A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of presenting my first venture capital (VC) pitch for a startup that I was working on called PetBot. Prior to the pitch, I was under the impression that I knew everything in putting together a successful pitch that would blow everyone away. Boy, was I wrong. Nearly every slide I spoke to was faced with brilliant and constructive critiques.
Fast forward to this week. The Loyalty & Rewards team was hard at work preparing for our initial pitch centered primarily on the end-user feedback and research we’ve collected from the first 30 days. We welcomed our member companies and collaborators for our first monthly breakfast pitch event. The objective of these events is to get initial buy-in from the target ‘investor’ group who would potentially fund the development of the proposed product towards market launch after project completion in the lab.
Attendees included: Munich Re, Hannover Re (Ireland) DAC Canadian Life Branch, Foresters Financial, KPMG (Canada), Highline Beta, and IRB Brasil RE (who attended via live video stream).
In preparing for this pitch, we leveraged many best practices from both academia and real-life experiences. Using the Business Model Canvas, a tool widely used to describe, design, challenge, and pivot our business model, we narrowed down several categories of content that the team focused on.
The first of these was the creation of a unique value proposition for our Loyalty & Rewards invention followed by the initial product tagline: “Improve Quality. Earn Rewards.” With my guidance, the team utilized a four-quadrant competitive analysis to carve out a niche that was unique and defensible.
Secondly, we refined the problem statement. During the completion of these exercises, it was encouraged that the team create a customer persona linked to the problem.
From our research, we observed that:
- Only 8% of millennials surveyed had interest in our innovation
- Whereas 70% of parents surveyed had interest in our innovation
- Parents aged between 24-45 had the most number of insurance products
- 1 on 1 interviews concluded that mothers of young children showed the most interest
Based on these observations, we created our target person: Katie, a 35-year-old mother of two small children who does not have a lot of time. As such, she would appreciate the ease of use and is incentivized by free insurance (not discounts).
Finally, we focused on the opportunity and the solution. We walked through how the persona would interact with the solution via high fidelity demo screens that highlighted both the marketing approach, the business opportunity and model. Specifically, the team pitched how Katie used the platform to save time, earn free insurance and be engaged with her insurance.
It was a very productive and interactive morning! Our collaborators and fellow members asked some great questions and offered their initial thoughts to the project team for consideration as we approach our next phase. The group was curious about our upcoming plans on how we will be collecting insurance policy information and potential integration. You’ll have to continue to follow along to find out!
Personally, the most interesting aspect of this process was the level of trust and personal connection that the participants had with the insights that were gathered from their peers on the project team, this provided a level of reassurance that our Loyalty & Rewards project was headed in the right direction.
Up next week, the project will move its focus from end-user feedback to member company feedback, specifically how investable ventures and programs are determined.