By Maximilian Clarke

Ten entrepreneurs will join leading business figures this afternoon in Tech City as part of Tech City Investment Organisation’s (TCIO) mentoring programme.

The TCIO mentorship programme, which launched in December, brings together industry veterans with digital start-ups and entrepreneurs for “speed mentoring”, providing training and advice, and helping to foster collaboration in the community.

Led by Kevin Eyres, Talent Champion for TCIO, today’s session will focus on the pitch process with particular emphasis on training for pitching when looking to raise capital. Participating entrepreneurs will have the chance to pitch to, and get feedback from, top UK business leaders including Carlos Eduardo Espinal, partner at Seedcamp; Divinia Knowles, COO/CFO of MindCandy; Simon Walker, partner and Head of the Venture Capital Group at Taylor Wessing; and Glenn Shoosmith, founder and CEO of BookingBug.

Perfecting the pitch is a delicate art but an essential skill to have,” said Eyres. “What’s great about speed mentoring is that you get the chance to put your pitching abilities to the test. The instant feedback young start-ups are getting will equip entrepreneurs with the tools to build and develop this invaluable lifetime skill.”

Shoosmith said, “When you're a small start-up seeking investment it can be a real slog in the early days and success really boils down to being able to prove the credibility of what you're doing. Crafting your pitch is absolutely critical to making the right first impression. Whether you’re pitching to angel investors or VCs, being able to deliver an exciting and compelling case as to why you’re the one to invest in is one of the most important things you’ll ever do in the early years.”

Commenting on the most recent speed mentoring session, Dr Stuart Battersby of Chatterbox Analytics said: “The Tech City speed mentoring events are a great opportunity to pitch your company or proposal to a wide range of heavyweight mentors, testing out what works and what doesn't. Being put on the spot forces you to be concise, and the small snippets of feedback that you get from the mentors really help you steer your company's development.”

TCIO launched its mentoring programme following feedback from companies in Tech City and best practices from other tech communities. Mentors and mentees interested in participating can sign up via an online platform — this month, supported by f6s (pronounced “F-success”). Designed to help mentors and mentees to find each other and access relevant features and tools, the platform helps to put control of the relationship in their hands.

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