Startup founders need to get better at pinpointing when they’re investment ready, River City Labs general manager Peta Ellis says.
Applications for the startup hub and coworking community’s investment event, RiverPitch, are now open, and Ellis says they’re on the hunt for startups that are ready for an investment of between $50,000 and $500,000.
“There’s a misperception in startups thinking they’re investment ready but they’re nowhere near ready,” she says.
“They need to show they have traction, that they’re making progress in their chosen market and that there’s a good opportunity for investors to get on board and help grow the business.”
Meeting investors in an informal setting
Seven startups will be chosen to take part in the event in October, where they’ll get to meet a bevy of eager early-stage investors.
The bi-yearly event has taken on a new, more informal structure this year, and Ellis says this is to cater to the needs of all investors, not just those that like to sit and watch pitches.
“Not all investors like to do business that way, so we’ve opened it up to be a bit more casual and have a broader range of investors,” she says.
Personality over product
Startups have to complete a 90 second video to apply, and Ellis says this should be more focused on the personal aspects rather than the startup.
“We want to know who they are as individuals, what kind of entrepreneur they are and why they want to pitch at RiverPitch,” she says.
“We’re not that concerned about the product, it’s more to get a feel for the people and their motivations.”
Past alumni of RiverPitch events include traveller social network Outbound, mobile environment monitoring tool Obzervr and street food ordering platform StreatEats.
River City Labs founder Steve Baxter says this year’s first RiverPitch event was a great success.
“I was rather blown away by the sophistication of the pitches at June’s events,” Baxter says.
“It was great experience and exposure for the seven startups and from an investor point of view RiverPitch certainly makes our lives easier as we were introduced to pre-screened, guaranteed quality startups.”
Although River City Labs is located in Brisbane, Ellis says it’s a great opportunity for startups across all of Australia.
“A plane trip is a small price to pay to get the opportunity to pitch here,” she says.
Hopeful startups can apply for RiverPitch 2015 here.
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