Raising investment money can be a daunting task-even for people with a great deal of experience. If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank, you can begin to imagine how challenging it is to face demanding and egocentric investors. For more than 20 years, Center Stage concepts have been supporting companies who need to raise money. Center Stage is a powerful tool for verbal persuasion. It helps you make sure your investor presentation is pitch perfect. For example, you learn
a) what information to include in the pitch,
b) what to ditch,
c) how to handle difficult questions,
d) techniques to simplify technical information,
e) how to use the scant attention time you have with investors wisely,
f) and more.
The investor-pitch application of the Center Stage process began in the early 90ies when The University of Texas at Austin wanted to prepare MBA students for business-plan competitions. This wealthy university had access to some of the best academic minds in the country: yet those techniques didn’t accomplish the University’s goals.
These high-level competitions spoke to one of the toughest audiences anywhere – venture capital and private-equity investors. Universities at the graduate level from around the world competed in these events where winners left with up to $100,000 in some instances. They were early versions of Shark Tank and the CEO of Center Stage was included in a book about such competitions and referred to as The University’s “Secret Weapon.”
Working with UT Austin and other universities, Center Stage became known in the venture-capital community, helping some firms receive money from Silicon Valley and other highly-esteemed organizations such as Hewlett Packard. Since that time, Center Stage has helped organizations win more than $500MM in early-stage funding.
Center Stage concepts have helped venture-capital firms themselves raise their investment funds from major institutions and wealthy families. This fact is significant, because it speaks to the effectiveness of the Center-Stage program for all levels of experience and sophistication. It could be easy to assume that once you have reached the level of a venture capitalist or investor, there would be no further need for improving speaking and persuasion skills. Not true! This is where the stakes are higher and the needs even stronger.
The ideas of Center Stage have also been applied to legacy and publicly-traded companies who must get their own stories out to capture the attention of analysts and other pundits, such as when meeting with potential investors and other Wall Street firms.
Investors tend to be highly intelligent, competitive audiences where pitch nuance, detail, and finesse can make a significant economic difference for an organization.