Billed as Dragons’ Den meets YouTube, a new video-pitching website has been set up which aims to connect entrepreneurs with investors and help drive Ireland out of recession.
The Irish-funding website cmypitch.ie has been launched in partnership with Bank of Scotland (Ireland), Deloitte, Microsoft, The Irish Times and William Fry, and aims to fill a major void in the Irish business community by opening up access to a vital source of growth finance – angel investors.
Unlike entrepreneurs in the US and UK, Irish entrepreneurs have very little formal access to wealthy individuals known as ‘angels’, a concept popularised by Dragons’ Den.
What cmypitch.ie allows businesses to do is upload their own video pitch onto the secure platform for a registered network of investors to watch and use to inform their investment decisions. In addition, entrepreneurs can learn how to become ‘investor-ready’ by watching video tips from the best Irish (Eddie Jordan, Ray Nolan) and international (Doug Richard, James Caan) entrepreneurs and by downloading the best ‘how to’ guides.
The site aims to save investors valuable time as pitches can be filtered by size, sector and rating. Investors can also receive email alerts when a new pitch is added that matches their preferred criteria.
cmypitch.ie will also hold regular offline pitching events called ‘cmypitch Live’, where entrepreneurs get the opportunity to pitch to a room full of investors, allowing them to complement their video pitch with more traditional face-to-face pitching and networking.
“The recession is killing thousands of good start-up ideas and small businesses in Ireland. Access to equity funding in Ireland is virtually non-existent, yet there are angel investors out there, including my father, who have no formal way of sourcing good opportunities. This is what drove me to launch cmypitch.ie. I want to help good entrepreneurs to find funding to fuel their business dream,” said Emmett Kilduff, cymypitch.ie’s CEO.
Ex-Formula 1 team owner and serial entrepreneur Eddie Jordan explained the need for a website like cmypitch.ie: “cmypitch.ie will open the door for entrepreneurs to investors that were previously out of reach. This type of offering is long overdue in Ireland. The unique chance to pitch directly to investors is a golden opportunity.”
According to James Morris, the founder of Windmill Lane and TV3, online video pitching is a powerful tool in any entrepreneur’s arsenal: “Early stage investment is all about the people behind the idea. Online video pitching, in a secure controlled environment, is a powerful way for entrepreneurs to showcase their business but more importantly themselves. For investors it is a great way to be introduced to a more diverse range of investment opportunities by seeing the entrepreneurs pitch online.”
“We are delighted to support this unique tool for both entrepreneurs and investors. In the current economic climate, it is great to see Irish entrepreneurs tackling market challenges head on,” said Paul Cunningham, head of banking, Bank of Scotland (Ireland).
By Jennifer Yau