held an event to help entrepreneurs craft their pitches.
It’s called Test Out Your Pitch, and the event gives a select number of entrepreneurs eight minutes each to pitch their idea to a panel of three to five angel investors part of the Anges Quebec network.
“We created it because we wanted to open up our network to the community,” said Caroline Pelletier, Anges Quebec’s director of business development, communications and professional development. “We wanted to give entrepreneurs access to these angels who have in-depth business experience. Their feedback can often be pretty valuable for someone who’s launching a company.”
The next event will be held on Thursday February 11 from 1 -5 PM. Those interested can apply here until January 31. Anges Quebec’s preferred sectors are: health and wellbeing; Information technology; Web and Mobile; Telecommunications; Cleantech; and Manufacturing and services.
Pelletier called it “almost like a professional development workshop,” since entrepreneurs and angels discuss the pitch after every eight-minute sell for about 20 more minutes. Ultimately, it’s designed to give feedback to entrepreneurs who want to improve the way they communicate their ideas to investors, and not necessarily for angels to actually invest.
The event serves as a kind of practise for Anges Quebec’s other event, which is seen as a much more serious pitching event. That event is known as Anges Quebec’s “Investment Track,” and about 600-700 entrepreneurs apply every year for the chance to pitch the group of 175 angels. Just 50 of the 700 potential applicants are selected to pitch the angels at ten events spread out through the year.
“So, the Test Out Your Pitch event is a way for us to get to know companies that are up-and-coming, acting like a potential feeder pipeline,” Pelletier told MTLinTech. “For the entrepreneur, it’s feedback and contact with angels. It’s happened quite a lot that angels at our events have extended their interest and mentorship, beyond the event, when theres a good fit with an entrepreneur. It’s a really nice networking opportunity.”
It’s like crafting one’s skill in the minor leagues until the idea has home run potential.
And, it may not be a bad idea to pitch such a group, too. Pelletier told us the organization has now done 83 investments in 57 companies, often participating in follow-on rounds. Their average investment is about $450,000, but the organization also has a side fund called Anges Quebec Capital. Often this means an investment can go as high as $900,000 with the added help from Anges Quebec Capital.