How to Put Together a Winning Pitch?
September 1, 2021 | Education
Before the Second Annual Enthuse Foundation Pitch Competition in 2020, we spoke with Eugene Khabensky, Vice President, Head of Global Ventures for Diageo. Khabensky oversees the Diageo relationship with the Distill Ventures program in North America. Distill Ventures is the drinks industry’s first accelerator for new and growing brands whose aim is to support entrepreneurs to develop, scale, and sell the drinks brands of the future.
He spoke about the elements he looked for in an investment opportunity and what items should be highlighted in a pitch deck. We summarized his advice and insight in five tips.
To listen to the full conversation, click “Eugene Khabensky Tells Us What We Should Include in our Pitches.”For information about the Third Annual Enthuse Foundation Pitch Competition, please visit the competition page.
Challenges Breed Innovation
Khabensky mentioned that now is a good time for people to start food and beverage businesses. “In some ways, there are challenges,” he said. “I think history tells us that sometimes challenges create opportunities for innovation. People ultimately figure that out.”
Highlight Creative Thinking
When looking for the perfect investment opportunity, Khabensky mentioned that he is focused on the best and the brightest and wants to invest in the best entrepreneurs with the best ideas. “I think currently just being agile and testing and learning is even more important,” he said. “If we think about some of the things we’re starting to see, the rise in e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, I think there’s a lot of new things that you can try. It’s very important to find ways to continue reaching your target consumers.
Most Important Elements? Vision, Strategy, and Tactics
Khabensky emphasized that every business has a vision. Then there’s a strategy. Then, there are the tactics. The vision is key. He suggests answering the following:
- What is the business doing?
- What consumer problem is the business solving?
- What’s the unique and distinctive thing about the brand and the brand story?
- Are you bringing the look that’s going to make it stand out and ultimately scale?
“I would start with a pitch that talks about your vision and what makes your brand and what makes your company unique,” Khabensky said. “I think that’s core. So this is your chance to really talk about your vision and then you can start to talk about your strategy and thoughts about how to execute that.”
Be Clear and Direct
Answer the following questions to help guide the framework for your presentation deck:
- Are you targeting a particular consumer or type of accounts?
- Are you thinking about building on-premise?
- How are you thinking about the supply?
- What is your supply chain strategy?
- How do you scale that strategy?
“I don’t think you have to get to every level of detail because sometimes people jump too much into tactics without figuring out the other things,” Khabensky said.
Learnings Lead to Growth
Khabensky advises entrepreneurs and businesses should try different things and determine what works.
“The key is not to try them all at once,” he said. “That’s really what I want to see. What have you learned? What works? And then how do we put some fuel on that fire and accelerates it to the next stage of growth?”
Conclusion: Think of your business pitch deck as a resume. The goal is to sell someone on you (in this case, your idea). What makes your business stand out from the competition? Make sure that differential characteristic is clear and figuratively hits someone in the face. Think your business has the “IT” factor? Apply to the Third Annual Enthuse Foundation Pitch Competition, Visit the site today to find out more information.
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