Pitches were pitched, nibbles were nibbed and drinks were drunk at the fifth ever instalment of IdealogLive Pitch Circus, which took place last night at the Sapphire Room in Ponsonby.
Amy Sznicer kicked off the evening with a fascinating talk about what it means to be an entrepreneur, the leadership challenges one faces when switching industries, and the ramifications of not cashing a regular pay check when you’re the boss.
Image: Dry & Tea’s Amy Sznicer
Then Idealog’s legendary Dragon’s Den-style pitching event, Pitch Circus, got underway.
The three contestants (although one contestant was a duo) had three minutes and thirty three seconds each to wow the crowd with their idea, before the audience voted on the best via the bespoke Pitch Circus voting app.
First up was Daisy Liang and Marina Averkina of the ‘The Property Club’, a transparent property investment company that creates opportunities for more folks to get on the property ladder. The ladies’ energy and enthusiasm was infectious as they described the rigours of the New Zealand property market, the difficulties of dealing with banks and their idea for an online property share trading marketplace.
Next up was Andre Wilke who courageously recovered from dropping his notes early on to deliver an admirably concise pitch for his business, Andre’s Kitchen, which aims to solve the pressing problem of low-quality baked goods such as cookies and crostinis on New Zealand’s shelves. While lesser men would have folded under the pressure of scrambled notes and a ticking clock, Wilke carried it all off with a huge amount of charm, a stoic Hudson Cookie Bear-esque ‘dum-de-do’, and free cookies distributed amongst the crowd; a bribe appreciated by all.
Last up was Timothy Ezra Keddell, aka Ezra, for ‘Dotty’, an online app that promises to make kids’ chores fun. The app creates to-do lists of chores and lets kids earn ‘dots’ as they complete them successfully. The child’s earned dots are then collected on their personal profile and can be cashed-in later for pocket money at a rate set by the adult. The premium version of the app also offers detailed reporting, goal-setting, and virtual trophies. Every parent in the audience loudly voiced their approval throughout the proposal.
The crowd then voted via the Pitch Circus app, the results were tallied in real-time and the winner was displayed to rapturous applause: it was Ezra for the Dotty app, by a landslide.
As the winner, Ezra walks away with $1000 cold, hard cash, a feature in Idealog magazine, a gift from Johnnie Walker, an hour’s free consulting with AJ Park, an hour with business guru Mike Hutcheson and an introduction to the Venture Capital Association. Not too shabby.
Image: Idealog publisher Vincent Heeringa, Pitch Circus winner Ezra Keddell and Good editor, Sarah Heeringa.
To make sure everything ran smoothly (but not too smoothly), tea-themed cocktails from Johnnie Walker were applied liberally throughout the evening, created by award-wining mixologist Philip Specter (not that Phil Spector), and we made sure to nab the recipes. See below.
For the next IdealogLive Pitch Circus, watch this space.
New York Femme
Combine smoky Johnnie Walker Black with fresh lemon and Braeburn apple juice.
Finish with a touch of elderflower (to provide a sliver of floral sweetness), then steep in your choice of a matching tea to provide complexity and depth.
Pair silky Johnnie Walker Gold with the chocolate and coffee rich flavours of the Emerson’s London Porter.
Sweeten with honey, Demerara sugar and cocoa, then infuse with the complimenting flavours of your choice of tea.